Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bits and Pieces...

I sat at the computer for a whole five minutes thinking about what to call this piece. I had a little bit to say about lots of things, things that I am discovering everyday about living in this new country.

For instance: If someone works from ten to four...why is it that they actually start closing the door......literally at 3.59 saying that they have to go home???? This is something that no store owner would ever do in India. The other day we went to a store to ask about a particular service, and the guy behind the counter actually asked if we could come back the next day because his shift was getting over and the store was closing. Yes, they were closing at 4pm and the time was 3.55! If any Canadian is reading this and wondering why I am over reacting, it is because in India.........the guy would never send a customer away, he would work overtime and would never ask you to come back the next day....knowing that you would probably go somewhere else. (This means a lost customer!!)

Being new here, we are still getting used to the change. The pennies, cents, toonies (one dollar) and loonies (2 dollar) coins can be really confusing at first. If you are not careful, and start giving them away as change at cash counters, you could end up with a bag full. (Remember that change like 9cents will come back to you as nine single pennies. )Something I noticed: People here are used to new immigrants and visitors, so they wait patiently for you to go through all the coins and will help when you ask. People standing in line behind you also wait patiently. When someone realises that you don't know something, normally they are quick to help.

Strange people do knock on your doors: We moved into the new house about a week and a half ago. So far, we have had two strangers knocking our door. The first, was a lady asking about the gas usage in our home. She was taking a survey for the gas company. I sent her away politely saying that we were new to the house and didn't know what our usage was. The second, were two young boys with Red Cross badges. They were going around the neighborhood reminding everyone that they exist and could we sign up to take part in some kind of awareness program next month. No to that too..........we had too many other things to think right now. So the kids now know that every time the doorbell rings it is NOT one of their friends!

Something else you notice here coming from India, is how every store, bank and public area has easy access for handicapped people, say for wheel chairs, and also families with strollers. Stores have wide aisles and buses are made to be lowered to the level of the sidewalk. Almost every public area has one bathroom cubicle made for wheel chair access, and all parking lots have handicap parking near the entrance. I remember taking my daugter to a big store in Chennai, when she was just a baby. She was in her stroller and they asked me to kindly keep the stroller outside the store while I shopped. Now everyone knows just how much shopping you can do while carrying a squirming one year old..........none! So that is something I really appreciate here.

Have to go.....tomorrow is garbage day.............and back to sorting out our garbage!

See you.

1 comment:

Karthik said...

They have bags to sort garbage?!