The differences between West and East from Six months in the West
My wife and I are returning to Barrie from the Wasaga Beach by a bus speeding on a broad highway when we discuss what makes Canada a pleasurable place to live in. We have been here for six months and we don’t want to leave already. We don’t want to go back to Nepal, at least.
Last week at work I was discussing countries with a local guy. I told him I was from Nepal where there are million temples. He expressed fascination and said it must be wonderful there and ranted how everything was commercial and monotonous in Canada. ‘Yeah, it is wonderful there…if you are on a visit visa,’ I think.
My wife and I try to find what makes Canada a pleasurable place to live in. ‘Infrastructure,’ I say. ‘Look how big the roads are. Who wouldn’t want to buy a car here? Recall our driving struggles in Nepal. And recall how often we got frustrated back home because the water would run out in the middle of the shower or the electricity would go off in the middle of the game.’ She thinks for a while and says, ‘There are good facilities for a lot of things.’
While I collected parts from the machine, inspected them and slid them over to the packer to my right, I remembered funny information to share with the local guy inspecting parts on the other side. ‘You know, police can just come and hit you there…but…if you happen to know someone powerful, that cop is doomed,’ I said during our break. He laughed with an oh, really? and shared a legal situation where police could use physical force in Canada. ‘In Canada, everything seems (tries) to be run by law while everything is political there,’ we agreed, took Coca Cola from the vending machine and went to our tables to eat.
‘Safety,’ my wife says. ‘As a woman, I feel safe here. In Nepal it wasn’t the case. I felt threatened and vulnerable all the time.’ I remember the incident on the bus from the day before where a young girl stepped inside and walked straight to the back and sat on one of the empty seats where there were two men in the back seat talking. I share that with my wife and tell her there was no way a girl could do that in Nepal. She agrees. ‘And there are more opportunities here…I feel I can make a lot of money here, solve any money problem and do anything…become a writer, a businessman…go to an AC DC concert…dream anything,’ I say. ‘Facilities,’ she says. ‘So it’s facilities and safety,’ I say. She nods.
I and a guy from India have tried to answer ‘Why are we here?’ but I will share that story some other day.