Seriously, the idea of going to a place about which they make jokes like ‘Only in Saskatchewan can you sit on the front porch and watch your dog run away for two days,’ and ‘You know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction’ my first reaction was not at all that enthusiastic. But why not: learning how flat ‘flat’ can be, and how cold a winter can be are not the worst endeavors for love.
One day in November last year I met this man from a place called Vagina. “David right? And you are from…?!” “Regina, in Saskatchewan, Canada.” “Oh, I’ve been to Canada, but I have to admit I’ve never heard of that province.” That night we fell in love.
What was I doing in Guatemala again? Escaping winter in the Netherlands? To fall in love with a man who’s from a country which winters make ours peanuts in comparison. I’m not so much the romantic type (or maybe I just won’t admit?), I reckoned my heart would be filled with warmth just for being with this man. Besides, I had nothing going on in the Netherlands and wanted my adventure to continue anyway. So on February 24th I moved to a city I’ve heard of for the first time only a few months before.
Winter time has an advantage in Canada, as all outdoor jobs like David’s start in mid April which gives us some time to settle in and explore. So now we live in this one-bedroom apartment with very little furniture but all that we need as we’re going to travel anyway when working season ends mid November. (Notice here the secret of being able to travel up to 5 months a year!) And we’ve bought a car for the exploring part. (For the Dutchies among you we had a little joke. When I was texting my parents that the apartment was a little ‘kaal’ -not much in there- autocorrect changed it to ‘kaas’. So every time somebody’s asking how our apartment is we say it’s cheese just to see their funny faces.)
Exploring the Canadian way…
David: What shall we do tomorrow?
Me: Let’ s go to Moose Jaw, I like that name. And Al Capone resided there for a while and that might be fun to see.
David: So you can see some more flatness.
Me: (laughing) Yep, and looking at the map, it’s one straight road for 60 kilometers (37 miles).
David: Well, there’s one curve.
Me: Yeah, like the ones on the road to Regina Beach which they announce with four signs and 10 kilometers later you’re still looking for the turn? Cruise control has a whole different meaning here, with that you could easily take a nap while driving on these straight roads.
On our way to Moose Jaw…
Radio: Hello folks, this is a moose warning. As you all know moose are big and at a collision both your car and the moose will be a total loss. So watch out! Moose on the loose!
David: Baby, you should stop for these stop signs.
Me: Yeah right. If they didn’t put these at each intersection where you can see traffic coming from a 100 miles away I might. Or maybe I will to avoid paying a fine…
Hahaha! A place called Drinkwater? Must have been founded by Dutch.
Despite of spending a small fortune on suitable clothes and snow boots there’s actually no snow and temperatures haven’t been below minus 14 degrees Celsius and that was one of the colder days. Zero degrees Celsius is considered here ‘a really nice day’. I’d say to this extent we should consider it a warning for climate change. Nature’s going to be fucked-up, as we can see now in very low water levels which prevent fish to migrate to their spawning grounds. I might not see a river full of jumping fish at all, and for natures sake and my own I really want that! More on nature later, because of the abundance of wildlife I’m so looking forward to see. Saw two deer the other day! (Which disappointed David because usually there are so many!)
Besides exploring the focus in the next weeks will be to find me a ‘job’ or volunteer work and to workout every day so I’d be prepared if it’s going to be something physically tough like landscaping. Besides that David (being a Cree Indian) is very active in fighting for aboriginal rights and promoting native culture, arts and crafts which are of great interest to me.
Last but not least a great thanks to David’s family for this nice and warm welcome.
And to David for doing everything to make me feel at home. I love you so much and I haven’t regret this decision to move to your flat and cold country for one second.