It's different living with other people again, especially J's parents. I'm in a big house in a little cul-de-sac - i feel like a teenager asking them for a lift to the nearest subway station. I kinda don't want to eat anything in the fridge or make noise or anything; i guess it's something i will have to get used to. It's also the first time i've been exposed to suburban Jewish culture - not just at home where i have to make sure i use dairy plates for cheese and meat plates for meat-not-including-pork - but also at the local mall where there are all these loud, Ugg-boot-wearing pod people and everyone is constantly meeting and greeting because they all know each other from this or that third cousin's bris. Being tall, blonde, tattooed and short-haired is like being from outer space.
I'm actually really enjoying all the little cultural differences - the Canadian ones too. People must think i'm nuts here eating all the lettuce in side salads and garnish, but they don't get that in Australia most all the salads are made of rocket or spinach, and when you do get lettuce it tastes like shit anyways. I almost tripped over myself when i saw passion fruits were $4 each - the bananas are green and the peaches are bruised - but ya pears and celery and carrots are cheap and heavenly! Going out for dinner costs under $20 including drinks, but to get a phone on a month-to-month plan with pretty much nothing included costs over $60 a month. Coffee is like a buck. It's not espresso (anywhere), but it's a buck. People really do say "eh" all the time. And "aboot", though they will deny it till they're blue in the face. It's cold, but not too cold - it's Spring noo, eh.
It all feels very familiar - it's a lot like America (basketball, condos, chain restaurants, cable TV, grid layout), and the few bits that aren't like America are like Australia (kilometers instead of miles, parliament instead of congress). What's left over is pretty easy to get. The culture shock of this ethnic enclave is a lot worse than downtown or Canada in general, and even this i was kinda prepared for. We'll see how i manage eating yeast-free crackers for a week come Passover :-)
But before that comes the wedding. It's ridiculously exciting. Even though this is only the "early edition" for immigration, it's still turning into a big deal. We have the restaurant booked, plus a kick-ass hotel for the weekend. I'll be wearing a simple all-white blouse and slacks, she's wearing black pants and white shirt with a vest. We've got the rings ordered. Her mom is organizing a cake. Her uncle is organizing flowers. Her dad is covering dinner. Her friend is doing photography. Her sisters are doing a post-dinner girls' night out. My mom is flying up next week. I still haven't found a MAC store to do my make-up and may end up at another family/friend. You can't help but get caught up in it. I've got the biggest smile.
I really do. My immigration status is completely up in the air, i have no job and am living off my savings, but i have the biggest smile.