Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Rollin' with the Locals

Last night, Sarah and I were out walking our dogs. Because it was nice weather, sunny and warm, we went a bit further afield from our house than we would normally. We traversed the cricket ground at a local park and then came across a group of people who had clearly just completed a long run. I think it was some sort of joggers’ support group.

As we passed by them, I heard some guy say hello to us. I just kind of ignored it, assuming it was either a friendly guy or someone wanting to hit on two girls walking their beautiful dogs. Much to my surprise, I heard Sarah respond, “Hey, Mike, how’s it goin’?” I looked to see that she was speaking to a friend of ours who we know because we play soccer with his wife.

In my previous life, I would have been surprised to come across a group of people and not see someone I knew or at least recognized.

This incident got me thinking about something that has changed significantly since my post of April 29 earlier this year.

As I explained in that post, I was having a very difficult time adjusting to the fact that when I was out and about in town, I felt very lonely because I never saw people I knew when I was at the mall, the park, the grocery store, out to dinner, etc. I am feeling more settled and more like the Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge is my home because I am starting to see acquaintances around.

Over the past few months, I have run into several people I know all around the tri-cities area. I am always excited to see someone I know because it shows how much things have changed for me since my feelings of lonliness whenever I was out. I've even run into Gi, my soccer teammate, twice!

Maybe after almost a year, I am no longer a stranger in a strange land. (Actually, I still think Canada is a bit of a strange land, but that's a topic for a different day.)

I have noticed that even the most seemingly insignificant events such as these continually remind me of how much my life has changed in the past twelve months. August 30 will be the one-year anniversary of the day I finished moving my stuff to Canada to stay for good. I’m sure that ten years from now, many of the day-to-day events that seem so unusual to me now as I compare to the day-to-day events of my past life in the US, will no longer seem noteworthy. As much as I like this blog to be a way to document my observations on the differences between the US and Canada, it’s also therapeutic for me, and someday I will be able to use this as a gauge to remind me of how I was able to adapt to overcome challenges.

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