Going Home to Canada – Buenos Aires, Argentina

Today I gave my first directions. In Spanish. Castellano actually, because they are different. Instead of the ‘y’ sound the ‘ll’ is supposed to make, here in Argentina they pronounce it ‘sh’. You know your really settling into a place when you give someone directions. It felt good. Really good. We are well into otoño (autumn) and the temperature is beginning to reflect that.

As I stroll down the blustery tree lined streets, the occasional dried up leaf will paste itself to my jacket for a brief moment. Then as quickly as it came, it will flutter away swept high up into the air, perhaps to make its temporary home on someones balcony. I plucked one of these leaves and studied it absently one day because well, that’s the kind of thing I do here, and guess what I found? It resembled my dear old maple leaf. A deep sniffly nostaligic breath. Thats when I knew it was time to go home. That and the fact that I am freezing my toes off everytime I make the 20 second walk from the gym to my door. Yes kids, its getting cold.

I have hijacked all the warm sweaters in the house and have made good use of the space heater and the heat pad. The fam is still in awe at how anyone could be constantly in such a state of shiver. Especially since I am ‘from Canada’ which people seem to think renders me immune to the frigid winter lows. Infact, i am just getting over a pretty bad cold but luckily my lean mean (not to mention gorgeous) juicing machine is still in great working order.

The night I met Max we made a deal that he would help me with my spanish and I would help him with his knowledge (or lack of) of Canada. So along with teaching him the national anthem, we watched a breaktaking IMAX (IMAX was invented in Canada by the way) film of an ariel flight through my homeland.

I make sure to inform him anytime there is a Canadian in the spotlight. I think he’s getting used to the little nudges followed by a smug ‘He’s Canadian you know’…’See her? Did you know she’s Canadian?’ Yes its true, Canadian born and bred Dan Aykroyd, Eugene Levy, Neve Campbell, Donald Sutherland, William Shatner, Pamela Anderson, NickelBack, Our Lady Peace, Sarah McLachlan, Bryan Adams, Alanis Morissette. And from my own great city of Edmonton, Alberta comes Michael J. Fox, Tommy Chong of Cheech and Chong fame, Writer WP Kinsella (Field of Dreams), and hockey great Mark Messier.

Speaking of hockey, the first game was played in the Great White North with rules devised by a McGill student. Hockey legend wayne Gretzky was in part responsible for dubbing my city ‘City of Champions’. Bet you didn’t know a Canadian invented basketball. Along with the telephone, zipper, heart pacemaker, WonderBra, and did you know the original Winnie the Pooh was found in Canada? Heck, Canadians even invented the light bulb! Henry Woodward invented the electric light bulb in 1874 and sold the patent to Thomas Edison.

Ok so after all this do you what finally sold Max on coming to Canada? It was my little 5 year old nephew who has learned to count from uno to diez in Spanish and wants Max to teach him more. So in a month we will flip from the frosty winter in the Southern hemisphere to the balmy summer of the Northern hemisphere. Two years after leaving, I will finally go home and with me I bring the best thing I found in all the world. Love.

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