So I've been in Canada the past two weeks visting my boyfriend and a friend of mine (I'm with her in Québec right now), and I thought I'd just talk about the trip a little while I have some free time.
I landed in Toronto and my boyfriend and I stayed with his sister at her apartment there for a few days. Unfortunately, there was a huge ice storm at that time so we were without power for almost 2 days |D (so you could say I got to have a real Canadian adventure). But we went around to see the city downtown, and it was so huge and beautiful. The Yorkdale mall is amazing, but we really didn't go around in there much (we only went to charge our phones while the power was out pmsl). But let me tell you, the Gallérie de la Capitale or whatever it's called in Québec City is even bigger, and even better. There's a fucking skating rink and ferris wheel in there ok. So in Toronto, we went to a bookstore called "The Biggest Bookstore in the World" - and it was, indeed, pretty big. They didn't have a large selection of French books, but I did buy some manga I found there (the selection in my city back home isn't nearly as good). I got to eat at a Canadian McDonald's (it tasted about the same, but it must be better because it didn't make me sick afterwards like usual). I got to ride street cars, buses, a subway, and a train all for the first time (the most we have in the city where my uni is is buses around town). I think I prefer public transportation, because I don't really like driving, but I feel like if I had to navigate the maps on my own I would just get myself lost.
The cold honestly isn't so bad in Canada (well, in Ontario). As long as you dress warm, it's not really a problem, although with the ice storm you had to be careful because everything was frozen and slippery (I kicked a block of snow that ended up being frozen and it was ouch). I have to say I like the snow though; we don't get much back home at all. Just wear good winter boots that you don't mind getting muddy, because there's lots of mud and slush.
Also, Canadians really do say "eh" a lot. I heard it about every other sentence from my boyfriend's family I'm not even exaggerating.
I was with my boyfriend's family through Christmas and I had the greatest time (his nephew is so cute omg I usually don't like kids but this one was adorable ok). There's this wine they have in Canada called Nova 7, and it is literally the best wine I have tasted, it's so sweet and delicious. I wish we had it here... Speaking of which, the coca cola in Canada is like 10x better (than in the US). It's not nearly as acidic and it's a lot sweeter (I think bc they use sugar cane or something?). I want to steal some to take back with me orz.
The KFC there sucks though, the one in the US is much better ok. Canada can't even compete.
Now, QUÉBEC. It was actually really overwhelming for me to arrive here (not to mention my friend and I waited for like an hour in the freezing cold for a bus, then ended up having to call a taxi when we realised there wasn't a bus coming that route). Although I like to consider myself fluent in French, I've never really used it outside of the internet where I talk with my friends. Coming to a place that speaks the language, and conversing with native speakers, was overwhelming for me at first, because my speaking skills aren't always so great, and the accent in Québec is really different and sometimes hard to understand (also it's Québec City so lots of people have different accents and I may or may not understand depending on where they're from). Today, I went out on my own to a Subway down the street, and it was my first time ordering something by myself, but at least I managed to do it ;;
The thing is though, the people here are really nice, and everyone's been like "oh you can speak English if you want!" They're really helpful and patient. I do think being here is helping my French a lot, and I've at least been able to understand my friend most of the time (when we first started speaking with each other online I could barely understand a sentence orz).
But, OLD QUÉBEC IS SO BEAUTIFUL. I was so fascinated with the old buildings and streets, and the huge castle there (whose name I can't remember). The scenery everywhere I've been is beautiful, actually. I took lots of pictures on the train ride from Toronto to Oshawa, and the car ride from Oshawa to the city where my boyfriend lives. His dad took us to see several really scenic places, and it was just beautiful, even if everything was covered in snow.
I got to watch The Book Thief (La voleuse des livres) in a cinema here (in French dub), which was a pretty cool experience that I wanted to make sure I got. I also ordered our concessions there without any problems~ (I'm really self-conscious and nervous about speaking to people here but they're really nice and I've managed well so far ;; )
But holy shit it is freezing in Québec. Ontario wasn't so bad while I was there (coldest it got was maybe -2 F/-18 C but most of the time it was like 20 F / -6 C). In Québec it is like -25 C / -9 F I don't remember the last time I experienced weather so cold omf. Back home is like 21 F / -6 C. Like, Canada is colder than Norway, Russia, or Finland, I CHECKED. How did the colonists here not all die during the winter seriously. But, like I said, it's not SO bad if you're dressed warm, but after walking around in the -25 C cold for hours in Old Québec and then trying to find where to take the bus back home, I'm good indoors with the heater for the moment ;;
In short, Canada is super awesome and it only further solidified my desire to live here later in life. One of my connection flights back home is in Toronto and I just wish I could go back to that city for a little bit TT/cries
Some side notes:
Things in Canada are expensive.
St. Hubert's in Québec was the best place I've been to, the meal was delicious like an orgasm in my mouth.
Customs Officials at the airport are very thorough about what you're doing there, who you're staying with, like I'm surprised they don't ask for a stool sample or something
Airplane rides are awesome (my first time in an airplane).
I brought too much shit
I also bought a lot of shit
Canada's great eh