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:
- Milk in Bags
Not cartons or jugs but bags. It seems to be a uniquely Canadian thing.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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?