Stories


Homesick: What I Miss Most about Canada
Nadja Sayej
2011-06-01

Toronto_in_winter_250px.JPGIt’s true – I’ve had some tough times in Germany, like missing my friends and family. When I left Canada in September 2010, I was eager to get out of my home country and discover Europe, but also to uncover what it means to be Canadian. Seems to be every conversation I get in over here in the Old World, I am constantly asked, “Where are you from?” or better yet, “Are you American?”

These are the top five things I miss the most while living in Germany, and to relish in once I get back home:


Shoppers Drug Mart

I have never missed the most banal shopping experience of my life – and never realized how dependent I became on their toothpaste, Apricot face wash and toilet paper. I could even check out new products by looking on the back of them and reading their safety precautions in English. I miss the shopping opportunities in Canada, for sure. Especially the cosmetics.

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The Globe & Mail

Any English newspapers in general. But the Globe and Mail hits a soft spot in my heart. I said once that the Globe feels like family to me, and I’ll say it again. I love the Globe and took for granted that I could pick one up anywhere in my city – never mind my country – to read the latest news in Canada and abroad. Here is one copy placed at the foot of my hotel door during my stay in Ottawa. I read it from beginning to end (even the business section, a rare thing indeed).

 

The French

I was in a bar called Cake in Kreuzberg and met the German DJ, spinning French pop. He asked where I was from and I said Canada. “Ah, Canada,” he said. “The French way of America.” Here is a picture of Stefan St-Laurent, an Ottawa-based curator who brought me to Saw Gallery to do a talk about ArtStars* and self promotion for artists in March 2010. It was a brief but satisfying trip back home.

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Below and right: Nadja at Saw Gallery 2010

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My friends & family

Truth be told, nobody can replace Toronto friends. Here is a picture of me and one of my best friends from high school, Derrick Valenzuela. Too good to be true, and good enough to eat (or lick).

 

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NADJA SAYEJ, host of ArtStars*, writes about art for artUS, Border Crossings, C magazine, Canadian Art, the Globe and Mail, the New York Times and was splashed the cover of Eye Weekly as “the next Jeanne Beker.” She was called “Center Stage in Toronto in an Art in America cover story. She is a columnist for enRoute and is busting her ass in Berlin, Germany, and surrounding countries. Follow the adventurous fun on Twitter or her ever-popular Facebook fanpage or even on LinkedIn, as well.  artstarstv.com_250px.jpg

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My experience in Germany has been invaluable. In addition to learning German and taking part in another culture, I have learned so much about myself. I am confident that I can thrive away from the comforts of home and that I am dynamic and flexible. This is exactly what today’s employers are looking for – giving me a competitive advantage in the working world.
Kate from British Columbia – working for an international not-for-profit organisation.