The other day I had to explain Cheetos to an elderly lady waiting for the elevator.
"They're like little crunchy snacks that taste like cheese," I told her. "Only they have no nutritional value."
"No nutritional value!" she exclaimed, in a faintly British accent (you get a lot of faintly British accents here in Canada-land). "What will they think of next?"
I can feel my Canadian accent creeping back. You can hear it in the way I say "you know" and the cadence of my words; the pauses a little slurred, a little bit more sing-songy. I definitely sound American to Canadians, but I sound very Canadian to people who don't know what Canadians sound like. We don't say "aboot" instead of "about" in case you were wondering. It's more like "abaout."
I've been in Canada since Sunday and have already sorted out several immensely important tasks; first of which, immediately eating a Bounty bar. After a festive discussion with Morley's friend Jonathan, who grew up in Toronto, about things from our childhoods that nobody else understands -- good good whole wheat Shreddies, how do they get the caramel in the Caramilk bar?, when you eat your Smarties, do you eat the red ones last? -- it's nice to be back in the land of my birth. I can buy maple syrup candy and raw milk cheese and Red River cereal without even thinking. Want some all-dressed chips? I sure do! Cause they're the best chips ever! Want me to taunt you with Canadian Coke, O you people with corn syrup allergies? It's made with sugar here!
I was immensely pleased to see the huge box of long sleeved shirts, long pants, and sweaters I left with my mom. I greeted them like old friends. It is cold and slushy out. So I have library books. And lots of job interviews. I had one today with a store called Jacob Outlet, where a girl about six years younger than me asked me about experiences I had had where I had to delegate responsibility to someone with sensitive feelings and how I accomplished that. Talk about corporate doublespeak. Tomorrow I have an interview with a movie theatre; Thursday, an interview with a Jacob Connexions in a mall. I want a low-brain, moderately mid-paying job that I can do mindlessly for some number of hours and make some money, while listening to mall Christmas muzak and ignoring frantic customers. I want to serve foamy lattes or fold t-shirts and let someone else be in charge for a while.
Of course, as soon as I have a plan, the devil throws a monkey wrench in my works; two hooligans are gathering in New York City starting December 2, and I haven't seen Kazuki's new baby yet. And Kazuki still has my hula hoops. I vow that if I don't have a job by December 2, I'm going to New York, money be damned. Because really...isn't the whole point of self-employment being that you can go to New York on a whim if you want to?