Saturday, August 05, 2006

Day 6: Things=OK

So I'm coming up on one week out, and things are pretty ok. Most of my time here has been spent walking around the city desperately trying to find cheap summer clothes, because it is incredibly hot and humid here. I was under the BLATANTLY INCORRECT assumption that Canada is pretty much always cold, in varying degrees. Considering my limited luggage, I had brought with me only pants and a few t-shirts, and otherwise all sweaters. Now I have one pair of shorts that I wear almost everyday.

Anna and I are getting along quite well I think. She is always arranging things for us to do or inviting me to come out with her and her friends, which is very nice. I went to a BBQ at her PhD
advisor's house yesterday, where I got to meet a lot of the people who will be on the icebreaker, including a bunch of people who know my advisor at Pomona. Everyone was pretty nice, but unless they were talking directly to me, they mostly spoke in French...so I sort of sat there, most of the time. Excellent food, though.

I had a bit of a scare with someone giving me the impression that I needed a Canadian work visa, but I recently met the ship-coordinator who assured me that all my paperwork is correct. I seem to live on the verge of a series of catastrophes - its been a little hard for me to relax. I continue to stress over my luggage and whether I will be able to fit it all in my room on the ship.

An interesting thing - NO ONE can tell I am American, which is kinda cool. Most people talk to me in French, and then when I have to tell them I only speak English, they think I'm from the UK. When I went to the BBQ, all of Anna's friends told her that I speak English very well and that I have a nice accent (they thought I was Polish like Anna). I guess this is good, that I speak my native language decently well? Or does this mean my English is questionable enough that I sound foreign? Hm.

Finally: Laurel and her luggage!


Also! My wee brother turns 18 today. Happy Birthday, Dane!

2 comments:

Dakx said...

You are so lucky! This is an amazing experience for you! Don't worry about Quebec, people here are very simple and very open minded... And yes, we are a different culture! I'll show you some tricks and cultural differences! Cheers, Safe Trip!

sugarfiend said...

Hi Laurel!

I just dug out your email, LOL. Yes, Canada isn't always cold! When I was in Calgary in March, people told me not to pack until the day before I left, cause it could be below freezing or in the 70s from week to week in March. Insanities, I tell you!

Your trip sounds so exciting! Well, in bad and good ways, but at least it's never boring. :) You're teetering close to my number of "nearly-experiment-ending catastrophes" that I experienced during my year of thesis work. :P

And I dunno if it's just Quebec that's uptight - in Calgary, nobody asked for any ID or anything. Maybe they assumed I was from Vancouver...

Anyhoo, keep on posting news and photos! They're so purrrrty. :)

- Anita