A Portrait of the Unemployed

This is what it’s like being unemployed in Brandon, Manitoba (from my perspective…and some other observations):

– no waiting in long line ups at the MTS store in Shopper’s Mall
– being able to get an amazing parking spot right in front of the doors at both the mall and Canadian Tire
– aimlessly wondering around Shopper’s Mall, picking up a Safeway cart, pushing it from mid-point of the mall down to the food court and just randomly leaving it there (yeah, that wasn’t me)
– depressingly sitting in the mall’s food court – staring off into space
– having time to start a blog about your new life in Manitoba
– having time to start thinking about new self-employment ventures
– getting excited about your cat catching the flies in your apartment, and cheering her on as she goes for them, and eats them
– laying on your bed, staring at the ceiling
– being able to continuously keep the kitchen clean and wanting to take out the garbage

And my favourite…

– watching endless episode’s of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman and realizing the aching parallels of her life and your own…

And that’s about all, for now.

Convenience Stores? I think not.

A weird thing I have noticed about Brandon, MB is the lack of convenience stores. And by convenience stores, I don’t mean any stores that are attached to gas stations! They totally don’t count.

Since my time here, I have been to one. And let me tell you, it was no convenience. It was after midnight, and me and my friends wanted to get some late night munchies. I was like, oh no, where are we going to go? I looked up convenience store’s on my Blackberry, and guess what? Very few came up and closest one was a 20 minute walk. Yes, a 20 minute walk. How in the world is that convenient at all? In my Hamilton days (ohh…how it was less than a month ago), I could easily get to at least 5 convenience stores within very short walking distance (as in, 30 seconds to 4 minutes).

What is up with this city and not having convenience stores? Is it because people don’t believe in convenience here (probably), or that Conservatives would never set up convenience stores (probably), or the fact that immigrants come here and don’t open their own business, but work for Maple Leaf (probably).*

I guess Brandon really just hasn’t gotten on the bandwagon of convenience stores in residential areas. It’s too bad, because convenience stores totally rock. They rock so much that I’m starting to miss the Chinese patriarch of Webb’s Food right next to my building in Hamilton…he would always say hello!

So, here is my proclamation: Brandon needs more convenience stores! Come one, come all! Open a convenience store here and I will give you business. I pinky swear it!

*I apologize for any offense…both to Conservatives and immigrants.

ETA: I have been told that it’s a Western thing to have the convenience stores tied to the gas stations…I accept that, but I’m still not used to it!

The Lay of the Land

Colours and Brands

Ever since I decided I was moving to Manitoba, I have been obsessed with farming machinery and learning about it. I haven’t done so well so far…but I think I kind of know and understand combine’s (for Ontarioans: pronounced calm-bine, emphasize the calm – like, without any L sound).

So anyway, this post is not about combine’s, but I’m just letting you know all know about my extensive farming knowledge which is why I brought them up. This post is actually about general farming machinery and how you can tell the brands apart. Thank you, Sara for giving me this very helpful lesson!

Alright, first, you must know that there are “the big three“. These brands are John Deere, Case IH, and New Holland. You got that? Good. Now, we go into colour definition.

John Deere is obvious. It’s green. And the most expensive out of the three brands…apparently they may (or may not be) the best brand you can buy. However, John Deere is obviously totally snobby and all like “WE ARE THE BEST”.

Next, we have Case IH. They are all red. Case obviously wants you paying attention to them, which is why they chose red. They want to stand out and say, “Hey, we’re totally awesome and rockin'”, but at the same time, make sure they aren’t as snobby as John Deere, which they do well.

Finally, we have New Holland. How appropriate for me. New Holland decided that it wanted to be different, and well, since it’s New Holland, it’s obviously more tolerant to all colours of the rainbow than the other brands. This is why their combine’s are yellow and yet, their tractors are blue! How exciting! Their message is “We’re different, and we love everybody.”

How could I ever choose which brand to use if I were a farmer? Such a tough decision…however, I think I would go with Case IH (I know, shocker!), just because the red feels right. I will remember this in the future if I ever decide to become a farmer.

Mixin’ it up in Manitoba

So, this is the story of a southern (and northern) Ontario girl who moved to the thriving metropolis of a province, called Manitoba. Okay, I’m lying. It’s not metropolis, since its entire population is a smaller number than the amount of people that live in Toronto (like, real Toronto, not the GTA). Yet, Manitoba (specifically Brandon – don’t ask me why) pulled me in and here I am…trying to quickly learn all about farming machinery, the appeal of country music, why Manitoba is so not pet-friendly and why people drive so slow here. Those are just some of the highlights, and more will come along as I continuously encounter new things and new places.