Long time, no write. Be sure you say those 'o' sounds like this: "oh." I'm in Victoria, Canada - I mean, VicTOEria. When I was dating that cute Canadian boy in high school (the one who stopped writing and calling I don't know why but I'm not bitter about it), he and his friends claimed we in the States take too long to say things with our long 'o' sounds. Which sounded like this when he said it: "Yu take too lohng t' say things with yor lohng 'oh' sohnds." Then he would make fun of our country (via me) by explaining "Like this: mawwwwwm, owwwwwt, sawwwwwry, towwwwwn. Instead of mum, oat, sohrry, tone. It's weird." Why did I date him anyway? He was cute (but not hot; I wasn't into hot - which is to say, they weren't into me, I can be honest now) and I liked his name. It was Shane Royal (isn't that a great name? I practiced my married signature a lot) so if you know him, could you please ask why he stopped writing and calling? But ask in a way that's not desperate or needy sounding; because it's not a big deal - act like that. Because it's not. Really. I'm just curious.
So. Then there's the 'eh' thing. They assert it's better than saying "huh" all the time, which I would agree with, but it's used in a completely different way. They throw 'eh' at the end of sentences and turn everything into a question - "Those are great shoes, eh?" Is this rhetorical, a universally accepted truism (I did just buy new Converse)? Can I simply nod, smile and say thanks, or are we having a conversation now? I'm confused. "It's a beautiful day, eh?" Um, yes. Isn't it? Now talking is hard.
But it is lovely here, and the people are delightful. I've heard only one horn honk since we arrived, and even it sounded more like "Careful, friend!" than the typical US honking that shouts "WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR PROBLEM, MORON?" On our Ghostly Walks tour last night, we passed by the weekly Hemp Party in a park. It struck me as funny on a couple levels - first, it happens every Wednesday; I'm impressed that "hemp" enthusiasts (read: stoners with an environmental awareness) keep such a strict schedule. Secondly, there was no organized outreach - nobody handing out literature about the benefits of, ahem, hemp. Instead there was random raucous whooping to the effect of "Join the hemp party! Smoke more pot! Wooooooo!"
Everywhere I turn, there is something environmentally friendly going on - lots of recycling bins and notes about conserving resources, bicyclists & smart cars zipping around, solar powered trash compactors, everything available in an organic (or hemp) form. All the stuff I get a little eyerolling about at home, even in the granola Pacific Northwest. I won't be moving, of course (binding contract with best friend/neighbor), but I really do like it here. Just try not to make fun of me when I get back and forget how to finish a sentence, eh?