Department of Holidays

It’s that time of year again. The snow has gone (knock on wood!!!) and summer is arriving (ish). That means that the roads are, well, painfully awful. In lots of places anyway.

I was in Saskatchewan yesterday (obviously, just to get my hair done by my amazing friend who is a hair dresser – why else would I go to “The Gap”? Kidding!), going through Virden, then Melita (where the creepy banana man lives, who me and my friends affectionately call “Lester the Molester”) then onward to Carivale. The roads. Oh the roads. Especially near Melita, which is a notorious spot for flooding. There were “surface breaks” everywhere…thank you orange signs for telling us to go 40km/hr when the term “surface breaks” is so ambiguous anyway, as my friend pointed out.

My friend’s dad actually used to work for Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation and she said that he liked to call that department the “Department of Holidays”. How incredibly true! Anyone who has spent even a little time in Manitoba knows how awful some of these roads are. I’ve spent the majority of my time in the South Westman area and the highways are certainly not impressive. The roads in Brandon are always needing improvements. Pot holes, pot holes, pot holes. I think Manitoba must be the pot hole capital of Canada. I whole heartedly agree about the joke of the “Department of Holidays”.

I understand Manitoba isn’t made of riches. There isn’t tons of money. But I think we can all agree that if more money was spent on Manitoba’s infrastructure, it would make all of our lives easier and more enjoyable. I’m certainly not trying to get political. It’s difficult trying to balance out what is needed for the province, but the infrastructure doesn’t only help us who live here – it gives an impression to those who don’t live here, but are driving across the province to their respective destinations. Don’t we want to make a good impression? Just a thought!

Recently, CAA told a poll to see what the worst roads in Manitoba were (totally coincidental with this post!), and apparently St. James Street in Winnipeg got the most votes, along with several other Winnipeg streets. Understandably, most votes came out of Winnipeg, and there are many bad roads in Winnipeg, but I can tell you, highways in the Westman area are crumbling and main roads in Brandon aren’t any better. When I went back to Ontario in February, I could really tell the difference between the roads there and here.

I hope that the CAA poll will make the government pay a little more attention to what the road conditions are like all across the province.

Home

While life is getting more settled here in Brandon (even with a million things up in the air), I’m becoming more comfortable being here and not always telling people that “Oh, well, I live in Brandon, but I’m from Ontario – just moved here”, or something along those lines. A lot of people I’ve worked with or met DO know that I moved here from Ontario, but I sometimes mention my education, or mention some logistical things while filling out forms that may be different, etc.

Truthfully, I am becoming more comfortable with the idea that Manitoba is my home now. Of course, I’m always thinking about my next adventure and where it may take me (meaning, I HAVE already thought about where I’m moving next, preferably overseas). But while thinking about that, I thought, “Wait, I’m finally calling Manitoba my home. I haven’t even lived here for a year…but there’s a wanderlust spirit in me that wants to go and explore and work and live in other places…”. It’s a confusing time, for sure! I will certainly be staying here for awhile, I just never know how long. But the point of this is that it makes me stop and think, because I don’t know if I want to leave “home”.

So, the novelty is finally wearing off. It’s becoming normal and good being here. That’s probably why there is a lack of blog posts, to be honest! Manitoba will always have it’s quirks, and I intend on posting about more…but I don’t feel as alien here anymore. I’ll always be “from Ontario” in some sense, but now I’ll be “from Manitoba” as well. I can’t wait to confuse people with my life when they ask me where I’m from! It was hard enough having two hometowns in Ontario…