All in all, Brandon is just a fine place to live. It’s not the coolest. It’s not the hippest. It does have some hipsters, which I talked about on the Winnipeg Internet Pundits show on December 5th (check ‘er out here!), and some other cool people and things. However, it can become a pretty predictable place most days. There aren’t that many night life options, there aren’t many small, cosy coffeeshops or different restaurants and your life can somehow so easily become driving up and down Victoria and 18th and popping into Superstore for some groceries. That’s it. Sometimes the mundane life is a nice break (I’m certainly not complaining!), but other times, it just becomes too comfortable. When I get to that point, I start noticing some guilty pleasures creeping in and having more of a forefront in my life. And I’m not going to lie, I kind of like it. There aren’t called guilty pleasures for no reason!
So I’ve decided to come clean. Talk about my (mostly) guilty pleasures from living in Brandon. Here goes.
1. eBrandon.ca discussions
This site may be one of the greatest sites of all times. Before I moved here, the online buy/sell/trade/find apt/find job stuff was all about Kijiji and Craigslist. But not here in Brandon, no. Brandon is so incredibly special that it has it’s very own version of Kijiji, but it’s even better, because hilarious and awkward discussions are had on such site. For a long time, I just wanted to start a separate blog where I would be recording monologues of eBrandon discussions because they were the most weird and hilarious things I’ve ever read. Some people truly do have too much time on their hands and enjoy complaining about anything and everything, while not using proper spelling or grammar of course!
If you’re not from Brandon, I suggest you check out the discussions on eBrandon occasionally. You will not regret it. It may even become a daily highlight if you check it out consistently!
2. The not-good-enough veggie burger at A&W
Yup, I went there. In fact, I totally just had one yesterday. As a vegetarian, I’m always on the hunt for a good veggie burger. Even as veggies, we still have cravings for junky vegetarian food because let’s face it, we all have those days! I used to only get the veggie burger from Harvey’s. Every time I would go to the mall in Hamilton, I would hit up Harvey’s religiously. I loved that veggie burger. It was the best. But now that I’m in Manitoba, I’ve had to change things up a little. Harvey’s barely exists in this province, but A&W is king here. So I’ve adapted because I’ve had to! The burger isn’t nearly as good, yet I think it’s more expensive. And whenever I go to A&W, there are, let’s just say…some interesting characters. But at the end of the day, it’s my veggie burger. But because it’s just not good enough, it’s my guilty pleasure one.
3. The Roadhouse
Admittedly, I haven’t been there in months. And when I moved here, it was all about Houston’s and people had horrible things to say about The Roadhouse. But I have a few personal qualms with Houston’s, although I have had some good times there. So when I was invited out to Roadhouse for the first time, I was kind of weary…but then, I somehow ended up having more fun there than ever! It was definitely a summer hotspot for me and my friends, and certainly some great memories were made there. So whoever tells you that Roadhouse is super shady and you should hit up Houston’s instead, just scoff at them and tell them to shoo!
4. The occasional country song
I think this one is the hardest to admit. I was definitely a country fan when I was very young, but that was partly due tot he fact that it was some of the only secular music I could listen to. Somehow country was better – they mentioned “the Lord” sometimes, but then followed with lyrics about going to the bar right after, so…yeah. Anyway, I digress.
Many of my friends love country here, but I have kept my stance of not liking country at all. I’m strong on this, but…but sometimes a catchy country song starts playing at a wedding. Or a social. And it’s so fun. It’s innocent enough, but then it gets ridiculous. I go home and secretly go on YouTube and listen to that song…at least a few times. And I like it. And any friend that is reading this who loves country is honestly probably rejoicing while reading these words. Others who similarly hate country are probably crying right now. This may be my most shameful guilty pleasure!
The rural Brandonites worse nightmare. Winnipeg. Do you know how many times I have heard about how awful Winnipeg is since moving to Brandon? And about how lovely and nice and wonderful Brandon is? And how Brandon is such a great size and just the best place in the world to live and raise a family? Personally, I have a different taste, but whatever floats your boat. But I am a Brandonite, and I love Winnipeg. I love getting lost in Winnipeg. I love Osborne. I appreciate that there’s a two-tiered mall. I appreciate seeing the diversity. I love the size of the city. I love that there are old record shops, and nice little parks scattered everywhere. I love that there is a vibe there. A buzz. Energy! The city feeds my soul, and since living in Brandon, I have learned that I’m actually more of a city person than I thought. Something good to learn about yourself, right?!
So there you have it, 5 of my guilty pleasures of being a non-original Brandonite. Any guilty pleasures from anyone else who lives in Brandon or anywhere else for that matter? What are the “uncool” things that you just kind of (slightly) love in your own cities/towns?