At the start of the film L'Auberge Espagnole (The Spanish Apartment) the main character Xavier has just moved from France to Spain on university exchange and he says something that has always struck me "When you first arrive in a new city, nothing makes sense. Everything's unknown, virgin... After you've lived here, walked these streets, you'll know them inside out. You'll know these people. Once you've lived here, crossed this street 10, 20, 1000 times... it'll belong to you because you've lived there. That was about to happen to me, but I didn't know it yet."
I've always loved that quote because it holds true for any new thing. A new job, school, place, hobby. Each new thing is alien to you, but as you become accustomed to it, as you learn it, it becomes a part of you. It becomes part of who you are, your history and being. I feel this way about Calgary at the moment. I know that by the end of my exchange it will be a part of me, but right now it is still alien and unusual. I'm still getting used to the thousand tiny things that make it unique and unlike my home. Some of these things are exciting and some are frustrating.
Six things about Calgary that are new to me:
I love the way there is always snow outside, even when it is seemingly quite warm, like 10℃.
I love it when it's sunny, but it is confusing to see the sun shining in a blue sky and then realise that it's still very very cold outside and that the sun will not warm me.
It's strange that the sun is so low in the sky, it never gets right overhead, even at noon it stays at about a 45 degree angle, casting long shadows of you on the road.
It's irritating that the little green man that tells you it's safe to cross the road is silent. There is no noise telling you to walk so you have to be more watchful. But it's great that it lets you know how many seconds you have remaining to cross the street safely.
The money is stumping me. You get so accustomed to seeing your own country's currency that seeing another's is very confusing. the one dollar coin is the only easy one to recognise, 5 cents are larger than 10 cents and there are no fifties. But this is just a matter of acclimatisation.
I love jumping in the snow when it's really deep. It makes me feel like a little kid again.
I'm not sure what it is that's making me do it, but I've been knitting a lot of blue things lately. I'm currently knitting a pair of socks for Lenny which are blue. I knitted two cardigans that were blue, one for me and one for my sister. I made a shawl/scarf for my best friend that was blue.
Blue blue blue blue blue blue blue.
If you say a word enough times it starts to lose all meaning. Try it.
Blue is one of those colours, like black or grey, that seems to go with everything. Blue is a safe bet. Blue will fit into almost every person's wardrobe with no problem. Blue is not my favourite colour. I love purple, yellow and grey. Especially yellow and grey in combination. I'm so sick of knitting blue things.
After I finish these socks for Lenny, I promise I will not knit another blue thing for at least 6 months. Even if someone begs me to knit something blue, I will refuse outright and ask them to pick a better colour, possibly something that hurts the eyes like fluoro pink or yellow.
I once wrote an essay on the soul sucking effects of beige and I'm close to writing one on the draining properties of blue when knit with for extended periods of time.
No more blue for me.