Sometimes it’s hard being the only person in the country who doesn’t have an accent. Today starts much as usual. Breakfast is over and I’ve just dropped David at the Skytrain for his morning commute to work. Life feels good. The weak winter sun is trying to break through the clouds and the other drivers are all waving and tooting their horns as I cruise quietly along in the left lane keeping well out of everyone’s way. What a friendly bunch these Canadians are! Time for a quick stop at the hardware store.
Kirsty’s pantry is a bit dark so I want to get one of those handy little battery lights. A friendly guy named Bob asks if he can help. “Sure, do you have any closet lights?” (Note my amazing grasp of the local lingo.) “We sure do. We have a whole section of closet latches.” “Er, no, I need a closet LIGHT.” “Sorry, I’m not getting you.” At this point, I realise Bob may be a little slow, so I speak very slowly “light, as in light bulb.” “Oh, no wurries, the light bulbs are over here.”
It’s no better later in the day when I volunteer to buy the morning coffees at the local Tim Hortons. “Can I get a medium double double, a small French vanilla and a medium half French half coffee to go?” “Ok, that’s $3.90.” I know coffee is cheap here, but that can’t be right. It takes some time to resolve but, $5.70 later I walk away with three coffees. I sure hope the other twenty people in the line behind me have better luck with this guy.
Then, there’s my new random friend Anthony, who moved from Zambia about ten years ago and now lives somewhere near Langley. It’s about 3:30 and the temperature has climbed to a balmy twelve degrees. As is my habit, I’ve grabbed the opportunity for a quick nine holes at the nearby golf course, and tag along with Anthony, who is also playing alone. It’s the third tee. I select a club from my bag of Walmart specials and take a swing. The ball rockets off in the wrong direction, hits a maple tree, bounces off the antlers of a stray moose and plops into one of the nearby beaver dams. Anthony says nothing, but selects one of his pristine XL57s and lines up. The ball soars gracefully through the air then catches a freak gust of wind and splashes squarely into the middle of the same beaver dam. I look at Anthony. He looks at me. We understand each other perfectly.