Friday, 25 November 2016

The silly things I did

It's quite funny moving to a new country. There are things you thought you knew, but they just work a bit differently here.

For example I've been hearing a lot about Tim Hortons so I decided I was going to try them out. I think I can buy a cup of coffee and drink it! Nothing complicated about that. So I pop into the shop and order a cappuccino. Swipe my card and I get my coffee and walk out. Thank you very much. Now I want to drink it, but I can't open the lid! I can see it's meant to be opened, it had the whole clip and everything, but I tug at it and it feels like the whole cup it's just going to spill coffee over everything if I pull any harder. So I slide back into the shop (thankfully it wasn't busy) and ask the attendant how do I open the lid. She unhelpfully replied that you just pull it. I felt like a bit of an idiot while she went to fetch another lid to demonstrate for me.
Here's the trick, you need to TEAR the lid. Never had I had a take away cuppa that you had to tear. Well, it was a good laugh and something I chuckle about when I retell.   Here is a Canadian comparison of Tim Hortons coffee cup lids with other take away lids, which is where this lid comparison chart comes from.

Actually that's why I'm combining these stories, I was chatting to some Canadians and pointed out to them no matter how prepared you are to live in a new country there are always going to be done things that flummox you. I pointed out thom to them even seemingly simple things are difficult to those who are not used to it. They enjoyed both these stories as I recounted them.

I've taken a bus before, you've taken a bus before. You prepare for your journey, but your ticket, get on at the right place and get off at the right place. So I did my research and bought 10 TTC tokens from the nearest subway station (it's a bit cheaper if you buy in bulk). I got on at the right place and saw my stop coming up and pressed the Request Stop button, paranoia took over that the bus was not going to stop there anyway). So I'm standing by the back door as the bus draws up to the stop. It stops and I wait in anticipation of the doors opening and nothing happens, I see the front doors open so I look at the driver and back at the back doors. Nothing happens. That's it, there must be some reason I'm not allowed to exit out the back. So I stroll up to the top of the bus and exit out the front doors. I have a look around, there is no reason why I couldn't have exited the bus from the back. The pavement is clear, no different from where the front doors were. Oh well, I thought, I'll try on my way back again.
I do my thing and on my way back again the same thing happens. This time though I'm much faster to exit embarrassedly out the front doors. Finally, the third time I took the bus things were a little busier. I wisely let someone else exit first and saw that you have to push the back doors open, the green light above the door turns on and then you are able to push them open for yourself.

So, yes, when you move here you are going to embarrass yourself, you're going to learn what assumptions you make without thinking. To me that is one of the joys of moving to another county. You learn things about yourself you never realized, like the fact that I think a bus driver will open the door for me like a chaffuer. I felt guilty about that and the feeling grew into a great appreciation for bus drivers, they treat us with such courtesy and patience, yet we don't often acknowledge them for their daily service.
So thank you bus drivers for being there for us every single day!