The American Calgarian

Tales of a Midwesterner transplanted in Western Canada

Random notes about my first weeks in Alberta..

I miss Target. My almost fifteen year boycott of Wal-Mart has sadly come to an end. For now.
I miss knowing where I am headed. I get honked at occasionally, though Canadians are too polite to cuss at me.
For our first week or so, we were pretty disconnected from the outside world. I did not mind the absence of television, but the lack of internet gave me shakes at times.
Just like in Milwaukee, everything is in two languages. However, in Canada, bilingual means English and French.
JB has a renewed excitement about his work. I haven’t seen this in a while and let me tell you, it’s nice.
Ski Jumpers are crazy. I can see the Canada Olympic Park (COP) from my kitchen, which includes the ski jump and bobsled run. All I have to say to all those would-be Olympic ski-jumpers – Really? Does your mother know what you’re doing?
Canadians are nice, polite people. But you must understand their rules. They will tell you the rules clearly and politely, followed by clear direction that getting caught disobeying the rules is a huge no-no. (see “Distracted Driving Law”)
Is anyone really from Calgary originally? Outside of a very few, introductions usually go something like this. “Hi, I’m Lisa. These are my boys, Max and Sam. We have lived in Europe and Asia before settling in Alberta, although we are originally from the United Kingdom.” It seems that everyone I have met on the block is from somewhere other than here. Mexico, England, Italy, South Korea… it feels good that it is not odd to be a foreigner.  Backyards are overrated. Why have a yard when your ‘hood buddies are going to set up street hockey? Nobody plays in their yard, assuming the even have one, but children are everywhere. On the street, in the field, on the trails, everywhere. My American kids find this a bit odd. “You mean we can just go out there, Mom?” “Yes! Go explore! Stay together! But, please, this is Canada, not the Caribbean, dress in layers and wear a hat!”
I miss our garbage disposal. You know, the thing we take for granted in the suburban USA? That magical thing in our kitchen sink that makes yucky stuff go down the drain?  Yeah, that.
Just because the box is labeled “China”, don’t think it does not contain the pancake griddle and muffin pan. Enough said.
This metric thing I harder that I thought. Gasoline is only $1.13? Woot! Oh, you meant per liter. And there are how many liters in a gallon? Cripe, I give up. Note to self – stop trying to convert everything and just go with it.
The Girl has joined the choir. I have been asking her to do this at church for years. Finally! And of her own conviction, she came to me and said “I need ten bucks”. As you can imagine, I immediately asked why. Her reply of “to join the school choir” almost made me break into song.
I miss my running buddies. Saturday early mornings on the Glacial Drumlin Trail or at the Milwaukee Lakefront with Mike, Dione, Jessica, Mike, Jennifer, Mary Ann, Mandee, I know I forgot some…. Great way to start a weekend and blow off some steam. On the “to do” list – must find running buddies. After all, I have an open invitation to all listed above to run the Calgary Marathon next May.

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4 thoughts on “Random notes about my first weeks in Alberta..

  1. No Target? No way! Yes, find running buddies. Who else will you drink with?

  2. Sounds pretty nice so far. . .

    I’m watching Pens/Canadians tonight at the Consol Energy Center. . . First time. I’ll think of you, our friends to the North (even though it’s not actually YOUR hockey team)

  3. Aww….you remember us running buddies? I got out for a nice, crisp 14 this morning, but solo and without any whining at the end of it. It just isn’t the same, Erika. But you’ll be happy to know there was frost out this morning, so you’d have felt at home here too!

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