Canadians and Americans share a lot of things – a continent, a border, a similar culture. So my assimilation into Quebec is about as easy as it can be. For others who come from completely different countries and continents, who don’t speak one of the two languages in Canada, it’s … indescribably painful. To pick up and move and resettle with no friends or family nearby. To adapt to an entirely new, fast-paced, and incredibly superficial world.
It’s more isolating that you can imagine: Setting up Skype dates just to talk to your family. Not being able to talk to your neighbors because you don’t speak the language. Missing movies, theatre events, and all those other things you enjoy regularly.
But we’re all in it together. Kind of.
I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to spend a lot of time with ladies and gents from around the globe.
They aren’t competitive. They don’t care how much money you have. They don’t care that I have the latest iPhone or what my husband does, or who I am connected to. Or at least not much. They don’t care that I suck at French or if I’m awesome at French or if my teeth are straight (they aren’t). They aren’t trying to stomp me in the class like the other Americans or debate about every.little.thing that comes up. (Do you really need to point out that I forget the “en” in my sentence.? Or that the question isn’t exactly rhetorical to someone for whom English isn’t a first language? Or to take an entire hour of class just to show off your pictures?).
It’s opened my eyes to simple pleasures and real hardships. I don’t want to run on the hamster wheel anymore. I don’t want to sacrifice my art for a dollar. I just want to be a good person, the way I’ve always wanted, only in a more honest way. I want to do work I believe in.
I guess I just don’t care anymore, about status or politics or anything. My goal is to become the female version of Hunter S. Thompson. He didn’t give a fuck what people thought and neither do I anymore.
July 27, 2012 at 4:03 pm
Love this one. 🙂
July 27, 2012 at 5:07 pm
Glad you enjoy it. Thank you! I adore the USA but I started noticing right away how different we are from everyone else (or the people I met, who were from everywhere but the US). I found myself complaining way too much. And caring too much about work and not having a regular job. When most of my new friends came from places where food and safety were problems.