Being Back Home in Canada

Saturday, March 31

Being Back Home in Canada

I arrived back in Canada yesterday and it is starting to sink in that I am no longer going to be living in Asia. Everywhere I look I see something new but with a sense of familiarity, while at least in Vancouver that is the case.

Landing in Vancouver I thought was going to be stressful and full of issues, but I was pleasantly surprised by the process. Other then waiting in line for about 30 minutes to get through the initial customs screening the rest was a breeze. As after the initial screening a porter was there to grab my bags and then we got taken through a side door that bypassed the second lineup and have to give a big thanks to the customs officer who instead of making me fill out all the paper work just gave me a document and a number to call to have it all handled for me. So what I had budgeted as a 1 to 2 hour nightmare became a 30 minute wait in a line, next time I will get the Can-Am airport pass so I can also bypass the initial customs lineup.

It is really good to be back in an environment where great service is the norm as even the service at VanCity beats the private banking services with CitiBank which is known in Asia as the best. I walked into my old VanCity branch as I always kept an account there. Right away I had a couple people servicing me and while nobody offered me coffee or tea the actual service was amazing. They knew exactly what I needed and had the forms ready in a couple minutes. Really makes me feel comfortable keeping my money with a bank full of people that understand their system and customers at this level. Coming from Asia I could tell you so many horror stories from banks running two charging systems to a great story on what it took to actually get a Visa card in Thailand.

On a personal note I had a reunion of sorts with my guardian, which I haven’t seen in over 8 years. She is one of the closest people to me that can share stories of my late mother and is able to joke about my crazy family. So it was really good to touch base with her and hope now that I am within a reasonable flying distance I will be able to see her more often then every 8 years.

Also was able to meet back up with an old friend that I’ve known for over 14 years. Having that much of a history with someone is rare as traveling around the world and living in so many different places I’ve lost touch with most of my friends. But luckily my buddy Gurp is rooted in Vancouver and is always happy to take a few minutes of his day to hang out and reflect on the good old days. As with some of my best friends Gurp and I also share some great travel stories and I hope that I can get him over to Thailand in May to share in some new ones.

While I was in David’s office at VanCity I was looking at his desk and trying to figure out why there was a bunny rabbit on top of his computer monitor. Then like an old joke you just remember I smiled as it came to me that Easter must be coming. So I asked him when Easter was and it shocked me to hear that it was the following weekend. While I am Catholic I haven’t celebrated an Easter in over 5 years and really haven’t been aware of Easter for those 5 years as in Asia the only Catholic holiday that is noticeable is Christmas. So now while I am sitting on this plane headed to Toronto I am wondering if I should try to get a flight next weekend to Cuba or if I should just take the time to get to know Guelph a little better. I will decide in the next couple days as I don’t even know if we get holiday time with my new company during Easter.

Big moves and big changes in life are something sadly I am somewhat used to but I still have a little bit of that butterfly feeling in my stomach and honestly am a little nervous on what Guelph will bring into my life. I am getting older and like my guardian was saying I have done so much in the past 10 years, I hope that Guelph can be the place that I can experience the next 10 years as a member of a wonderful community.

In about 5 hours I will get my first glance at Guelph and I think tonight I will end up driving around Guelph to get a sense of the city. Can’t promise that I will blog tonight as even now I am really tired (it is 6am Singapore time) and while I been fighting to switch my body over to local time, come nighttime I will be ready for bed.


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