8 Things I Miss From Canada

Living in a different country to the one you grew up in is challenging at times. You’re away from your family and friends. Your job, if you manage to find one, may be completely different to what you had studied or trained for. You may live somewhere where just being understood and understanding those around you is a daily struggle.

And then there are the little things. Did you know it’s virtually impossible to find a large box of baking soda here in my little, but very picturesque, part of Norway?


8 Things I Miss From Canada:

  1. Milk in Bags

Not cartons or jugs but bags. It seems to be a uniquely Canadian thing.

  1. Dollar Stores

I am a note taker, a jotter down of ideas, and a perpetual list maker. All this scribbling requires notebooks, notepads, and little sticky notes I can pop on and around my computer screen. I recently bought 3 notebooks here in town at a bookstore for about the equivalent of $6 CAD each. I fondly remember the days when I could have picked up more than a dozen notebooks for the same price I paid for three.

  1. Large Boxes of Baking Soda.

I used to be able to walk into most any grocery store in Canada and buy a 2 kg box of baking soda. Not that I do that much baking to justify such a massive box but it does come in handy when a cleaning mood strikes and I want to scrub without surrounding myself with toxic chemicals and fumes.

  1. Detailed Transit Maps

This could be a quirk of the town I live in but while you can look up bus stop locations, bus times and plan out when and where to catch a particular bus to a particular destination you cannot look up a detailed map of the whole local transit system.

  1. Coupons

Oh the days of clipping coupons and getting a good deal on razor blades, how I miss you so. Norway is expensive and coupons are pretty much non-existent. It’s taken a bit of adjusting to say the least.

  1. Big City Bustle

It’s not even the bustle I miss. I miss the ROM (The Royal Ontario Museum). And though at times would purposely avoid walking down certain parts of it, I miss Yonge Street. I miss being able to walk down the posh section of Bloor Street and wonder if I had the means, would I partake of all the over the top goodies on display in the store windows. I miss being close to a large city.

  1. Walmart

I know they’re a big, evil corporation but I miss being able to walk in and buy shampoo, underwear, bread, slippers, a usb stick and an assortment of sand paper all in one place. Don’t judge.

  1. Cheap Books and Huge Bookstores

You know the feeling of walking into a large bookstore and breathing a contented sigh, knowing that for the next few hours you’ll be immersed in the smell and feel of new books? Slowly wandering about the aisles, your eyes flitting over colourful covers and spines waiting for something to catch your eye? I remember it well. Books here are expensive so budgeting or even finding something you like can be a chore.

If you now find yourself living in a different country either temporarily or permanently, what things do you miss?

10 thoughts on “8 Things I Miss From Canada

  1. Everyday Asia says:

    Believe it or not, you can get milk in bags here in India… but not the nice convenient drop into your jug, snip the corner and use kinda milk. Nope! It is the now you need to pasturize it, cool it, then take the top film off and store back in the fridge to use. So we tend to get milk in cartons which do not need refrigeration before opening. I’m not entirely convinced it is ACTUALLY milk!!

    Substitute ‘Superstore’ for Wallmart and I’m soooo with you! 😉

    And cheap books in giant bookstores?? Ah…. sigh… these days books find their ways into our hands via a multitude of friend’s book launches. It begins to feel like literally everyone is publishing books!!?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. theepowerofgood says:

    If it helps, I buy my milk in bags – I mean, I drive down a maze of alleys until I find a room with four women crowded around a vat of boiling milk. I ask for some and they ladle some into a plastic snap-lock bag. I hang the hot milk on a hook on my motorbike and I drive away.

    For context, I’m an Australian living in Sai Gon, Viet Nam and it is truly the best tasting milk I can find here, all the stuff in cartons tastes burnt.

    I love living here but God help me, I miss nice, refrigerated milk… It is always something right?

    Liked by 1 person

      • theepowerofgood says:

        Well interesting is subjective, but it is a nice outlet for me. My job can be pretty intense and it is nice to write about something completely different to my work.

        I’m keen to visit Norway when I can, (all of the Scandies for that matter). The language seems particularly challenging, hope you’re coping with it.

        Liked by 1 person

          • theepowerofgood says:

            Every new language is hard; I struggle with Vietnamese.

            Most of my difficulty stems from the tonal nature of the language. My Vietnamese teacher would almost stick his fingers in my mouth to show me were to put my tongue to make the correct sound (if you mix up the tone the word changes; ie the word for Pomelo/Grapefruit becomes Penis…) So many mistakes, so many laughs.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. joeyfullystated says:

    I use baking soda all the time, so I completely relate! I put it laundry, cat boxes, and clean with it!
    I know what you mean about Walmart, too. I don’t much shop there, but when I do it’s because I want milk and bananas, but also wiper fluid and 9 feet of mulch! lol
    Bookstores, oh yeah.
    It’s a shame so much of this makes for heavy shipping.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s