What I miss about Trent/Peterborough/my time in Canada
1. The smoke-free, clean, quiet and mosquito-free atmosphere
2. Large-scale shopping mall
4. Sorry and thank you
5. My freedom
6. My bed
7. Trent library
8. School and the joy of reading
9. Peterborough friends
(if you have time, you can scroll down for explanation)
What I am particularly happy to have here (which I used to long for desperately while I was in Peterborough)
1. A scooter for myself
2. A wide variety of fresh fruits
3. Three to four different dishes served in a meal, 2 main meals everyday with various choices
4. My little brother
5. My boyfriend
Im still unemployed, has been rejected twice after 2 interviews and countless number of unanswered emails.
Recently, I have been listening to Peterborough’s Energy 99.7 music channel, just to hear familiar names of places, what the weather is like, the lovely accent, a reminder of time differences and songs Vietnamese radio wouldn’t broadcast, so I can still feel some kind of connection.
Explanation for what I miss:
1. I often get outraged/disturbed/annoyed (depending on the situation) when I sit in a closed room with the air-con on and men around me start smoking. I have to wash my hair everyday because of the thick dust. The house next to mine is being under construction and when they drill, I can’t hear my own voice. I kill about 3-7 mosquitoes a day, with my hands and the electric tool (which look like a battledore in badminton, except that you charge it and as soon as the mosquito is touched, it is shocked to death). One day, I counted 11 bites on my left leg (from knee to ankle) alone.
2. As much as I miss petite shops in Hanoi, it is extremely tiresome to travel from shop to shop to hunt for something I want. It took me a few trips around the central of the city to find a Tshirt. Each doesn’t have more than about one or two hundred items. It’s much more convenient to go into a shopping mall and have all the options within walking distance.
3. I didn’t remember that people in Hanoi can be that grumpy, probably Canadian’s friendliness has spoiled me. I don’t see much smile around here. Or maybe because it’s hot? But being difficult to others won’t cool you down, will it? People most often smile when they ask for something, or with their loved ones, rarely to strangers. I miss being smiled at by strangers.
4. Same as above. I don’t mean people in Hanoi are not polite. It’s a language thing. When Vietnamese people say “thank you”, they mean “Im grateful to your favour”, and “sorry” means “I really apologize for what I have done”. So, they generally don’t use these two words in minor matters. Nevertheless, I miss saying and hearing them
5. The freedom to go to bed and wake up anytime I feel like. No more night over at friends’. My curfew is 9.30-10pm. I don’t complain about that but my mom, after my 4 year journey to Canada, stopped me from travelling to the South of the country because “it’s too dangerous”. She lets me go to the other part of the world, and prevents me from going to the other end of the country. It’s quite puzzling.
6. The twin-sized bed with 3 layers of blanket, soft, warm and comfortable. My current bed is a queen-sized wooden one, with a hard mattress and a thin blanket. Too wide, empty and hard to sleep on alone.
7. As soon as I walked in the Hanoi public library, I miss Bata. Although it is only a small library in a small university, at least there are good scholarly resources, especially you can renew your books, search for them and know their status online, without having to be in the library physically, which means a trip in the heat and blind search once you’re there.
8. I want to go back to school already.
9. If you are reading this post, you know Im talking about you.