Monthly Archives: July 2015

My Kingston Cana-diary Pt III – Rock You Like A Hurricane!

Motley Crue

It’s hot. Too DAMN hot. It’s like being circled by four or five supersers whilst wearing a tooth-styled buttoned duffel coat, several toques [Canadian speak for woolly hat], and eating spicy Mexican Chilli-Con-Carne, all at the same time. Silly heat. I went for a 15 minute jog yesterday at about 5. I stopped sweating post-run at about 10 that night. This is unusual. I usually stop the sweats by 7. It’s just not right. There’s been a weather warning issued about the heat for the area. I think we may have got one of these back in the summer of 95 in Ireland – correct me if I’m wrong. Perhaps a Canadian winter will provide me with some relief. *wink wink*

Kingston is great. Beautiful lakefront. The main street has a great variety of shops and restaurants. They’ve really incorporated a green belt into the city. All streets seem to be lined with trees, and many are named after varieties of said trees. I was much amused to walk down Elm Street the other day, without my dreams later being pervaded by a horribly mutated ex-school caretaker with a modified glove; complete with razor sharp claws.

What is with all the rock music on the radio stations though? Exclusively rock. All rock. All the time. I mean I like Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’ and ACDC’s ‘Who Made Who’ as much as the next man – but mix it up a little. I mean I actually heard ‘Smoking in the Boy’s Room’ by Motely Crue and Poison’s ‘Every Rose has a Thorn’ more than once…IN A MONTH. Back home in Ireland I last heard both 25 years ago. They sounded dated even then. Can we get a bit of electronica, hip-hop, indie etc.? I don’t have the capability to grow my hair long anymore and I can barely get one of my legs into any pair of skin tight jeans nowadays.

Which reminds me. We received a hurricane warning over the radio last week. It was kinda eerie. Alice Cooper’s ‘No More Mr. Nice Guy’, or some such shite, was interrupted by an air raid sound. A type of screeching. A robotic voice then proceeded to list the areas vulnerable to the near perfect weather conditions that existed for a hurricane. Looking at the strange skies, I felt excited and afraid in equal measures. Fortunately, there was no Hurricane, just pressing, sticky, muggy heat. Help!

Meatloaf

I’m really getting domesticated over here. I’m cooking, and eating a lot of foodstuffs I’d never eat at home. I’d best wrap this up, as I’m cooking Meatloaf tonight. I do wish it was the corpulent 80’s rock opera big mouth, because if I have to hear ‘Bat Outta Hell’ on the wireless one more time I’ll start chasing hurricanes deliberately.

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My Kingston Cana-Diary

Realtor Signs

Entering into my fourth week of living in Canada, and more specifically the city of Kingston, Ontario, I can’t help but feel a little homesick for Dublin. I miss real chips [Can Trans: French Fries], beer I’m used to, tea, and cheap frozen pizzas – for some strange reason. Mostly I miss the people – friends and family. I’m not really complaining. It’s only wistful pining for the old country. Things are more than fine here.

It’s the over-familiarity with Ireland that presents me with the greatest obstacles. Everything you once knew is now wrong. [Not to be too overdramatic]. I’ve left the comfort zone I clung to for so many years. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve made a beeline to the wrong side of the car, thinking I know the position of the steering wheel. Also, supermarkets in Canada, and many other shops, seem to have separate in and out doors. Pushing an exit door in a futile attempt to gain entrance to an establishment has embarrassed me more than once. Back in Dublin there’s one door, and we all try to cram through whether we’re coming or going, effectively putting your life in your own hands. Of course the fruit and veg sections in these stores are called ‘Produce’ aisles. Car-azy!

The cruelty of nature is ever present here. I’ve already spoke about the nuisance that is the mosquito. Worse still, the ants are three times as big. Ticks lurk in the long grass hoping to infect you with Lyme’s disease, many of the bugs resemble something from the movie ‘The Mist’, and the inconspicuous poison ivy reaches out from the undergrowth to gift you painful blisters.

Poison Ivy

One thing you can’t fail to notice in Kingston, and Canada-wide I suspect, are the Estate Agent’s [Can. Trans: Realtor] signs in house gardens/front lawns. These, as you might have guessed, state that the house is for sale, or has been sold. In Canada, it must have a gormless, smiling image of the realtor gawking back at you. This is the same in the newspaper ads they take out. Dead eyes and a cheesy grin, dressed in their best business suits. They always have a name akin to Judy Pizzazo or Mike Lazer. I guess estate agents are loved the world over.

Don’t get me started about bagged milk. Best cut it just right if you want an easy pour.

All in all though my experiences have been very positive. The Canadians I knew before I arrived have made me feel very welcome, and everyone I’ve met since have done the same. The sunshine is very welcome, and the city is very beautiful. Some of the old colonial style houses built close to Lake Ontario take the breath away.

Stay tuned for more adventures of a bungling, permanently bewildered Irish man abroad.

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