Friday 13 January 2012

10 Things I have noticed/learnt/observed in my first month in Canada….

1.     1. Milk comes in a plastic bag.
2.     2. Don’t get the ‘cable’ disconnected in your exchange partners home…they don’t have Free-to-Air television channels like we do in Australia.
3.     3. Make sure when crossing the road…you look to the LEFT!
4.     4. Dollar stores are the best things on the planet.
5.     5. Coffee… just not the same.
6.     6. Building a snowman is harder than it seems (my first one was only about 30cm high)
7.     7. Tennis balls on the base of students chairs in the classroom avoid scraping on the lino (due to there not being any carpet in the classroom)
8.     8. According to my students “We don’t have accents….its just you”.
9.     9. You can easily lose 2-3 hours in a Walmart.
1010.Although it has been a crazy first week settling into an established classroom, there are so many people to help you out in any way!

Thursday 5 January 2012

let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

So here I am in minus 3 degrees (well not really, I am inside in about 22 degrees) and loving it!
Yesterday we had a big dump of off I went and made my own mini snowman. I named him Kermit and by now he will be covered with more snow...bless him.

Its been not that hard to convert to minus temperatures (oh and sooo not jealous about the 40 degree weather at home)...its just been lots of layers, thermals first and then boots. I am in love with my snow boots and knee high boots (waterproofing as we speak). Socks, gloves and coats have been other purchases made but well needed.

The apartment has some strange noises that I am still getting used to. Clicking, creaking, knocking...then the neighbours upstairs obviously wears heels on the floorboards. The side neighbours come and go and the FREAKIN snow ploughs on the road sound more like jet planes taking off. I am sleeping pretty well now so hopefully that will continue. I have bought some things to make it feel more like home (cupcake supplies, clothing and an ernie beanie that rocks my world) so its pretty cool.

I have travelled on the bus quite a few times now and haven't ended up in the wrong place. I think I will get the bus to school tomorrow and time the travel and see if I can get into my room and possibly take in some of my Australian stuff. 

Had my first dinner guest over last night...he brought riesling, I made stir fry....enough said. Oh and bought my first Mr Potato Head on be delivered soon :)

I am going to head off now and do some research on things I can do in the next few days before I head back to work....peruse the photos as you will.

Friday 30 December 2011

Halfway there!! (well sorta)

Had to post this after typing it as I didn't have wifi...

So here I am, sitting at Abu Dhabi airport where I have already spent 13 hours on a plane. It actually was not that bad, had my dinner and a glass of red wine and as per usual, zonked out for the next 5 hours or so. Am going to try and get a bit of sleep on the next flight as well but not too much.

I have had to type this into word and then ill add it to the blog later…for some reason my computer wont connect to the airport wifi…boooo.

So typically, mum lost it at the airport. Not as bad as I thought so ill give her points for that. Don’t worry, I’ve already messaged her and told her that I am here and will again when I get into Toronto.

It bizarre… just feels like im going on a holiday and not living here for a  year. My main concern at the moment is whether I am about to be given the same breakfast meal for the second time today…..hmmm cant help it I’m hungry!!

So the second flight was purely an opposite of the first. 3, 4, 3 seats and smaller. The man on the window and myself on the aisle thought we had scored a spare middle seat which would have made the ride a hell of a lot nicer…but instead we got planted with an old man that spoke no English and clearly had a bladder/knee problem as he needed to get up allll the time. Add the man behind me that thought tapping the tv screen HARDER would make it work. pluse the screaming babies…..OH THE SCREAMING BABIES!!! When I invent my own plane company that is for families only I will be a bizillionaire.
Anyway I got into Toronto fine, hotel was warm and although I fell out of the shower (wait for bruise photos here) I got some dinner and slept very very well.

Oh and I got to speak to Louie!! Just crazy to come half way across the world to be only about 20 minutes away from the guy that I am swapping lives with for a year…but never actually meet J He sounds super excited to be heading to Oz…and I hope he gets that excited when he is there.

Now I’m sitting at the station and waiting for my train into London. Toronto has been a lovely -5 for most of the day…not kidding. I got my first nosebleed from the cold. Its cold and I will have to find my gloves in my case for sure….but on the plus side I have already got a bag of peanut butter m&m’s, a new cell number and internet plan, and found a pair of jeans, new years dress and cool frog hat at Old Navy (which I can see we are going to have a very good relationship in the next 12 months).

I can’t wait to get to my apartment, have a shower, warm up and go for a stroll in my home town. I am going to treat myself to dinner out tonight and then get into the home cooking/healthier options once I can get to a supermarket. Jen has booked me into a dinner tomorrow night with some of the girls which is super nice of her to do….they all are already fearing me and my party-girl ways (I don’t know what Louie has told them!)…..Let the adventures begin!!

Sunday 25 December 2011

Countdown is ON...

So after spending a great Christmas with the family (me and my bro play fighting, Aunty having wine + champers, eating waaaaay too much food) I am sitting on the couch doing my last minute mental checks. I have got my Canadian cash, my documents, two very full suitcases and an updated iPhone...I think I am as set as can be.
Hopefully I actually sleep will be like Christmas Eve all over again!!!
It just still doesn't feel like its happening...then I look on the google page at the house I'm going to be living in for the next 12 months and I almost get shivers. And to top it all off...I found two cupcake stores in London :) ahhhh...feels like home already!

Wednesday 14 December 2011

Suitcase update

So this week I decided I really should pack my cases properly. I took everything out of my souvenir case (felt like I was opening an Aussie show bag) and repacked it. Milo, pavlova mix, vegemite jar wrapped in bubble wrap, lollies, pins, koala clips, flags, stickers, books etc etc etc kept pouring out. I culled some stuff, shoved it all back in (although there is still plenty of room in the bag) and put it on the scale.....22.4 kilos. Limit is 23....phew!!

Then onto my clothes/toiletries case. Again, pulled everything out of the vacuum sealed bags and set it all out. Culled about 4 items, added about 6. Forgot about shoes and then added my paperwork. On the scales.....24 kilos. Bugger bugger bugger!! Oh well, looks like I am saving my pennies for the next week to pay the $50 to get it upgraded to 32 kilos. Hmm....that means I still have around 6 kilos of stuff to put in that case...I wonder what else I can cram in....

Oh is now 12 days until I go. Its still a tad surreal that I am going to be leaving so soon...

Thursday 1 December 2011

Not what I needed right now!!!!

So...just when I thought I had most of my stuff sorted out...super organised as per usual....the bombshell hits.
I have to pack up and move classrooms. With 3 weeks till I leave the country. Oh.Holy.Shit.

I understand why it has to happen (long story that just wants to make me punch people) but I just did not need it.

So....more packing and cleaning and no doubt tequila drinking for the next 3 weeks.

But on the great time tomorrow :)

Wednesday 9 November 2011


So, the US VISA appointment was not as scary as I thought. Was more like going up to a bank teller....handing over some documents...waiting for your number to be called....and then sent on your way.
It gets sent to me in a few days...along with my passport of which I am keeping in my handbag all the time now so I know where it is...kinda feel odd without it.

Brooke and I booked our tickets to the Calgary Stampede last night too. Going there after spending the week in New York for 4th of July celebrations...if we are going to do Summer I say we do it properly! Our plans are then to travel to Vancouver, back across to Quebec City and then float gently down past Montreal, Toronto, Niagra back to only to win the lottery so that I can pay for it all!