August 2013

Lost In The Suburbs

“Remember to get off the bus at …… and …….” said Shannon as she dropped me off at the mall.
I knew the street names had something to do with animals… or food, that much I remembered. But sitting on the bus I was completely clueless about how to get home and yet stubbornly determined to do it myself. Finally we turned on to a road called Fisher avenue and I listened intently for the conductor to call out another street with an edible name.

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“Tunis Avenue” …Tuna? Could this be my stop? There’s no time to consider my terrible seafood reasoning. And with a push of the button and a swing of the door I am released into unknown territory. I recognise nothing. But I do what any lost journalistic traveler would do; I don my safari hat and delve into the suburban wilderness around me.
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I wander among vegetable patches, nice cars and quiet neighborhoods and finally admit defeat after reaching the end of a fifth cul-de-sac. Then in the distance I spot a lone dog-walker. I bide my time and pounce when she is close.
My saviour of the day was possibly called Trish but as this post clearly illustrates I am inadequate at remembering names. With the aide of her lively dogs, Trish guided me to the refuge of a friend’s house. There we swapped passing tales and life stories under the pale pink sky. Trish tells me that this neighbourhood was made for Canadian war veterans and as I look around I can understand why; it’s a beautiful place for heroes to grow old.

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As the conversation turns to wars and nationalities I discover that both my new friends are descendant from Scots and in the spirit of shared homelands (and inevitable distant relatives) they draw a map to guide me home. Though in the light of this past week, with the kindness and love that Canadians have shown me, I am no longer certain where my home is anymore.

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Oh and in case you were wondering, my actual bus stop was Deer Street…

Love Jill

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