Expats · Uncategorized

The Expat Diaries

It’s the Simple Things

Things here are starting to fall into place.

This week has been one of those roller-coaster weeks where many things have been chaotic. But reflecting on this Sunday evening, I can safely say things are looking pretty positive.

So the biggie is we have finally moved into our flat – and successfully purchased all the necessities that mean we can function here. It’s lovely – and so nice to have a bit more space.

The second is I have been offered work with a company I had my eye on whilst still in the UK! It is still temping, but definitely a move in the right direction and a chance to get my foot in the door.

pot plant blog
This week was admin appreciation week at work – so this pretty pot plant had been left on my desk

Last weekend we made the decision to rent a car and spend Saturday exploring outside of Toronto. It was amazing to be away from the busyness of the city and finally see a bit of the Canada I had dreamed about before jumping on the plane overseas. Unfortunately I don’t have many photos as my phone broken at the moment. Within an hour of driving, the average story height of building diminished from 25 to a respectable two, roads stretched through miles of nothingness with farmland and woodland on either side.

It was beautiful.

We stopped off at a little town called Port Hope about 109km from Toronto which is famous for having the best preserved main high-street in Ontario. There were plenty of old-fashioned independent shops, antiques and picturesque coffee houses. My favourite thing about Port Hope was the river that runs along the edge of the town. I have never seen so many people fishing in a river at one time. Fishermen were clambering down the river bank onto the rocks, wading through the water until knee high and standing still for a few hours. It was a very peaceful spot.

port hope for blog

I still get slightly anxious when making a trip across the city by myself that I am going to get lost. I don’t have the best sense of direction and find coming out of subway station very disorientating. I have no idea which way is east or west, or north or south. It was for that reason, when I had an important meeting regarding the above mentioned job, I made sure I allowed over double the amount of time required to get there.

It turns out I managed to find where I was supposed to be going just fine and ended up getting there about an hour early.

What better thing to do when I need of killing some time than find somewhere to have a cup of tea. Despite how many Tim Hortons and Starbucks there are in Toronto (I swear you will find one or the other approximately every three buildings when walking along any street), there did not seem to be any obvious coffee hotspots in close proximity of where I was. There was however one small Chinese tea-shop. Perfect.

I cannot recommend this tea shop any more highly.

I read the menu whilst the barrister was serving the lady in front of me and didn’t recognise any of the names of tea. Certainty no English Breakfast or Earl Grey on there. There was however one called ‘Milk tea’ – so once it was my turn I asked whether that was black tea with milk.

The man inquired whether it was my first time there – which I replied yes as it was. He then asked if he could see my palm. Although I thought this was a little strange, I obliged. He then studied my hand and I think took my pulse. Next he asked me to stick out my tongue. Not really seeing how I could politely refuse, I did as he asked.

‘Ahh,’ he said enthusiastically, ‘You can try milk try but I think today you should have white tea’. White tea was another tea on the menu.

He gave me a small sample cup of both the milk tea and the white tea. And he was right I did really like the white tea. He said my body had been working hard to catch up with me and the white tea would help it to relax. Just what I needed before my interview. I ordered some and was presented with a tankard sized portion.

For anyone interested, this unique tea place can be found at 233 College Street – the webpage can be found at http://www.crimsonteas.com/

The food looked pretty good too.

It has been the simple things this week that have been memorable and have made me smile:

Seeing the countryside; receiving excellent customer service; having a pot-plant left on my desk at work as a gift; people being exceptionally helpful when it has come to moving into our new flat; winning bargain items at auction (see my previous blog).

And most importantly, finally having a place to call home.

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