I took Tanya shopping today to replace the things that were thrown out on her at the airport. It was definitely an experience - given that she speaks just enough English and I speak no Russian. The first thing she said to me was "Bronwyn. You must speak slowly and simply." Here's some news for you all.
I can't. I cannot speak slowly or simply. I have no idea how. So, poor Tanya understood very little of what I was trying to say. Most of what we communicated was by pantomime and acting out. (You should have seen me explain "old lady slippers") The only time she really understood me was when I said "I suck." That made her laugh.
I found it really interesting, and not just a little disconcerting, to look at Canada through Tanya's eyes. I took her to Wal-Mart. Her eyes nearly bugged out of her head. We wandered around as she took in everything and I couldn't help but think that we have too much.
We looked for mascara. There were 17 different types. We looked for underwear. There were dozens of brands, sizes and colours. We looked at hair spray and gel. There are shelves and shelves of it all. And I was embarrassed. I was embarrassed by our need for so many options. The shelves seemed to grow before me and I realized how overwhelming it all would be for someone who was new to it all.
When we went to the grocery store, she commented on how big all our produce is. How large the apples are and how long the cucumbers. And I thought about how much we waste each week. And it made me a little sad.
Not that I would be willing to give up my right to pick from 31 flavours, but it made me think.