The most meaningful experience I am having in Canada is visiting family and friends. Relationships top everything. Living the way that we did, I felt lonely very often from the frequent moves and language issues as we traveled. Apart from Ernest, I didn't really have someone to speak to who was physically present. Meeting people whom I know and can have long conversations with is like opening up a time box and catching up on the past and where we left off the last time I saw them.
I'm catching up on who is still here, who's left, who's retired. Isn't it funny how life is? My young cousins are now in their 40's. Some of them have children who are teenagers! When did everyone grow up? Where did time go really? I was speaking to my aunt and uncle yesterday about the Christmas family gatherings. Even that's changed. Not necessarily because of Covid, but the evolution of life. The young ones now have their own families to create Christmas traditions with. The elder ones may or may not gather together. It seems like not too long ago everyone always met at one home.
These past 3 weeks have been a whirlwind of taking care of the things I need to, spending time with my mom particularly and totally enjoying driving everywhere to meet as many people as I can.
And of course...there's the food again. I've had to incorporate fasting into my days. I mean I want to eat everything, but my stomach couldn't possibly hold all that I desire. I've even mixed and matched my food. One day I had a Jamaican patty for dinner with bok choy. OMG - the flavour of these were so pleasurable. Bok choy had that POW green flavour! After indulging in the Baskin Robbins Jamoca Almond Fudge ice cream, I had to stop. My pants almost didn't fit. I don't know if Canadians are aware of how distinct the scent and flavour of some of their foods are. For example, a simple thing like a toasted western sandwich. My mom ordered that for breakfast and my sense of smell went beserk when it arrived. It's has such a distinct scent. I wish I had ordered it. She happily shared it with me.
Some people may not even consider Canada as a place of delightful food experiences. I remembered sharing with my co-workers that I had never tasted poutine (pictured below). In Ontario it's usually served this way: fries with gravy and cheese curds melting over it. I was told by my friend in Quebec not to try it in Ontario, but in Montreal when I visited. She took me to place with all of these different types of poutine. I love Montreal smoked meat and ordered the dish with shavings of smoked meat on it. Honestly, I thought I would be eating something that would taste heavy and greasy with residual heartburn. It was totally the opposite. It was a very light meal, even though the plate was overflowing with all of the fixings. I wanted to lick the plate clean.
Now I am preparing for Ernest's arrival tomorrow. That might be round 2 of discovering family, friends and food. Let the fun times continue!