So, for the first four years I’ve lived here, I have resisted every effort to Canadianize. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with being Canadian. Well, except that they are too British and in denial; too non-American and too much uniquely hanging in between.
They love the Queen (more than the Brits) and won’t swap their parliamentary system for the presidential system – which kind of annoys the Americans. Then, they have reflected all the British horrors including their obsession with the Canadian weather. For a man coming from no public transportation to an organised and what is to me an effective public transportation system, they won’t stop complaining each time the bus is a minute late. Yes, the other day they were trying a Senator for some silly thing they call corruption. The media bores and annoys me each time it records the number of murders there have been in the capital which is usually lower than the number killed by ritualists in my home country Nigeria. Canadians annoy – like that!
I enjoy Canada. I don’t hate winter and whenever summer comes like a long-awaited bride I am careful not to be overjoyed. Truth is, the Canadian weather is more unreliable than its public transport but I realized how much I can do nothing about it. So I #REBT it if you know what I mean – the principle is – what cannot be helped must be endured!
I brought Africa with me and I carry it everywhere I go. I mean, I still enjoy my bowl of eba and okro soup as dinner no matter what my weight-watcher friends say. Yes, I have cut down a bit on the frequency, but I eat home food. I can’t stand the smell of cheese or its taste, but this is from my lactose intoleration than anything else. I am still waiting for someone to tell me what to do with maple leaf syrup in a land where sugar, honey, and aspartame coat our tastebuds.
And…yes, until recently, I do not drink coffee. I’d always believed that tea is to the English what chocolate was to the Aztecs. But lately, I’ve been expanding my circle of friends and tasting some forbidden fruits. The first time I tasted coffee again after twenty or so years, it tasted better than the last time I believed it gave me palpitation. I was expecting to spend the four hours I usually get in sleep starring at the ceiling and looking like a junkie in withdrawal the next morning after doing the expresso. Surprisingly I got my ration of sleep afterwards. So, like a junkie (yes most Canadians are coffee junkies), I went for a my fix and have been mixing my drinks since – oscillating between coffee and tea.
It’s been about two months now, and today I have found new passion in coffee. I have tasted the fairly expensive Starbucks and the fairly popular Tim Hortons. From thinking that Second Cup‘s fairly bourgeois atmosphere might make them top the lot in price, I am now a fairly regular there. In fact, I am writing this from a Second Cup franchise in Downtown Ottawa. Sometimes when my wallet allows, I even request an add-on – a grilled ham or chicken sandwich – without the cheese of course. And the indulgent cakes.
So, yes, here’s byebye to home-brewed tea although no-one has cured me of the addiction of buying more varieties of tea from the famous Ceylon through China’s Oolong to the now sought-after Green Tea – spiced with ginger root if made at home.
Whenever the time permits, I tend to enjoy sitting and pounding on my keyboard while starring at the traffic through the glass-panelled window. Sometimes a friendly bird perches on a chair beside me nibbling at a breadcrumb unmindful of my stare but careful to give me my berth.