Here, there, everywhere
After our trip to France, we were asked if we had wanted to stay there. To the surprise of most, I answered no.
We did enjoy our visit, but it was… a visit. I didn’t feel at home the way I felt with my in-laws in Brazil… But then, in France we were visiting my extended family, not my parents.
Don’t get me wrong, my dad’s family has been welcoming and generous. But how can I explain that France and the French ways have become foreign to me? It irritates me to hear constant complaining. It irritates me to smell cigarette smoke everywhere (there is no law against smoking in the face of your neighbor as long as you are outside… on a café terrasse, at the public pool, at a park, etc). AND it irritates my husband the lack of air conditioning in public places; airports, shops, museums (I don’t really mind that; in North-America they tend to overdo it and I freeze to death each time I go grocery shopping).
So after three weeks of vacation, we were glad to come back to our home in Canada.
One of the good things about traveling is that it allows you to look at your life from a different perspective. We realized while in France that our life in Canada is not as bad as we think! Of course it does not make the winter any shorter or the weather any sunnier (we’ve had a pretty cold and rainy summer since we are back – 17 degrees Celcius!), but at least we are not as frustrated with the way things are done.
Let me correct that.
We might be as frustrated as ever with the way things are done in Canada, but we realize that there are inconvienients everywhere. We might call France and Canada “developed” countries of the “first world”, but the middle class in a “third world” country like Brazil has a better quality of life!
- Food: much cheaper in Brazil… At least a third of my salary disappears in grocery shopping here. Plus veggies and fruits are fresher and tastier over there.
- Medical care: Way too expensive in Canada! Unless your pay for medical insurance (which is a rip off, in my opinion), the social insurance does not cover for eye care or the dentist, which are both extremely expensive. On the other end, we’ve had very good and affordable service in Brazil last year. (My theory is that because of the huge disparity between the poor and the rich in Brazil, they have no choice but to make those prices affordable for the majority, whereas in Canada they just abuse as much as they can!).
- Weather: the winter is too freaking long in Canada! It might be a bit better in France, specially in the south, but it’s much sunnier in Brazil.
- People: Canadians don’t complain enough… Actually, I still don’t know what they think about anything. “Neutrality” can be quite frustrating at times. On the other end, the French complain too much, all the time, about everything. Brazilians don’t worry about anything. Life is good!
I wonder if it has to do with the influence of the climate on the people.
So. Where will we live?
We still don’t know. Actually, this does not depend on us. It depends on where D will be called to serve the Lord and His church. I hope and pray that somewhere along the line we might end up in southern Brazil, but realistically that won’t be before another couple of years serving the Church in Canada, plus maybe a year in Portugal. The Lord knows best, He knows our hearts better than we know ourselves. Hopefully, when time comes, the people who are in a position of authority within the Church will have a good idea of how and where we can serve best.