I left Canada back in 2002 and haven´t been back since. It feels like a very long time and although I love my new country, there are SO many things that I miss about Canada. Here they are, in no particular order.
1. My family. Here´s a photo of my sisters (Cherith and Sarah) and my mom at a family reunion just a couple of days ago. They sent me this pic and made me cry! I haven´t seen a photo of my mom since I left. Not pictured: My baby sister, Rebekah and my Dad.
2. Daffodils. My favorite flower, blooms on my birthday and is non-existent here.
3. Twizzlers. This country has no idea what licorice is, much less red licorice.
4. Free medical care. When Dorian had to go through so many surgeries, it would have been nice to get it free!
5. English. I rarely get to speak English anymore and recently I noticed that I am losing some of my vocabulary! The only person I regularly speak English with is Dorian . . . who isn´t exactly fluent in ANY language yet!
6. English language magazines. I used to buy used ones from a shop here, but they stopped taking used magazines. Now I have to wait till Christmas to get my Good Housekeeping and Cosmopolitan fix! I know, I could read online, but it´s just not the same.
7. Being able to walk down the street without getting sex-related comments. This is such a macho society and foreigners are a major turn-on for all the nasties on the street. Would you believe that I got catcalls when I was 8 months pregnant, carrying Dorian on my hip?
8. Cheap postage. Ok, it is not that cheap in Canada, but it costs me about three times as much to send something up than it does to send something down.
9. Fast internet. I have wireless, but due to living on a volcano and the fact that it is the rainy season and therefore cloudy most of the time, it doesn´t work too well.
10. Free phone calls. You know how you can just pick up your house phone and call your neighbor for nothing? I can´t. Even if I had a house phone it would cost me Q1 a minute just to call my in-laws, a few meters away!
11. Libraries. They have them here and I would love to use them, but you can´t check books out! And I´m sure not sitting in there reading with a rambunctious toddler and a fussy newborn.
12. Public pools. Again, they do exist, but they are only for the very elite and are really expensive!
13. Being able to travel without worrying. Travelling to the capital on a chicken bus is not advisable, but it is basically the only way to go if you don´t own a car and can´t pay Q150 (about $20) for a taxi. And those buses are constantly being robbed or driving off a cliff!