It has been a great couple of weeks here. I feel like I am starting to settle in.
At the same time, there are moments (like this one) where it almost seems overwhelming and I can't help thinking of all the things I miss about Cochrane/Calgary. Here is a partial list (in no particular order):
1. Friends/family. Especially those who we would get together with and just hang out and talk and laugh with until really late, even if we had to get up early the next day.
2. Slurpees (I haven't found anywhere here that has such a thing, and there are times when I would give pretty much anything for a big cup of frozen sugary sludge.)
3. Owning a car (to get around and just because I loved driving)
4. Sushi - my homemade sushi. (I can get lots of fresh fish here, but some of the other ingredients seem to be harder to come by than I had imagined.)
5. Rock climbing (Haven't found a good place to climb yet, and all my gear is in a box somewhere between here and there)
6. The Nan Boothby Library in Cochrane. We practically lived there. Best library in the world, mainly because of the staff there.
7. Home Depot. One stop shopping is pretty much non-existent here.
8. My tools. It drives me absolutely nuts to have a bunch of little jobs to do around the house and not be able to do them properly because I don't have all the tools I had back in Canada. For a construction/handyman type it's like missing a limb to be without tools.
9. Furniture. We still have not received our furniture. It is being made, but apparently the bamboo was too wet, so delivery was delayed. I am looking forward to being able to sit on a couch and put my feet up and relax.
10. Silence. Back in Cochrane, we used to be able to sit outside at night and it was so quiet. All we could hear was the coyotes and crickets. Now, it's noise pretty much all the time. You walk down the street and every taxi and jeepney honk at you to get your attention. The music is blaring constantly at the malls, often several songs of several genres at the same time (what's up with Christmas music in July? And does anyone here actually know about snow? I think if they did they wouldn't be so quick to sing about a winter wonderland!). Karaoke at high volumes seems to the the official sport of the country, each person competing against those in the next neighborhood to see who is loudest.
11. Being able to communicate well. Although most people speak English, it can still seem like a completely different language. I had better learn Visayan quick!
12. Being able to blend in. Can't really do that here. I'm getting used to the stares though.
13. Peter's Drive-In and The Keg Steakhouse in Calgary, and Thanh Thy Vietnamese food in Cochrane.
There are probably lots more things that I will miss over the next few years, but those are the big ones right now. Don't get me wrong; it has been great being here and I love it, but it's still different and it takes time to adjust.