Summer Abroad in Winnipeg: First Week

Shaw Park Winnipeg

Summer Abroad in Winnipeg: First Week

It’s been over a week since I moved for the summer to Winnipeg, Manitoba. Eight days to be exact.

Before I dive into my first week in Winnipeg, I wanted to point some things out. Moving away to a new city is very very scary and different. This is especially true if you’re moving there where you know very few people and it’s your first time moving out. Although I’m here for the summer, I feel this experience is going to change my perspectives. I could go on and on about the differences of life at home and life away. I think I’ll leave that for another post.

This post covers the dates of May 9 to Sunday May 14. Disclaimer: This is a long post.

Tuesday, Day 1: Taking the Plane to Winnipeg

My flight leaves at 14:20 on West Jet flight 511 at Dorval Airport. Boarding is at 13:40. The flight will arrive at 16:20, central time, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  I get there for approximately 13:15. I go to the checked bag area. An attendant greets me. We explain to her that this is my first time flying. She is very nice to me and helps me out through the whole process with checking my bag.

I arrive just outside the security gate. I hug my mom and her partner and tell them: “See you soon!” I scan my ticket with the security agent and am waived through. I am a little disoriented, unsure with which gate I am supposed to go to and look towards the direction of my mother for advice. They point to the gate. I go through and am met with a new problem: The CBSA (Canadian Border Services Agency)!

No, no, I was not arrested or detained. My experience is the following: As I arrive at the CBSA terminal. I am behind an elderly Mandarin-speaking couple. I am patiently waiting to be called to have my belongings checked by the x-ray scanner. As I am watching, the CBSA agent is yelling at the elderly couple to show their ticket. They do not understand what “ticket” means, as they seemingly do not speak English. The CBSA agent is getting upset. Something must be done before he does something. I look behind and see other travelers. They are speaking Mandarin. I go up to them and point at my ticket and make gestures to tell them to tell the elderly couple to take their out. The CBSA agent’s frustration is relieved for the moment.

I am next. A feeling settles inside me: uncertainty. I am  unsure of what to take out and put in the bins. I decide my personal item has to go out, the things in my pockets (wallet, phone,etc), my carry-on item, and finally my laptop. I tell him it’s my first time flying and am unsure what to do. He gives me a stare and does not say anything. I tell him I have a 2DS and ask him if I should take it out (considering that it is an electronic item). He looks, puzzled, and asks me what it is. I tell him that it is an electronic, and a handheld device. He says nothing and waives me through.

I am then subjected to a body scan (random selection of course!). Obviously, I pass with flying colours. I collect my belongings and go to the waiting area.

The waiting is a bit long, as boarding is delayed. I get to my seat safely.

Flying is awesome. I understand why some people find it scary. As soon as you lift off, it feels like you’re going on the ultimate roller-coaster ride. It’s like the Goliath at La Ronde, but scarier. On the flight, I continue reading a book called The war that ended peace : the road to 1914 by Margaret MacMillan. I am not finished it. I am given a bag of pretzels and a coke. At 4:20 CT, I land in Winnipeg.

I get a ride from my roommate, Lee. We talk about ourselves and get to know each other a bit better. We arrive to my new place. Soon enough, I get settled in and fall asleep.


Wednesday, Day 2: Tough Time Getting to Work

I forgot to mention Lee bought me a bike. I mean it. He bought me a bike. It was a really nice gesture and can’t thank him enough.

My work, as mentioned here, is Archival Assistant for the Centre du Patrimoine in the eastern part of Winnipeg in Saint-Boniface. My summer job is creating an archive for the Festival du Voyageur.

Getting to work is very flexible. They allow us to come in between 8:30 am and 9:00 am. I leave at approximately 7:30 am and use my bike. This is a big mistake, I think.

As I now live in an unfamiliar and unexplored city, I ride my bike anyways. I take over an hour to work, barely on time.

My bosses are very nice, friendly, and helpful. My co-workers, some my age and some slightly older, are friendly. I get a tour of my workplace and get an on-the job-training.

Lunch whenever you want. I take mine at 2 o’clock. I have an interesting conversation with a co-worker. We talk about the different aspects of Manitoba, especially the geo-political aspect.

I go home and fall dead asleep on my bed. That concludes Day 2.

Days 3-4, Thursday and Friday: Settling In

I took the bus these two days. Otherwise, not much happened other than going to work, eating, then finally sleeping at the end of a long day.

Day 5, Saturday: Exploring

As I have time to make up (Monday and Tuesday), I am working Saturdays. The centre is open from 9-12. After work, I go to the Garage Cafe, a restaurant in Saint-Boniface. It has a low-key feel. I have a chicken burger and fries. I was full after that!

I go on a photo hunt afterwards. Here are some photos:

Day 6, Sunday: Relaxing

This is my first day off, finally! I relax, sleep in, and meet a friend, Rita! We go hang out near an Ikea, where people like to bring their cars to show off on a Sunday. The cars are beautiful. There are nice cars from all different brands: Audi, Mustang, Hyundai, Honda, Ferrari, Porsche, and even Kia!

I have a photo. It’s a funny looking car!

That’s all for now. Until next time!


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