Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Ambling Ramblings #2 Extended: More things that I have learned about Canada and Canadians

I am continually learning and observing new and interesting things about this country to add to my list. Here is a continuation of the list from my previous post:
#7. In Alberta, Petrol is 102.9 cents per litre (which equates to almost the same thing in Australian dollars-Queenslanders, uproot and move to Alberta for cheaper fuel!!)
#8. Houses are very close together (I think it makes them feel warmer in the cold winters!)
#9. Because you can never have enough snow, they make fake snow for the ski and snowboarding runs
#10. At Christmas time, it is more common to attend a Christmas Eve service than a Christmas Day service.
#11. The Rocky Mountains are beautiful....at the moment they are snow-capped and absolutely stunning as they 'glow' in the sun
#12. Traffic lights are horizontal instead of vertical and the turning arrows flash
#13. Pedestrian crossings have a button that you push and a yellow light flashes signalling that you can cross (I was so confused to know when to cross the first time!)
#14. Tax is added onto purchases at the point of sale and not included in the price (and my poor brain cannot cope with all of the mental calculations!!)
#15. Ice and snow make the roads slippery which means that when you approach a 'stop' sign and brake, the car keeps moving forwards as it slides on the ice
#15. The food never ends at Christmas time-it just keeps coming! Starting with fruit bread for breakfast with cinnamon rolls, then on to mince tarts (fruit mince, so the fact that I have eaten one doesn't nullify my vegetarianism!), shortbread, nanaimo bars (a very Canadian slice), brownies, cookies and all manner of other goodies, moving directly into lunch, then back to the Christmas goodies, and then on to supper (dinner) consisting of turkey, cranberry sauce, potatoes, turnips, carrots, gravy, salad, corn and more (I think the table was groaning!) and then we return to the Christmas baked goodies with only enough time between meals to wash the dishes and boil the kettle for tea!.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Ambling Ramblings #2: Things I have learned about Canada and Canadians

I have been in Canada for a week now and feel that I am now able to comment on this great Commonwealth nation in the Northern Hemisphere. I have learned many things about this country and its people in the time I have been here, and so I will educate those of you who have not yet ventured into this land.

1. Their cheese is orange (like the colour of carrots)
2. Their eggs are yellow (like the colour of lemons, bright yellow)
3. Snow, the white stuff found on everything outdoors, is cold!
4. Wind makes it even colder!
5. Hockey and other sports involving ice are the chief interests of many citizens
6. 'Coles' to Canadians is a bookstore, not a grocery store (supermarket) as it is in Australia
and I'm sure there are many more, but not that come to mind at the moment.

I'm very much enjoying my time in Canada, he weather has not been too cold (although to someone from 'down under' it's still freezing!) I've enjoyed getting in on some Canadian Christmas traditions, doing some baking, going on adventures and having a lovely time :) Yesterday I went ice skating at Olympic Oval (which some of you may recognize from scenes in 'Cool Runnings') which was quite the experience! After quite a few laps I finally started to venture away from the edge with the barricades that I could hold on to or crash into, whichever the situation required, however I was still being lapped by very small children who must have been skating since they could walk!! I've also tagged along for some Christmas shopping, learned some new games and all in all, had a lovely time.

Have a happy and blessed Christmas at whatever time Christmas comes for you in your part of the world.

Stay tuned for more adventures to come!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Ambling Ramblings #1

Today is the day that it all begins. "All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go....'cause I'm leaving on a jet plane" However, contrary to the lyrics of this song, I do know when I'll be back again! Phase one is ready to be put into action. First, a breakfast of pancakes and waffles with my family (our Saturday morning tradition), a few last minute things and frantically checking that I haven't forgotten anything (yes, I do have a toothbrush and I have remembered socks!) and then it's off to the airport for flight #1. First stop Auckland (for 2 hours) and then a rather long hop across the Pacific into the Northern Hemisphere. 30 hours after departing here, I will finally reach my first destination, snowy Canada. I'm sure the posts following this one will be much more interesting to read as there will be more to tell, however I had to start somewhere! So for now, it's 'au reviour' 'auf wiedersehen' 'adios' 'luikim yu bihain' and 'farewell' to this side of the world. I'll be back next year!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Christmas Begins with Trees and Culinary Misadventures

Due to the fact that I will be overseas enjoying a white Christmas, I have started the Christmas traditions here so that I can have the best of both hemispheres!
My sister and I set up the Christmas tree yesterday while listening to Christmas Carols (Celtic Woman 'A Christmas Celebration' is my all time favourite Christmas CD), and over today and yesterday, I have had my first attempt at a gingerbread house with many mishaps along the way! It's safe to say that you should be glad I am not looking for a career in engineering, architecture, building or design as my house is rather disproportional, crooked and the walls required a great deal of icing to adhere them together! It was a lot of fun though and hopefully next year's one will be more successful!
It was certainly a culinary adventure with many hours of frustration, a sticky mess (the icing is like cement!), vain attempts to keep my brother away from the kitchen bench and a whole lot of silliness, laughter and Christmas carols in the background!