Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Ways to Fail at Combating Homesickness - Starbucks

As most of you know, I am originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and currently live in North Salt Lake, Utah, USA.

Being from Vancouver is really hard if you no longer live there. It's a great thing to be able to say you are from Vancouver, because most folks are familiar and know that it's one of the most beautiful places in the world. It's kind of like being from Hawaii, except colder, more rain, and Canada.

When I was on my mission, people always asked us where we were from. Every one of my companions was from somewhere in Utah - yawn, boring, aren't ALL Mormons from Utah? Then they would turn to me and I would tell them I was from Vancouver, and they would get all excited and ask me all kinds of things like do I speak French (un peu), or do I know anyone from Toronto (not really), or comment on how I must be used to the weather in Michigan considering I'm from Arctic Canada (um, no), or tell me about how they knew someone who took a cruise out of Vancouver (must be nice, I've never been on a cruise). Invariably, they would tell me how beautiful it is there. My companions hated it because no one asked them about Utah. It made me so homesick because then I would be reminded of the perfection that is Vancouver.

There is an ocean. There are mountains. There is bustling metropolis. There is the middle of nowhere. There are trees, and flowers, and wildlife. There is rain, but so what? It rarely goes below freezing nor get above 90 degrees Farenheit. Why, oh why did I ever leave? Love, that's why.

Utah is dry, and hot, and freezing, and brown, and wah wah wah. Sorry for the whining. There is lots of beauty here and I'm totally trying to bloom where I'm planted, but when it's a million degrees outside and you can't go out and play, I really miss my home and native land.

This post is a lot longer than I had intended, sorry.

Basically, what I wanted to tell you is that last night I was at my favourite store, ULTA stocking up on Big Sexy shampoo and Argan oil. The shopping centre also has a Starbucks and my boss sent me a Starbucks gift card for Administrative Professionals Day, and since Starbucks' are so few and far between here in Utah (Mormons don't drink coffee), I took advantage of the proximity, and went in for a smoothie and something else. The minute I walked in, whoosh, Vancouver. It looked like Vancouver, it smelled like Vancouver, it felt like Vancouver.

Anyone who's been to Vancouver knows about the Starbucks at Robson and Thurlow that has a Starbucks across the street. Or that you can't throw a rock without hitting a Starbucks, or Seattle's Best Coffee, or Bread Garden, or some other cute, funky, stylish coffee shop. Sigh.

The drive to the shopping center is on a highway that reminds me of Highway 10 on the way to my Nana's, and so I was already in that frame of mind a little. I got an Orange Mango smoothie which tasted more like a banana smoothie with the essence of mango and no orange whatsoever, but I also got a chocolate chip cookie that was as big as my head with the darkest of bitter (meaning perfection) black chocolate, so it balanced out, I guess.

I wanted that Starbucks to hug me and tell me it was okay and stroke my hair, but what I really wanted to do was drive straight to the airport in my sweaty yoga clothes and no makeup and hop on the next flight to Vancouver. My mum would totally let me sleep on her couch.

Don't worry about me, I'll be okay.

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