Happy New Year!
It is finally 2020, the year that seemed so far away. It sounded so surreal and now, here we are. Looking back, you realize that a lot has happened in the past few decades. I mean, we do not have flying cars yet, but we have touch screen devices, Amazon, Uber and other amazing things that did not exist in 2000.
I remember when we still used a landline at my house. For those of you who do not know, a landline was this really large home phone with a curly cord that connected the receiver part to the rest of the phone. I even remember our home phone number- 01-2691399. My siblings and I memorized it in case of emergencies. Now, 20- something years later, here we are.
I have been meaning to publish a new post but I have been delaying. Well, people, I am also here to motivate and I say to you, procrastination is the thief of time. ( I feel the wisdom coursing through me after this quote. I feel the power!). Meanwhile, good news! (wooo). I started graduate school in the fall of 2019. Settling in was made easy by the awesome people I was surrounded by. Also, can we talk about how everything is accomplished in an easier, faster and more professional manner nowadays? Registration, obtaining my ID card and every other process took me one day to complete. Well, my sufferhead experiences are valid. When people who never struggled are complaining, I will look at them through the bottom part of my glasses.
“So you did not have to run around school to complete registration? How sad”.
Anyway, I acclimatized and settled in pretty fast, but no matter what anyone tells you, nothing, and I repeat, nothing, will ever prepare you for the cold of your first winter. Before this time, I had never seen snow or experienced winter. As is normal, I was very excited. However, the cold began to creep in small small. Here, the snow came early, and on my first snow day, I got lost downtown. Not only that, my phone died and I had on the flimsiest gloves ever made. Eventually, I was able to get my phone to about 10% with my power bank which later died. After about 30 minutes of roaming, weeping and stomping my feet (yes, I had a full-blown tantrum in the middle of the sidewalk around 10am on a Saturday morning), I finally got the correct bus and train to take me to my destination and back home. After that day, I never left my apartment without the appropriate gear.
Also, the weather here is very sporadic and so it can be sunny in the morning and in a few hours it is snowing. Many days I am thankful for my downtown experience because I began to overdress and carry extra gloves in my bag. Affliction will not arise a second time.
I have had the privilege to witness the beauty of fall and then winter. As the leaves were changing and the snow was falling, I saw the world differently. I saw rabbits change from brown to white as winter came to camouflage them from predators. I saw the leaves change from green to red, yellow, brown and so on. It was amazing. Everywhere I went I was taking pictures of everything- the snow on a bench, the snow on the trees, the whiteness of the environment.
In this life eh, one does not know the value of a thing till it is lost. The cost of living is not a joke. Continuous conversion of foreign currency to Nigerian Naira will hinder one from getting anything done (CallMeAjala, 2020). My most memorable experience of this was when I went to get passport pictures taken. Previously, in Lagos Nigeria, I paid about 500 Naira ( less than CA$2) for eight copies. Here, I had to cough up CA$15 (4,200 Naira) for two copies. I was in severe pain. To worsen things, this was the cheapest location. I had already been to three different locations in search of better deals all to no avail.
My first semester was full of experiences. I met people from all over the world. This helped me understand that my own normal was not necessarily someone else’s normal. One time I was describing a calabash (a Nigerian native gourd) to a friend and she refused to believe that such a word existed. I had to google (google is your friend, everyone) and find the literal meaning to explain it better.
In my next post, I will write about how I spent my first White Christmas and other stories.