“Human behaviour flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge” – Plato
Special Editions are for first Sundays of the months only, but since I missed last week’s chance and there’s so much I’ve learned in Canada, here’s a belated Special Edition anyway:
- Enjoying yourself is easier than I thought. I’m not sure why, but I tend to be very serious about everything, including having fun. I know this sounds rather strange, maybe, but if I’ve been feeling down for a few days I can really beat myself up over not enjoying myself. I’m like the Natsume slogan: serious fun. However, all strains I usually put on myself vanished as I stepped onto the bus that drove me and my fellow travellers all over West Canada. Fun, enjoyment, happiness, all things good in their purest form. I did not know it was so easy to let go. Just stop thinking about everything that’s bringing you down, even just for five minutes, and see what that does for you :)
- Everything in Canada is about three times bigger than in The Netherlands, except peaches. I’ve seen massive meals, massive coffees, massive breakfasts (like… how many bananas did they slice over my humongous waffle? Must have been at least five!), and massive onions! Really, HUGE onions… I wish I had taken a picture! I think maybe even the money is bigger, literally…
As for the rest, waterfalls: bigger. Raindrops: bigger. Buildings: bigger. Cows: well, not sure, but they seemed bigger. Mountains: let’s not even go there (definitely bigger!). Peaches: a mere fragment of what we have in Dutch supermarkets. There’s a sector you can improve, Canadians. Peaches! ;)
- The Big Bend Theory. Forget Sheldon, hello Canadian mountain roads! The theory is simple: it poses that after every bend in the road (and we also visited the Big Bend, hence the pun) the scenery gets more beautiful. More beautiful in a way that leaves you thinking (again): it cannot possibly get any better than this. Until after the next bend in the road, obviously.
- In addition to the Big bend Theory, I introduce The Bear Effect. Tell me there is a chance to see wild bears on the road, and what you get is a very very excited Samantha who keeps staring out of the bus window, scanning the woods for beary wildlife. And that is The Bear Effect: always being on the lookout for fluffy man eaters (there have been a few cases in which people who encountered a wild bear did not live to tell, but in general they eat berries – or so I was told).
Fun fact: the bears we did see were not hidden in the woods, but were always out in plain sight. In the middle of a grassy field, just beside the road, you name it. So scanning the woods for them was pretty useless, but once you start you can’t stop! In fact, I caught myself continuing doing this even after I was back in the Netherlands on my way home. A little spark of excitement hit me every time I saw a brown cow, making my brains act as if I’d just spotted a bear…
- Canadians lack efficiency. Sorry to break it to you, but it’s true. There have been multiple occasions in which I or someone else from our group had to wait for over one and a half hours to get some food. In one case, actually, it was so bad that everyone was already on the bus and our guide dropped in to the slowest take-out restaurant ever to gather me and two girls, while we were still waiting for someone’s order. The person in charge of the orders even started to ignore my friend’s calls (basically, he just ignored all four of us). After having waited for over forty-five minutes (and being one of the first to have ordered, mind you), she finally got something that resembled what she asked for.
I understand that taking orders from over thirty travellers can be a bit challenging, but that’s the risk of working in a restaurant located near a tourist attraction. During the time we spent waiting for our orders, we came up with about twenty ways to increase efficiency.
Although this, of course, could also be a Dutch thing…
- It is okay to goof around at 29. If you read my last post, Sorry, you know I am always hard on myself for everything. Somehow I got myself convinced that I need to grow up and be all mature and I suppose this is part of the reason why I found enjoying myself to be a task rather than a feeling. However, Canada and my travel-group have taught me that it’s more than okay to be funny, a little annoying and loud. I don’t have to be tranquil and wise all day, every day. I can let go, let off some steam and unleash some pressure. It’s fine to pull a practical joke on someone (I pick-pocketed someone, thinking maybe I could switch the bottles he carried in his pockets without him noticing. I almost succeeded, but I messed up with the second bottle – we had a good laugh anyway!), and it’s fine to have someone joke around with you, as long as it’s all in good measures. Maturity is more than being serious all day long. I am allowed to have some childish fun every now and then, as are you and everyone else. In a way, we’re all just big kids anyway.
- I still have it. A few years ago I thought I got hit by the “luck of the Irish”, as my trip to Dublin in 2013 was great from beginning to end. But long before that, no, actually every trip before that, was magical in some way. I seem to be extremely lucky when on holiday! My sister is known for always losing her luggage (or rather: for never having it end up in the same place as her), but I am known to be hit by Holiday Luck. For example, take the great weather. Over the course of two weeks, we had about… two bad days (rain, cold), a few chilly but bright days, and the majority was downright hot and sunny. So sunny, that even our Canadian bus driver was surprised. The Netherlands nearly got washed off the World Map in the same time.
My travel group was great fun, each and every one of them (at some point none of us counted in “the four” that refrained from any interaction with the rest of us). So much so, that even our tour guide confided in us he had never experienced such a fine group of strangers, who all got along.
I always end up with a big room, or on the “best, most beautiful floor” of the hotel. I always get a student’s discount everywhere I go, and even the guy from Customs only asked me two questions about my reason to enter Canada, while the girl before me got drilled. And, seriously by mistake, I had a cheese sandwich in my backpack at that time, which is totally illegal to bring into Canada. But no one ever checks my stuff, because I look so adorable, sweet and innocent.
And lucky ;)
So you see, even a holiday can teach you a thing or two, increasing your ever growing knowledge!
I hope you all had a lovely couple of weeks! I’d like to end this Special Edition Summary with a song that somehow helped me get rid of a lot of bad energy, and whenever I hear it now it brings back memories of Canada, and restrengthens my positive self-image. I hope it does the same for you!