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Thursday
Jul252013

Notes on Travel

Hi. Um, so, I'm in Canada. With my little side-kick, who is just a little uncertain of geography and asks for clarification every five minutes, seeking to determine whether this is, in fact, Canada or Jakarta.

 

We've been here for only two days, but already have eaten pizza twice, walked about a million kilometres revealing in the unobstructed sidewalks, enjoyed fresh air and blue skies, and done a circuit of the city's playgrounds. 

 

 

Meanwhile, I keep wondering what Stella makes of this trip. For a kid who's spent the majority of her life in Asia, Canada must seem weird, right? But when I ask her what she thinks is different about Canada, she responds with a blank stare.

 

So, I piece together a fractured understanding of her perception of this place based on her comments. Choo-choo buses (Street cars) are totally rad. Carseats and seat belts are bullshit. As is the rule that decrees "In Canada that children cannot run around in restaurants." Total balls. We watched the "gym people" running past the cafe window. I guess that's weird? And the cyclists wearing helmets. Weird. And there was an episode where Stella began screaming in absolute terror as a pigeon pecked away on the sidewalk in front of us. So, pigeons are weird?  And terrifying? I guess?

 

 

As for me, I'm happy to report the following observations:

 

Flying with a three year old is infinitely easier than flying with a two year old. Stella slept a whopping 4 hours on the flight. She played independently in her seat, and let me snooze in half-hour stretches. And, most amazingly of all, this kid walked by herself through all airports while managing her own suitcase. I mean, jackpot, you guys!

 

Three-year-old jet lag is not nearly as horrendous as baby jet lag. (Though this point may require a caveat; I let the iPad do all the parenting between 3-6 am.)

 

Canada is freezing. Duh, me.

 

This fact does not deter Canadians from dressing in shorts, sleeveless tops, and sandals. Meanwhile, I'm worrying about hypothermia because It's 22 degrees Celsius, and maybe I should put a hat on my kid? And some mittens? Perhaps? 

 

Canadians are the friendliest. Really. I had forgotten about this fact. I've had at least 10 random strangers go completely out out of their way to open doors for me, warn me of an out-of-order elevator, or carry Stella's stroller up steps, or wish me a nice day. It's almost enough to make me crave the constraints of a mortgage and a over-priced shoebox-sized condo in Toronto. 

Reader Comments (14)

Welcome back! I've been following your blog for a while now and love traveling vicariously through your writing. I'm a Toronto dweller myself.... Hope you have a wonderful visit!

July 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

I pity your weather the last couple of days...it HAS been cold, even for me :) On the bright side, there's always Pizza Libretto on Ossington :)

July 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKate

ack, double ack!! You're here, you're back?! Too wild! Hope you guys have a great visit... come to Peterborough, bahaha! Will you stay long? You just missed the unbearable heat wave last week.. gah, now it's crazy cool and refreshing here!
xx
mel
needle and nest

July 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermel

Glad to hear that you had a smooth flight, complete with naps! Have a great time in North America :)

July 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

Pigeons are dinosaurs, you know. Important life lesson.

July 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterUnky Mishka

So funny! We were in Canada once for 4 hours when our Alaskan cruise ship made a port stop in Victoria in May. I was amazed at the people walking around in clothes like you describe as if it were warm! I'm from the southern US, and we had on sweaters, jackets, and pants, ha! You could definitely tell we weren't from around there.
And I'm with your little about the pigeons; they freak me the eff out too.

July 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

omg love it. welcome home you two! enjoy every damn cold moment of it! xoxo

July 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterem @ mamabearroars

@Kate...oooooohh, thanks for the pizza rec. I'm going to file that one away for the next time pizza hunger strikes.

@Mel, I'll be passing through Peterborough today, in fact. On the train. So, wonder if the conductor will stop for me so I can come say hi?

July 25, 2013 | Registered CommenterErica Knecht

Love her hair!!!

July 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMariely Crowne

I have often wondered how children view other countries. Stella's observations are priceless!

July 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

Thanks for the great blog and good reading. I had a friend recently go to Canada and he said there was low crime and he had a good time. He also said it was expensive there. He has a baby and received some <STRONG><A href="http://www.babywingz.com">baby gifts</A></STRONG> and some was a baby hats. It was cold there when he when and what is funny is his baby was wearing the baby hat and some baby sandals because he got them as baby gifts. He did put two pairs of socks on his baby's feet.

July 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohn

Pigeons are weird and terrifying. Stella is totally right about that. I'm more sanguine than she about seat belts and carseats.

So glad to get this update on your North American adventure. It's a pleasure sharing a time zone and weather patterns with you, however briefly. xo

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKristen @ Motherese

Hi,

Great to know that you have brought your kid overseas. My kid is five and she has not experienced her first flight on a plane. Hence i am planning to have one, fingers crossed.

August 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShawn

Loves this! So funny hearing your interpretation! Oh and I have hope now that flying gets easier. We flew 11 hours nonstop with our one year old and all we had to say: NEVER AGAIN. :-)

August 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDeanna

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