Caroline found me in a journalism classroom last autumn and we immediately became friends. Since then, she has taken us on many adventures and made me feel loved and cared for in a way I hadn’t expected to feel so far from home. Caroline introduced me to the Corner People and invited me along to the cottage for awesome winter and summer experiences. Our adventures have included: exploring Toronto, horror movie nights, La Ronde amusement park, water-parks, Colour Vibe Run, Sugar bush, craft fairs, hiking, birthdays, barbeques, babysitting, canoeing and much more. In May, Caroline visited me in Scotland and I was able to fulfil one of my life-long dreams of introducing my world to a foreigner. I was able to show her all the different parts of my history; home, family, friends, high school, home town etc. And then I showed her my country’s history; castles and museums and old buildings. Now, Caroline has plans to return to Scotland at some point in the future, possibly for an internship. Otherwise I’m sure our travelling paths will cross one day, wherever we are in the world. I love you, Caroline!
We began our friendship almost a year ago, a couple of weeks after I arrived in Canada. On the first day of class, I walked around the tables and sat down beside a tall, dark, handsome boy and asked him about the Wi-Fi. The class was Gender, Diversity and the Journalist and that boy was Jack. Over the past year we have spent our time reading each other’s stories, writing, watching Suits and Adventure Time, eating home-made stew, going for coffee, hanging out at Roosters, discussing our lives and opinions, and generally holding conversations for inordinate amounts of time. I count Jack as one of my closest friends and I miss him far more than I can express in one paragraph or even in a thousand words. So I’ll leave it at this cryptic and slightly cliché message: They didn’t climb that hill in one day.
Michelle is my beautiful French-Canadian friend whose chilled-out nature and humour have been incredibly infectious over the past few months. I knew Michelle was good people when I noticed that she always carried a book in her bag. Because that – for me – is a crucial sign of awesomeness. We usually hang out whenever Michelle has free time from her million and one jobs. Her dog Julius has been an endless source of amusement and antics, especially when paired with Michelle’s roommate’s cat Caesar. Recently Michelle invited me along to her family cottage with a dozen of her cousins and other family members and it was an incredible weekend. And when we’re not insanely trying to pass time on road trips, we walk Julius, watch Orange Is The New Black, read, eat, drink cocktails, eat, stargaze, and eat.
We talk about all things queer, and cute – especially her ever-growing family of kittens and guinea pigs. Jaimie introduced me to the wonder that is Bubble Tea and she came with me to see the burlesque show of The Suicide Girls, which was entrancing to say the least. We both stood at the back with our mouths open for the whole two hours. Unfortunately our adventures came to an abrupt end when Jaimie left Ottawa for the summer and we never properly said goodbye. Hopefully one day we will see each other again!
Brigit and Erik
Brigit and Erik are an entertaining and adorable couple, much like a comedy duo. Every moment spent with them is filled with innuendos, dirty jokes and musical references. Brigit is an awesome violinist, adorable redhead and fully-fledged Dr Who geek. Erik is a professional drummer, proud Trinidadian and enthusiastic player of RPG game Dungeons and Dragons. I began my 21st birthday with these two buying me shots and encouraging me to sing karaoke. I wish them both a magical future filled with (not so faulty) sparklers and ostentatious showers… (Sorry, inside joke).
The first time I saw Ellen, I stood in shock and had to repeat to myself “Lauren is in Scotland. Lauren is in Scotland. Lauren is in Scotland.” Ellen and my best friend Lauren look almost identical, so I guess from the beginning I had a soft spot for her. But the first time we ever really spoke was when Ellen turned around to me in journalism class and said “Do you live with Zach?!” I looked very confused and replied “Yes… You… know… him?” and she laughed and said “He’s my best friend!” Now looking back, I guess we both had a best friend connection before we even spoke; some kind of friendship fate? We have many common interests and our discussions revolve around some of my favourite things; weird life occurrences, sex, queer stuff, feminism, hot people, and cute puppies. But mostly we just talk about sex.
My lovely Brazilian friend. We met at an exchange night and have been hanging out since February. We make sushi, watch Star Wars and action movies, and talk about travelling. And maybe one day, we will bump into each other in a distant European country or somewhere in South America or even at a random gas station off a highway in America. Henrique, I wish you many exciting and outrageous travelling escapades in your future.
Josh, Jonny, Marta, Ian, Sophie, Mikael, Kevin, Mattias
You guys are awesome. You welcomed me into your friendship group and made me feel like I had known you all for years. I had many good times with each one of you and I am forever grateful for our adventures. The cottage trips, birthday parties, road trips, barbecues, hiking, and swimming. Pretending to be water Pokemon, playing Cards Against Humanity and Lougarou and Sardines, drinking tequila shots around the campfire, climbing into igloos, and picking raspberries on the mountain. I’ll miss the cottage trips but hopefully at some point I will be able to join you there on Harris mountain once again.
Rebecca and Oskar
My Swedish exchange friends. Rebecca and I lived together in first semester and she introduced me to Oskar on her first day in Canada. That night we hit down-town Ottawa, met a famous Swedish hockey player then partied at a posh hotel. Another time we took on New York, drank at the How I Met Your Mother bar, splashed out at Victoria’s Secrets, and tackled Macy’s on Black Friday. During class time we went to parties and revelled in exchange life together. I miss them both very much. I especially miss being The Two Swedes and a Scot. Wishing you both the best in everything you do. Maybe I will hop over to Sweden at some point and we can relive our exchange days!
My Dynes Road People
Brandon, Zach, Concetta, Curt and Walter. The twins, Andrew and Rob, and our neighbours. At my second home in Canada I lived and spent time with these wonderful people. The evenings of my second semester were often spent with Brandon and Zach on the sofa watching TV shows and movies and playing video games. B&Z’s bromance was adorable to watch and their company was such a blessing to me during my breakup, school stress and the freezing winter months. Thank you both for your friendship!
And Everyone Else…
I wish to thank all my friend’s families who have shown such beautiful generosity and affection towards me over the past year. Erik Stolpmann, first I simply wish to say thank you for all your love and for letting go, (Jennifer; thank you for everything, your love, encouragement and generosity. Chris and Jaclyn; thank you for the adventures and the music, I send my love to your beautiful baby girl Adelaide and good luck with your new lives. A big thank you to all the Stolpmann’s. Chris Mataija, Brayden and Jaclyn Mackenzie for all the fun and friendship.) Shannon Walsh, thank you for easing me into Canadian life, I won’t forget all the things you did for me, (Shea; for friendship and adventures, Patricia; for opening your home to me and for all the dinners), Michelle Wilcox (The Wilcox’s; thank you, thank you, thank you for everything). Jack Lawson (Judy and Peter; thank you for the dinners and conversations and for welcoming me so lovingly. Judy, I especially appreciate every moment you have spent reading my blog and for the support and interest you have taken in my life.) Jonny’s parent for letting us use the cottage for our adventures. To everyone who ever let me crash at their place, or drove me around, or fed and clothed me, thank you. It is people like you who give Canadians such a good name and make the world worth exploring.
Thank you to my Mum and Dad for everything and thank you to my family and friends for supporting me throughout my exchange.
I love you all.
A thousand thank-you’s to my four hundred and three followers, and everyone else who checked in throughout the past twelve months.
This is Scottawa officially over and out.