Saturday, June 20, 2015

Toto, I have a feeling we're not on the island anymore

We've officially been back in Canada for over 6 weeks now. Honestly, given the state of my knees (which I really don't feel up to discussing right now), it feels like forever. The days are long. Sometimes it feels like we never left and our incredible Grand Cayman life never happened. Every now and then; however, I realize that a part of me is still in island mode. I still have moments of "island brain." Some mornings I wake up and can hear the Candle Lake waves crashing and for a moment I forget exactly where I am. I'm literally torn between two worlds…or perhaps I'm still over medicated? - tough to say.

Here are a few indicators that I am NOT on the island anymore:

1) Avocados:

Ev came home from Safeway with an avocado.

"Avocado?" I inquire, "What are we like rich now?"

"Hey Kirstie, avocados are like a buck here."

Right. Avocados are like anniversary/special birthday treats at $7 a pop on island. At $7 a pop, you're not even guaranteed that it won't be smooshy and overripe! We're stocking up big time and I'm going to avocado everything up while we're in Canada (did I just turn avocado into a verb?) There must be an avocado cocktail? dessert? smoothie? Can I rub it all over my face to reduce pores? Foot scrub? If there is a recipe, I'm on board because the elusive avocado is gold on Grand Cayman and our avocado eating days will soon be a distant memory, "Remember that day in Canada when we ate an avocado just for fun?"

2) Sundays:

We had a near panic attack one Saturday night in Candle Lake when we realized that we had forgotten to buy milk. We calmed down and reminded ourselves that all the milk stores in Canada are indeed open on Sundays. Heck, we could go to Walmart and buy Martha Stewart sheets and George shoes on Sunday if we wanted to! (but we won't, keep reading below to find out why) We're getting used to the "Sunday is a day of rest" philosophy on island. It is kinda nice, other than the fact that the grocery stores are often jam packed on Saturday nights, and you're really in a pickle if you're making a special Sunday meal and are missing a key ingredient! Sunday is a true day of rest on Cayman. There are no errands to run if nothing is open. What shall one do on a Sunday then? Church? Sunday brunch? Swim in the ocean? Go for a dive? Lay by the pool?  - the possibilities are endless when running errands is officially impossible. Yay for a day of rest! (Although I must say, initially, I hated it and suffered anxiety around the day of rest. What if I just suddenly want cake and a bottle of wine on a Sunday? I'm SOL).

3) Forecast:

On Grand, I might check the forecast once a week - maybe - but unless a tropical storm is looming, it's pretty boring. The weather page is typically full of bright yellow suns and an average high of 30 degrees Celsius every day. No surprise there. Every now and then you might experience a cold front of 25 degree highs for a few days (the kids wear fleece jackets!) Now that we're back at Candle Lake, I obsessively check the weather for 2 reasons:  1) to determine my father's emotional state. The fields are dry. The farmers require more rain for the crops. Time to panic? Nope, we're just mildly pissed at Mother Nature, but we can still forgive if she sends some precipitation now…NOW!  2) to determine if we will finally get a nice boat day. The boat and dock are in the water simply awaiting us to clamour in with our coolers, bikinis,  and tunes for a lovely summer boat day. There's nothing worse than anticipating a hot summer weekend based on the "scientific?" weather forecast, only to realize late Friday afternoon that the beauty forecast has been kaiboshed and replaced with rain and/or high winds. C'mon weather network. Don't psych us out like that! There really are so few weekends in summer that can be enjoyed in the boat with the sun beaming down. That's not fair. After the winter Sasky's endure year after year, I feel that we are at least owed 2 months of legit summer. My theory is that most Saskatchewanians are in an emotionally abusive relationship with the weather. We get smacked with a -40 day, we bitch, we complain, we threaten to leave (some stray for a few weeks in Mexico - we even check the weather back in Saskatchewan while we're in Mexico and laugh to ourselves, "Ha, I got away from you, weather!")  and then the weather's like, "I love you. I'm sorry. Here's a sunny +30 day." We lie to ourselves, "What a great day. I'm so happy with this weather. I knew it would change if I just remained patient. I love living in Saskatchewan!" We advertise it all over Facebook, "Look at the amazing highs today on my weather app!" And then Boom, it hits us with a cold rainy July weekend like the A-hole it really is. Ugh. I want out of this abusive relationship and want absolutely nothing to do with obsessive weather forecast checking ever again. I'm breaking up with Saskatchewan weather. You are dead to me…until I need to know the weekend forecast.

