It was minimalistic living at its best, and we enjoyed it.
From day one we noticed the differences between Montreal, the Quebec Province and British Columbia. In Montreal we had to deal with rude people all the time. My daughter would hold the door to the metro station open for people to walk through and not a one would thank her. She and I could walk down a city sidewalk that could handle four people walking abreast and she and I would have to be the ones to make room, to step aside. I did a test one time, not moving aside when three people walking abreast came towards my daughter and me. We always walked side-by-side, hand-in-hand so I could protect her or pull her out of harm’s way, I didn’t like having her in front of me where I couldn’t hold on to her or behind me where I couldn’t see her. When the three approached I decided to not give way, I watched and prepared, and as I thought, our bodies slammed hard again each other, shoulder to shoulder, and the person cursed ME.
In British Columbia, where we decided to live, people are not rude, they help each other even when they don’t know you, and they are kind and gracious, everyone saying thank you when my daughter holds doors open for them. That alone was worth the move here.
And my daughter started loving school again. Her first teacher here was wonderful. I asked her to make sure my daughter’s English reading and writing skills were at the level she needed to be in order to progress to the next grade level and if they weren’t I wanted her to progress anyway while I hired a tutor for her over the summer vacation.
When the school year ended I spoke with the teacher and she reassured me that her reading and writing skills were excellent. She said I had done a good job in teaching my daughter and it hadn’t taken much to get her to the level she needed to be at, so I didn’t need to hire a tutor over the summer for her. And by the way, getting her enrolled in the school had been a breeze, all done over the internet or through email before I left Montreal, so when we arrived all I had to do was show up with her at the school.
Everything I had to do in British Columbia to get everything switched over to permanently living there had been a breeze. No hiccups, No red tape, No difficult language problems, No difficulties what so ever. I found a car the first week, although it wasn’t the best car it served our needs for the next two years when I was able to trade it in on one that worked better for us.
We had been able to find a basement suite to rent prior to leaving Montreal. We rented it sight unseen. The landlord provided pictures and we spoke several times over the phone sharing information about both of us and found we felt quite comfortable with each other and I have never had any reason to regret that decision.
My chiropractor had warned me that having been under so much stress for as long as I had been, to not be surprised if I had some backlash once the stress dissipated. Overall, I really didn’t see any problems. My digestive system settled down and leaving the house didn’t contain all the anxiety I had when I was in Montreal.
Speaking of anxiety, one day in Montreal when I was on the metro to work, it had become quite crowded, bodies pressed against bodies. I had never experienced claustrophobia, but that day I got my first taste of what it must feel like and I’m sure mine was mild compared to others who suffer it always. Luckily I was sitting down, if I hadn’t been I’m sure my legs would have given out or I might have passed out. I couldn’t breathe, and when the commuter train suddenly lurched to a stop after starting to leave the station after becoming so crammed tight with people and the doors remained closed, I felt panic start to rise up within me. I used breathing exercises to try and remain calm but in my mind’s eye all I could do was picture those doors finally popping open so I could push my way past all the people and get out. I felt like I was going to throw up. Luckily I never did and we started to move again.
At the next stop enough people got off to relieve the tight feeling in my chest and I could breathe easier. At that point I made the decision to keep working from home no matter what dictates came down from management. My chiropractor supplied a list of requirements for my desk and when the company didn’t provide them, I told my manager I would work from home until they did and he was fine with that.
In British Columbia the company office was too far away and I could work from home without fear of being told I had to go into the office.
The relationship between the pretender and his wife blew up but not quite the way I expected. She called me once, asked if he had ever physically hit me and I said no. I suggested she kick him out now, which she didn’t do. He ended up abusing her again when she was pregnant, and she still didn’t kick him out. Then finally about a week after we moved, it all blew apart and he walked out on her, which I found interesting. She called me to let me know in case he called me asking for money or whatever.