Summer Ponderings

It is hot and sunny in Ontario! And as I mentioned in a previous post, this is a rarity in the Great White North (ie, Canadia). As a result I have been doing a lot of sitting in the sun, swimming and BBQing. And not much blogging. In the near future, I do hope to blog about:

1. The authenticity of this blog. Notice how there’s very little “real” conflict..?
2. What foods can/should be BBQed.
3. Responsible shopping in a global and diverse world.
4. The necessity (or lack thereof) of pillows.

I hope that you have a great weekend and enjoy the sunshine! Oh yeah, and Happy “Civic” Holiday! (What ever it is that we’re celebrating)


Say what?

Recently, I have had some odd conversations. Perhaps I hang out with odd people, or perhaps I just find everything funny. I think the amount of traveling, cultures, countries and languages in our everyday life just make for hilarity and confusion.

Varun: Well, I never adjust my eyebrows (Pronounced “bros”, rhymes with “hose”).
Me: Yeah, well. Also, it’s eye”BROWS” (rhymes with “cows”).
Varun: That’s how we pronounce it in India. Bros. And this is an Indian household.
Me: HA! Well, this “Indian household” is in a Canadian country.
Varun: Yup. And nothing is “right” or “wrong” in Canada. It’s just “different”. Bros.
Me: (Exasperated laughter)

(While waiting for a wedding to start we were chatting with the guests in the pew behind us. The wife was born and raised in a small town near to mine, which was a surprise to me as I don’t often meet Pennsylvanians in Canada. Despite our geographically proximal upbringings, she had QUITE the SouthEastern PA accent. And worldview.)
New American Friend: Yeah, so this is my first time in Canada.
Me: Aww cool! Well, I hope you like it!
NAF: (smiles) But seriously. HOW do people live here?
Varun: Um? Pardon?
NAF: How do people LIVE here?
(Wedding processional begins)
Me: HUH? (Avoiding eye contact with Varun so as not to laugh loudly)
(As I turned in my seat I caught Varun’s eye and we both gulped down our laughter. Throughout the ceremony every time I glanced at Varun we had to struggle to maintain our composure. Unfortunately, we never got a chance to find out what exactly it is about Canada that had our new friends so baffled)

(At a pool party)
Friend: So what’s your last name?
Me: Rana. Crazy. I married an Indian and got a shorter last name!
Friend: What was your maiden name?
Me: (I stated my maiden name. It’s longer, and decidedly Irish)
Friend: Oh, so were you Indian growing up?
Me: HAHAHAH!! (Saw friend’s face: serious). HUH? What?

“Prepare to Falls in Love”

In case you think all I do is hang out and go places, I’d like to change your mind. But not today. Today I border-hopped to the USA to meet up with Varun’s cousin, her husband, two daughters and in-laws. My cousin and her husband are super fun and chill, their children are adorable and inspire me to consider procreation. I love lovely people.

Back to today. We sweated. We ate pop and chips. We also did the Niagara Falls Discovery Tour.

I thought I had “done” Niagara Falls. Many times while crossing into Canada we’ve stopped for a photo op (on the Canadian side, of course. Sorry America, better view over there). But I found out today Niagara Falls (USA) has a lot more to offer!

Reminder: today was one of the hottest days on record. So we decided to bundle up in plastic ponchos and stand in the sun for an hour. Luckily, the Maid of the Mist tour gets you plenty wet as the boat creeps right into Horseshoe Falls.

I was hoping to see Jim and Pam from the Office, but that didn’t happen. So I came home and rewatched the glorious Maid of the Mist wedding scene. (Sigh) (Sorry for the lame song during the video)

As we were leaving the boat, I overheard the following:

Kid: Mom, why were the announcements in french?
Mom: Because Canadians come here and they speak french.
Kid: Why? Why do they speak french?
Mom: Because there’s a providence called Montreal and they speak french there. We can go there sometime.

Now. I KNOW geography is not everyone’s strongsuit. And I’ve met Canadians (or at least one) who think silly things about America. But this made me giggle.

Next, we climbed the stairs to get another great view. I thought I would try out my Hindi on my 2.5 year old niece/cousin/?, Saanvi.

Me: Hey, Saanvi, dekho it’s a rainbow. Dekho! (Look!) Rohit Bhayia, how do you say “rainbow” in Hindi?
Rohit Bhayia: Um. Rainbow.
Me: Oh. Uh. Look. It’s a rainbow.
Saanvi: (“Duh” face)

My favorite part was when we got to wear plastic ponchos again and do the Cave of the Winds tour. This consists of walking down to the falls and standing on a wooden staircase. Let me clarify: thousands of gallons of water are pouring over a cliff and we’re standing on a 1970’s wooden staircase amidst the rushing torrent. Um. Danger. Suffice to say, the views were epic and the drenching lake water was refreshing.

Niagara Falls definitely got a few more stars on my Places List. Did you know that in that tiny town there are 6 Indian restaurants? Apparently, I’m a trendsetter: India is in. Also, as much as the large drink sizes and larger pants sizes of Americans scares me, it was fantastic to be back in the land of Miles per Hour and “HUH?” (future post topic: “Huh” is the new “Pardon?”).

*Bonus points for figuring out the title of this post*

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