Edmonton

It’s where I am calling home these days…….although it can never replace my home, my country, my place of birth. Maybe I left when I was way too old.

1. But I do love in the mornings when I burst the door and am greeted by the fresh air, that goes down crisp and clean and comes out like fog or smoke. I really need however, to get in the habit of checking the weather before I leave out…..oh well I am still mentally at home. And I have other reasons too.

2. I also don’t relish the fact that being a ‘sunshine’ girl I have to take Vitamin D tablets. For this reason, I try my best to get as much natural sunshine as I can. Edmonton luckily has a lot of sunlight……so walking in winter in Edmonton has multiple benefits. Fresh cold air, sunshine and lots of beautiful scenery.

3. City planning apparently mandates walking trails, bike trails and a park ever couple meters within a new housing development. At least the quadrant of the city I live in. I don’t venture from my side too much. I really don’t like to see the realities of squalor and overcrowding. No I don’t live in a bubble, I just admire civic pride.

4. Houses are bigger, they have more space inside and outside. In fact, just venture outside the city and space takes on a new dimension. It’s creates the illusion that God created only land this part of the world……miles and miles and miles of just land, decorated by barns and bales of hay, and farms and animals. It both scares and intrigues me. I figure #1-#3 above are as they are, because it’s a city of approximately 1.5 million, I shudder to think what development will do to it.

Well you all know where it is. It’s the capital of one of the prairie provinces with Mountain Standard Time. Close to nowhere exciting and far from everywhere inviting-except Las Vegas, San Fran and LA if 3 hours by plane is not too far for you. Well nature lovers- there is the Canadian Rockies.

Entertainment I guess there is some, but it’s not NYC not even Toronto by a stretch of the imagination. The city sleeps by 10 pm and in fact I wouldn’t want to be downtown after dark. So if you love quiet- consider here.

High quality health care and education, possibly due in part to the lack of overcrowding. But you may still get a waiting list for a MRI and surgery. Please note: waiting lists are not just a Jamaican phenomenon. For anything that is  ‘free’ is English for ‘form a line’.

Employment opportunities abound when oil was on a high. Not so much now that the oil price is down. This is ‘Oilers’ country- yes hockey is to Canada what soccer is to Brazil….get the drift, some things are sacred. Economy has taken a hit, so too the many residents who normally come in from other provinces. Population is predominantly Asian and Caucasian…….even so it is hard to find an indigenous Edmontonian.

I don’t know if this is me tripping or going crazy or missing home, but there are many public holidays during the calendar year. Please note this an observation not a complaint. I am quite okay with this. The weather, traffic and vacations are the major topics of conversation……that suits me fine too. It’s much better than murder, scamming and economic woes.

Winter here lasts long and after it’s done, there is construction season. Fixing the roads, or building something. And the natives, they love the seasons. Oh yes, they actually can break out in hives if there is no snow for a while, or are somewhere with no snow- that’s what I was told anyhow that it’s in the blood. Much the same way, sunshine is in mine. In fact, I don’t mind the way we experience the four seasons at home, suits me just fine. Especially Christmas season- Seymour grass, north wind blowing, red poinsettias, fresh house paint, sorrel, cake, guango rice and peas, Grand Market and fire racket!!!! But when it comes to hurricane season, that’s another story.

Yes there are coyotes, wolves and bears, elks and many other animals I have never heard of, in Alberta. Every so often you see one or hear of someone’s encounter with one or the other. I truly pray that I never experience this. Interestingly I went to walk the other day and I was praying not to encounter a coyote……..not a man.

Snowfall here is like rainfall home. Roads are not clearly defined, and there are many accidents. Kinda reminds me of the Bogwalk gorge when we have incessant rainfall. I oft wonder how you drive if you wont know where the road is……..Just goes to show, People are people and the Mother Nature always wins.

Bottle Depots are big businesses here, so much so that many are self-employed bottle collectors (ethnicity and race doesn’t matter). I have never seen a black self-employed bottle collector though- I have my views on this. Some of these persons ride around on bicycles to search the garbage cans for the random bottle inside. Random because people store their bottles or take them home (I assume)- every mickle makes a muckle. Well this is a good way to kill two birds with one stone. Income is earned and the environment is saved. I wish this system was replicated at home. Flooding, sewer blockage, and just dirty streets in general would be greatly reduced.

Here from Spring-Summer bus schedules are reduced…….because people roller blade, bike and walk more, imagine that…..and back home we see walking as a reason to be ashamed….aye sahhh

I don’t mind it here, I am glad I didn’t do big city- for now at least. I still plan to go home eventually- hope I don’t have to eat these words.

 

 

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