Sunday, August 09, 2015

Swimming against the current, or it's all relative?

As we were heading home after running some errands on the South Shore, I came to a realization, well, sort of: Hubby often said we were like salmons going up stream when we moved from the suburbs to downtown Montréal.  I didn't think much of it at the times, other then it might have been related to the fact that we don't have kids, unlike our friends, who wanted/needed more land, bigger house, etc. 

When we decided to go on our Norwegian adventure some people in our entourage mentioned they wouldn't do something like that; just leave everything behind and go away for a few months to live in a different country.

I, again, assumed it was related to the kid factor.  You know, having to deal with their schooling, etc.  During a  lunch with a friend, she mentioned how much of a pain it was for her to have to come to town.  She lives in a borough of Montréal, within fifteen minutes from downtown. 

I used to meet once every other month with a girlfriend, we would alternate once I would drive to her area and the following time she would come to town but when we moved downtown it went to once per season.  She didn't like coming to town.  She lives in the same suburb we used to, which is about thirty minutes away.  - By the way, please note that, of course, all the times I'm giving are traffic free, and since that is rarely happening, I have no clue how long it really takes to get anywhere.  Seriously.

Saturday morning, we wanted to have Dim Sum, since we had not yet gotten our fix.  The day we tried, walking to Chinatown, I sprained my foot (which is doing better and I was actually able to go walk around in a running shoe!).  We decided to go to Chinatown no. 2, i.e. Brossard.  We got in our car and drove to the South Shore.  It is about twenty minutes away.  We had our delicious fix of Chinese food, much needed after more than three months without any and then we proceeded to run some errands.  I had to get some supplies, so we shopped on Taschereau Blvd., then went for groceries on Nuns' Island and made our way back home.

As we were crossing the bridge back, that is when I thought "Hmm, I guess it's true were swimming against the current." Not only we don't stay in our hood for our everyday errands, but we go "far"! We both still drive to the West Island for our hair cuts, as well as for other things. I prefer to drive to Fairview for shopping than going downtown, not only because there is parking but mostly because they don't only cater to young skinny things. I've been known to drive to Laval, for a store in particular, because I like their clothes which are not only age appropriate but actually fit me.  Many people we know will only shop in their area, they go out in their neighborhood, they might work outside of their hood, but for the rest they stay in their area.  We are just the opposite.  We often say we're "grocery sluts" - we get our groceries wherever is near us at the time.  Since we've moved downtown, we've been to so many different grocery stores, in neighborhood we just drive through or happen to think of something we'll need and will go in the first store we see.  We are no longer loyal to a specific store; we do have our preferred places for different things, but we are not always going to the same place. 

I wonder why it is that we, as people, need to have this routine like behavior, this need to go at the same place, close by and not venture further?  Does it go back to the days when we had to fend for our food and would try to remain close to our caves, to be in a safe area?  I can't help and wonder what makes us want this?  One of the thing I absolutely loved from our Norwegian Experience, was the fact that I didn't know anyone, nor anything about where we ended up, and had to discover things. I liked that we tried Rema 1000,  and Coop and Eurospar each offering different things.  Some were near where we lived and yet we would go further to try some other store, to see what they also offered. 

I will admit, for my hairdresser I am loyal and somewhat scared to try someone new; especially for a cut.  We changed dentists (both of us) last week to give a try to a clinic walking distance from home.  I had the same guy since 1984, but his office looks run down now and in serious need of a revamp so I decided to change.  Hubby's dentist retired while we were in Norway, so he didn't have a choice.  I went for my exam and cleaning and what a difference - not only the decor, but the service, the high tech equipment... and the price!

Why is it we, well, most of us, need to have this security sense, this comfort I guess for things we know, near us?  Why is that some need to venture out while others are scared to do so or are simply not interested?  Doesn't it get boring, being so repetitive?  Do I feel like a salmon when I come home after running errands in an area outside my comfort zone?  I don't know, but I do know I'm not finding it hard to swim against the current in that case... 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's a survival instinct to seek the familiar, to gain the upper hand on predators... Salmon swimming upstream sometimes jump in to the mouthes of waiting bears.

I'm just saying, it's better to be the bear than the salmon. It's why I don't wax my back... ever seen a hairy salmon? Didn't think so.

Speaking in metaphors, ever hear that "a rolling stone gathers no moss"? In more recent times, the interpretation has been that it's better not to get anchored down, or you'll get old, but the original intention was to say that you'll never earn any wealth (green or moss) if you're always moving around.

Times change.