We recently (already 3 months) landed in Vancouver, Canada. Coming from Africa the impact was immense and we are still being shell shocked every day with more events, such as the following top seven:
- There are simply no high walls, electric fencing, burglar bars and other devices that keep the innocent imprisoned in their own homes.
- Signing up for electricity, gas, telephone call and internet access takes one phone call for each service. Thereafter things just fall into place within ‘hours’.
- Credit cards and cheque books are mailed to you in standard mail … no fuss, no risk.
- The boys go to and come from school on the yellow bus, enjoying the ride … with the exception of the music according to one of our boys … and walking home from the bus stop on their own.
- The boys come home, drop their school bags, change clothes and vanish for hours on the bicycles … enjoying the freedom and the explorations through nearby forests, marshes and beaches.
- Our neighbours leave their cars on the road, garages open, bicycles and often their doors unlocked … we have not yet been able to de-stress to do likewise.
- Public transport has wide coverage and works. The bus drivers are not only friendly, but ‘overly’ helpful to those unfamiliar with the system … proving that a simple smile makes all the difference. I even travel to Seattle on the bus, attending a live meetings … amazing!
The sheer beauty of Canada, especially if you love the mountains and snow, is abundant and amazing. Another scary point is the huge variety of wine and beers available in this region. Although I prefer a glass of good red wine, I have been buying single bottles beers to try one per weekend … looking at the selection, it will take me years to complete this specific project. Thereafter we need to switch to wine tasting, which is potentially another project lasting a few years.
… spot the gazillion birds.
It is amazing that this life style is not just a dream, but still a reality. Combined with the amazing opportunities and exciting challenges at Microsoft MCDC, I often wonder if I am dreaming, scared of being woken up by the whine of the alarm which often freaked us out back home.