Month: April 2016

Apartment for rent

I’m impressed by the size of the houses in and around downtown Ottawa, but I’m also impressed by how often I see the APARTMENT FOR RENT sign. Are there no large families in Ottawa or is it impossible to pay for such a house with just two incomes?

But, when noticing that a lot of apartment buildings have plenty of the signs as well, I start to wonder why there’s so many apartments available? Is Ottawa brain/age/migrant drained? Is Ottawa a temporary spot for a lot of people? Did I miss a memo about having to leave after x amount of months?

Maybe it’s just the students coming and going. Maybe I’m on to something horrible happening. Do Ottawaian houses need human sacrifices?

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Dutch in Ottawa

I may be here on a kiwi Work Holiday Permit (thanks, Commonwealth), I’m Dutch as well. With the number of comments I get about my accent, I wonder how large the group of Dutchies here is.

Of course, to keep myself entertained I tweak my story from time to time. My dad’s Dutch, my mom’s Dutch, I studied in South Africa (these are all facts). But all these people guess correctly because of a Dutch friend, a Dutch colleague, a career in The Netherlands, a Dutch wife. These Dutch people really move everywhere!

The most recent and interesting find was a staff member in a Southern American inspired lunch place (Gooney’s, in case you’re around). He had learned Dutch in Cuba (huh?) but – there goes my theory about the Dutch being everywhere – couldn’t find anyone in the city to practice his Dutch on! Different circles? Does Little Italy has more pull on the Dutch-knowing than Downtown?

I continue confused and amused. And with that accent (“It doesn’t sound very Dutch”, a customer assured me).

 

Daily life

And just like that you start to form habits. Bread at that bakery, groceries at this or that place, cycling to work without a thought at every corner, every traffic light.

That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t all feel just like my personalised edition of The Truman Show, but it gives me proof that I’m a part of something, that I’m leaving my very little trails somewhere. Receiving money, spending money, greeting neighbours, helping out colleagues. I’m here, even if I still have trouble believing.

Up next is actively meeting new people. Maybe in workshops, gyms, any kind of gatherings. Either way, something I can challenge myself with again, something I can get to know the human side of the city with. Because alone in the attic isn’t what I want the subtitle to be of this chapter.

Tourist in your own city

Is Ottawa my own yet? Well, I’m more known in it than my visiting boyfriend. I joked that I couldn’t show him anything else than my library and grocery stores, but with a dab of tourism I’m again assured that this is a nice city to move around in. The daily life part, the touristy part.

We’re just going to need better weather next time; on the first day we were almost rained away, on the others the poor man was freezing.