I don’t know when I’ll get used to this Canadian weather, but it’s worth it. People who live in the city say the weather is fine this month because in February the temperature can get to -40 degrees Fahrenheit! I’ve been in the city for five days now, and even though it isn’t a long time, I can see how the culture here is completely different from everything I have ever known.
I came to learn how I should take off my shoes every time I go in someone’s house, something that most Brazilians never do. I also figured out how and where to buy winter coats. A good tip for those who are bound to face this extremely cold weather: don’t buy the first warm item you see just because you’re freezing. Look around, see your options and then make a decision. I saw a pair of boots at one store and they were really expensive, however, the same pair at another store was way cheaper.
Today was my first time visiting the University of Winnipeg, and everything is so organized and well thought out, it amazed me. Finding my way around was the hardest part, since the university is huge, but thankfully they gave me a printed out copy of the campus map, I don’t know how far I would’ve gotten without it, since my lips were so numb I could barely speak. Never would I have ever known that it would be hard to talk when it’s really cold out due to numb lips if I wasn’t experiencing this, so thank you weather, I guess. Another thing that’ll help me will be the international student orientation in January, I’ll meet new people from all over the world, which is exciting! “By telling this story my point is to show how nice people have been here, always trying to help, and this is what the world is in need of, people helping and respecting each other.”
Now it’s time to get settled in, find a place to live, open up a bank account and a million other things. When I went to the mall to get a cellphone plan, one of the attendants was helping me and as he saw that he couldn’t solve my problem, he politely took me to another store and asked for someone else to help me. By telling this story my point is to show how nice people have been here, always trying to help, and this is what the world is in need of, people helping and respecting each other.
Speaking of help, I also have a mentor, she’s a student and she’ll show me the city and give me great tips, I’m looking forward to meeting her, she will also be the first person here that I’ll get to know and who knows, I might even make a new friend.
My mother and my sister came to stay with me for a couple of weeks to help me out (yay). Two days ago we went out for lunch and my sister’s plate was taking forever to come, but then, we realized there was a misunderstanding with our order. We didn’t interpret the menu correctly and at the time we didn’t ask, so this unfortunate event happened. I guess this is another life lesson, don’t be afraid to ask something if you’re not sure what it is, it may seem obvious but if you’re not sure it won’t hurt to ask.
Another interesting and new thing that I saw here was the amount of clothing shops opting for bags made out of fabric instead of plastic, they even sent me the receipts by email so as not to use paper! Now this is what I call trying to save the planet, imagine how great it would be for the planet if all stores did the same.
Well, now I’ll keep on settling in and preparing for classes next month, and hopefully find a job by then.
This blog was written by Mariana Barbosa, the 2018 Travel Video Contest winner. Mariana made it to Canada, now keep track of her journey by checking our blog throughout the year.