I am Canadian.
And I Blog.
Some of you have noticed that I talk differently from the majority of the English speakers in the Languedoc. In a million years I never would have guessed that my English and not my French would be a problem when moving to southern France. Trying to take it in stride, I remind myself France is not an English colony, and we did, after all, move here to assimilate to the French culture. If I wanted to live in England I would have moved to England but the weather in London is far too similar to Vancouver, British Columbia. Oh yes that’s right, Canada is in the Commonwealth, in case the English likes to forget; Queen Elizabeth is also my queen and us Canadians do love her.
How I speak English, Canadian or ‘American’ as people like to call it around these parts, I can’t help. I lived in Canada for nearly 40 years with the exception of summer vacations to Hungary where my family immigrated from in 1956; long before I was born.
Canada, my home and native land, is a place where many different communities celebrate their ethnicity. Therefore, when people talk a little different from me, it doesn’t even register on my radar. Brought up in a multicultural society, the melting pot of cultures, I am very accepting and even a willing participant in the amalgamation.
Why do I write? I write to share our family experiences, the places discovered along route while we carve out our new life here in France. Moving to France from Canada has been quite an adventure. Our family sold everything: our home, business, cars and furniture and narrowed down to two suitcases each to search for the life we desired.
I quit my union job after twenty years, and said goodbye to my volunteer work at the Montessori Society, to give my kids something a little different; a world education. My husband and I made a plan, took a bold leap of faith and went towards our dream. We left behind our family, our friends, and our security to go into the unknown.
Travelling slow with our two young children in tow, we explored much of Europe for four months before deciding on our destination in Capestang. Here we found a life that focuses around our children, a society full of well rooted families that also share in our values of putting family first.
Our much slower paced life gives us family time to explore the region and surrounding countries. With many bumps on the road towards happiness, to help deal, I share and chat to people going through similar situations themselves. I hope ‘My Expat Blog’ inspires people to build their own best lives.
You can buy books written by scholars telling you exactly what you need to see in Europe. In addition, millions of people buy those guides and all have the same types of experiences. Ten countries in ten days, the North American ‘fast-food’ version of the European holiday comes to mind, or the book, It’s Tuesday, we must be in Belgium.
However, bloggers have a different job. We are people, just like you, sharing our lives. Mothers, travelers, cooks, whomever, shooting from the hip; we keep it current by telling you what is going on today in our topics of choice. Not what people want us to say, the way they want us to say it. That’s been done. Through our very personal experiences, we distribute the good, the bad and the ugly from the viewpoint of our own individual stories. Moreover, we do it in our own style (and some us lucky one get to do it in Canadian! 😉
There is an underground current of bloggers feeding into the media and culture giving the average person a platform where only scholars and the elite could go before social media. We communicate to each other at lightening speed, often knowing world events long before the news. Gone are the days of going to the library to learn about a specific topic, when at your fingertips you can access and read posts on any topic, at any moment in time. Where once a university degree took years to accomplish in the past, now takes weeks online. The rapid-fire information available is mindboggling. Gone are the days of slanted viewpoints given by a country or government blackouts on information. Gone are the days of media filtration. Here are the days of the Blogger. A raw account of what’s going on.
If people stepping out of the rat race and going after their dreams inspire you, then you may find our family’s move to France interesting. If not, there are millions of people online right now, sharing what’s on their minds; available for you to discover.
For your information: Canadian Vocabulary Words and Terms-
Toque – a warm cozy knit winter hat, fashioned in some parts of Canada year round
Moccasins – are soft soled shoes, made from leather and are of Native origin. Used as slippers in some parts of Canada.
We use cutlery and wipe our mouths with napkins or serviettes.
We pronounce ‘Tuesday’ more as “choose-day”, rather than ‘tooz-day’.
In the Alphabet, the letter ‘Z’ is pronounced “zed“.
I know, right? Canadian translation, I know, eh?
Hockey, basketball and lacrosse are all Canadian founded sports
We eat chocolate bars not candy bars.
Favorite, color and neighbor, we add a ‘u’ after the ‘o’.
We use the washroom and not the restroom
We drink pop not soda.
A 2-4 refers to a 24 pack of beer. A 40 pounder is a 40 ounce bottle of alcohol and a 26’er is bottle of 26 ounces of booze.
We call debit machines Interact machines.
Brown bread is actually whole wheat.
A Caesar is a drink made with clam/tomato juice, vodka and celery, seasoned with hot-sauce and celery salt, best drunk in the morning when hung over, or when you are super hungry before dinner.
Now that I got that off my chest, off to make myself a caesar, put on my toque and moccasins and head to the Interac machine. Then pick up a 2-4 and chocolate bars for the hockey game on the tube later, eh?