The view from my window: you can't have a rainbow without a little rain? Ok, sure, but can't it just be sunny for a while?

4) Driving

I haven't driven once since we've returned to Canada, nor am I cleared to drive until i'm weight bearing and progressing with my rehab (I'm currently double braced, donning big ugly braces on both knees). As a passenger, I silently freak out when Evan or my mom make a left turn into the right lane, especially in parking lots. My heart skips a beat until I realize that staying right is the appropriate lane in this country. Still a weird one to shift back and forth between. I've advanced to feeling completely  comfortable with left lane driving in Cayman and dealing with round abouts vs. traffic lights. Sitting through so many traffic lights here makes me cringe. When will it change? Make it change! Why won't it….OH, it's green now…well Thank goodness! In fact, during our first week here, Ev blatantly drove straight through a red light. Not yellow. Bright red. He wasn't looking for it nor did he notice it. And where the hell are the chickens? Note to self: watch for traffic lights, not for chickens.

5) Wait times:

Mom asked me to wait in the car while she picked up my prescriptions. My first thought, "I can't wait in her vehicle for  6 hours!" And then I remembered that prescriptions in Canada can actually be dropped off and picked up in the span of  20 minutes! Brilliant. What an efficient system! I drop off a prescription and then I have pills in my hands in about half and hour. Beauty. No worries about my meds "not existing" on island. Sweet, you mean I don't have to make my meds in my basement?

It was the same situation with banking. Sprawled out in the backseat, donning my clumsy knee braces, I prepared myself for a long wait as Ev ran in to do some banking. I took out US magazine, contemplated the marriage of Kim and Kanye and before I could even delve into Kim's new pregnancy (Oh just what we need in this world - another self-centred, entitled human), Evan was back. "Seriously? Did you just perform several transactions in less than 5 minutes?" Lovely. You have no idea how convenient this is until you're faced with multiple hour waits to run a simple errand.

6) Converting currency:

When we initially moved to the island, we were constantly converting Cayman Island Dollars (CI's) into Canadian dollars to determine how much things cost. "This drink is $10 CI - OMG I'm paying $15 Canadian - it better be the best fricken rum punch I've ever drank" (FYI: it was, and I was "happy" after just 1 drink!). Around Dec-Jan, we just stopped converting. It didn't make sense to convert everything into Canadian dollars anymore, as my salary is paid out in CI's and Ev's is in US dollars.  Funny enough, now that I'm back in Canada, I find myself converting back to the CI currency. With the exchange rate where it is, everything is such a great deal - I can't possibly pass it up. My awesome mom and fabulous mother-in-law oiled up my wheelchair and took me on a road trip to Winners this week. It was so great for my presently foul mood. (Side Note: If you require help composing an angry letter/death threat, I'm your woman. Walmart lost a hot tub that we purchased weeks ago. Not only did I send numerous angry private messages, but I also filled their Facebook page with sad "poor me" messages in my attempt at public shaming. You messed with the wrong biatch who desperately needs that fricken hot tub, Walmart). Anyway, When the cashier rang through my incredibly successful purchase of $330 at Winners, I quickly convinced myself it was an amazing deal at only $210 CI. I basically owe it to our budget to do as much shopping as possible whilst in Canada. Do you sell avocados at Winners because I'll take more of those, please.
Mom and Peggy putting together my wheels for the shopping trip. Perk: convenient parking!

7) I'm married to a pirate:

Ev's always been a beer drinker. He delved into red wines for a few years as well, but typically when company is over or when he's out in the boat in warm weather, he's drinking beer. Once we began the routine of post-work Friday happy hours on the island, I noticed Evan ordering rum punches more frequently. In Ev's teenage years, hard liquor reduced him to a cantankerous stubborn ass (sorry, Ev, but you can't deny that)  Not anymore. In Ev's maturity, the rum punch relaxes him, abolishes his nervous eye twitch, and renders him harmonious. Since we've returned to Candle Lake, I've noticed our bar fridge is still stocked full with beer from last summer! He's simply not into the beer anymore. Surprisingly, he has been mixing himself a rum punch in the evenings, adding several different rums and fruit juices (Perhaps he requires hard alcohol to cope with his now cantankerous wife?) You think you know your husband after 19 years together? Now he's a rum punch guy? Who knew? Arggg matey!
Rum Punch please! heavy on the punch, if you know what I mean
Cheers to a great weekend! 10 more days until I can weightbear (AKA re-learn how to walk). Not that I'm counting down every single hour.

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