Learning to live as a Canadian

Zoe – Exchange to Nipissing University, Canada

Semester 2, 2016

Well 2 weeks has already come and gone, and guess what, I made some friends. (Don’t act so surprised.) Some are born and raised Canadian and others are from across the globe. I never thought I’d become that person whose accent or lingo changes but wow 2 weeks in and I’m worried for myself after 4 months. The accent – still strongly ‘Stralian but some of my word changes are slightly concerning… Exhibit A: Mall, yep ‘I’m going to the mall’.

But don’t worry; it’s going both ways because I’ve taught them some true Australian slang and lingo;

  1. Frips
  2. FOMO
  3. Flanter
  4. Barbie
  5. Ripper
  6. I reckon

And I assure you the list will grow as time goes on. Also side note; I made a friend called Craig – but don’t be fooled that’s not how Canadians pronounce it. Here, its pronounced ‘Cr-egg’ I know. Weird. So then a guy called Christian asked me how we pronounce his name; so I said ‘Chris-t-aarrn’. He was gobsmacked. I’ve got him well and truly fooled.

So, I’ve decided to start a list titled ‘Reasons why you should move to Canada.’ And every now and then if something really captures my heart, I’ll yet y’all know (y’all… another major change in lingo.)

  • One: I went out for dinner with my new friends (yay, woo, hooray, go zoe, you’ve made it) and we all ordered a soft drink and then something weird happened. When I’d finished it, the waitress took it away and brought me back a new one………………………………. Pardon?
    ‘Sorry I didn’t order another one’
    ‘Oh it’s free refills.’
  • Two: Cocktails are between $6-8… no I did not miss a 1 in there, your eyes are not deceiving you, they are legitimately that cheap. In the words of Borat – Great Success.
  • Three: They have a place called The Moose here and its basically ‘the place to go’ for uni students every Wednesday night. So off we all went, and I paid my 5 dollars entry (once again I’m like bargain compared to the average $20 entry at home) and then I got given some random token. So I turn to my new friends and say yo whaddup with this and they reply ‘oh it’s for you to go and redeem your bucket of chicken wings’ WHAT IS THIS PLACE.

So if it hasn’t been made evident by now, the past week I’ve started to find my way a little bit, and continued to learn a lot about experiences like this, but a big thing I’ve realised is that if you’re searching for the big successes and the big wins, you’re never going to enjoy yourself – it’s all about the small victories. The ‘hey’ in the corridor from that girl who lives on your level, that free refill, American Netflix and those delish chicken wings.

Everything has the opportunity to be a small victory if you just focus on the positives of any situation – for example one of our bus drivers Bill who said his bus went past home (5 mins from where we were) with a small detour, but that he assured us it would be quicker then waiting for the next bus. Yeah well 50 minutes later we had completed a full-guided tour of North Bay including the airport, air forces training, every suburb, school and shop… we missed uni bingo night but all good because now I’m applying for a job as a North Bay Tour Guide #smallvictories.