Thank you, please – Andover, United Kingdom

Sonya and I embraced then spent the next few hours chattering away about our lives. She is one who really gets me so I don`t need to explain so much. The stuff that I typically need to give people background on, she just understands. Sonya and I are not the same but we sure are alike. The best way for me to describe it is that she loves dogs and I love cats but we both just love animals.

The man at the service station just looked at us like we were from another planet after even such a short interaction. We discussed why he would add please on the end of every statement and never did come up with a conclusion.

“Was there any petrol, please?”
“Will that be cash then, please?”
“Would you like a receipt, please?”

“Thank you, please,” Sonya said as soon as we got in the car and we both laughed our heads off. They do have a funny way of making every statement into a question here and Sonya seems to have been infected with this strange habit. I remind her often and am making it my special duty to cure her of this very “un-canadianness”, at least as long as I am here.

After dropping me off at her house and introducing me to her dogs, she was off to work. I did all I could to try and sleep but there were these two giant and rambunctious creatures that were not having it. They are called Toby and Bob and they are worse than…well, I can`t even think of what to compare them to.

Sonya has the entire house proofed because they eat everything. And I mean, everything. I would ask why that was there, pointing to random misplaced items and her answer was always the same. “Because they`ll eat it.” I began to feel like I was in that famous Dr Seuss book, Wacky Wednesday.

“It all began with that shoe on the wall.

A shoe on the wall . . . ?

Shouldn`t be there at all!”

And it was indeed, Wednesday. I guess it is fitting that Sonya would live in a house that resembles a children`s storybook. Then again, when have Sonya and I ever been “should” people? We are definitely more the “could” type.

Her beasts have even learned to open the freezer and once helped themselves to an entire roast dinner including a packet of peas and all. There are things in strange places everywhere and I can only guess what is being concealed from their greedy little jaws. I peer behind the footstool which blocks the TV stand and wonder if it`s the books, remotes, or DVDs that tempt them. I have a feeling it is probably all of the above.

Sonya`s husband Andy called me to make sure I was ok and to welcome me home. One of the hallmarks of a proper Andy conversation is the corny joke he always manages to throw in at some point or another. It usually has something to do with someone or something sitting down at a bar. He is English after all. I thanked him for “cheering me up” (as he put it) but that I was feeling quite chipper before the joke happened. Then I realized he just said that for an excuse to tell it. By the time he comes home on Friday (he lives and works away during the week), I am sure I will be a bit more ready for the Andy-speak.

I got some work done and Sonya came home two teapots later. We had taquitos (a cross between tacos and burritos for the undecided types like us) while watching Napoleon Dynamite. The horror that befell my face when she informed me she hadn`t seen it prompted us to get watching it out of the way immediately.

Sonya has picked up Andy`s habit of corny joke telling and threw one on me. Excited to be able to reciprocate, I began reciting the one Andy had told me earlier. Only I couldn`t remember the punchline. We sat around for about 20 minutes guessing what it could be before moving on.

We were both pretty wiped so after watching the dogs go a little mad outside in the park across the way, we turned in. I slept well.

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