“How are you doing!?” they all asked…

I’m going to see a corpse flower today. So called because it smells like

“a mix of rotting fish, sweaty socks and hot garbage”

source

It’s an endangered tropical flower that might take a decade between flowering events in the wild, but happens every 2-3 years in cultivation. 

People have been asking me about the move and how Canada is, and this is kind of my answer for them. For someone who has both moved and traveled a lot, I’m kind of a homebody. I don’t know what to say when people ask. I think the things I’ve done (if I’ve done anything) are either…

  1. Boring
  2. You had to be there
  3. Not well told by myself

Or perhaps they’re just looking for the simple answer “amazing, wonderful, incredible” — which is also not something I really do.

I would say that moving was a lot harder than I expected because of the bureaucratic hurdles of an international move. Not knowing how things work and not knowing if things just take longer in general, or if they are taking longer because of COVID or both. When all of our stuff started arriving, my excitement for having actually things turned into some mild disappointment that my life hadn’t all magically changed, and here was all the baggage of my old life, literally. 

On the other hand, mostly so I don’t sound so miserable, some of the things we’ve enjoyed so far:

  • We have some outdoor space at our apartment. We’ve been eating dinner in camp chairs on our narrow front porch. Scott grilled chicken on our back porch.
  • Our apartment is situated in a more quiet neighborhood. In LA, we happened to be by a pretty busy road so it would be really loud if we opened the windows. We had a neighbor that would BLAST jam band music multiple times a week from 11PM-4AM (not exaggerating). Here, we’ve had a neighbor play loud meditative flute music in the evenings and it’s been a comically pleasant contrast. Since the houses are pretty close, older, and most of us are keeping our windows open we can hear our neighbors pretty well. Our downstairs neighbor gave us a welcome plant!
  • It’s so green and lush here. We walked through a forest a 15 minute drive from our apartment and there are even closer parks with giant pine trees to walk through. The cooler weather and more shade make me feel like it’s more possible to do outdoor activities. In LA, there was so little shade it kind of felt like you were in an oven whenever you were in direct sunlight (there was a great podcast about the lack of shade issue in LA). We can even see the mountains peeking out over our neighbor’s house.
  • Public transit. I can get around if I want to! Plus the vaccination rates here are much higher so it feels safer to as well
  • I’ve been finding the names and the really terrible design/branding of Canadian stores/products funny. I feel like you have to be me to appreciate this. 
Panorama of the woods -- tall pine trees with a trail going through it
Picture of our hike through the woods this weekend

But anyway, all this to say that I haven’t done terribly a lot. And when I kept seeing posts about this rare stinky flower having finally bloomed, I forced myself to book a ticket at the conservatory to see it. This is the kind of adventure traveler I am — not at all one.


Oh, and I only read 1 book in the last month!

Dog Songs by Mary Oliver book cover

July:

Dog Songs by Mary Oliver

This was a book of poetry I attempted because I know I’ve liked poems by Mary Oliver. This tells you how little research I did in picking the book: I didn’t realize that the poems would actually be about her dogs. I have to say that I wasn’t paying complete attention because I was running around packing at the time.

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