Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Breath of Fresh Air

I've been in Halifax for just over 1 week, and in that time have decided to stay here, begun looking for a job, scored 3 interviews, acquired a car (a nice 2000 Volvo) and started looking at apartments (mostly on the Dartmouth side). I've also managed to not spend all my money I brought from Russia!

Not bad for one week! The job market in Halifax is actually very, very healthy. There are literally thousands of jobs and, when coupled with the very affordable housing prices, it makes living here seem like a no-brainer. The area is scenically beautiful; different than British Columbia, with it's soaring mountains and placid Pacific coastlines, but beautiful in it's own rugged, unspoiled north-Atlantic way. It's the people here that put Nova Scotia miles above British Columbia.

Friendliness is everywhere. People stop on the street and say "Hello". They make eye contact here and smile. They do it all with a laid-back, confident style. The people are extremely helpful. Just yesterday I was driving the new car with a temporary license in the window (waiting for new plates to be made) and a cop pulled me over. It was my first pull-over in 2 years! Anyways the cop, a young guy, approached the car behind the driver window (and I kept both hands on the wheel so he could see them) and then said "Sorry."!
He continued. "I didn't see your temp [temporary plate]. If I could have your license and registration and insurance, I'll just run a quick check and then you'll be on your way."

After a few minutes on the computer in his car, he came back and handed me a license, and then apologized profusely for pulling me over! I felt bad and said "Hey no problem."

In comparison, people in British Columbia, especially in Victoria, are stuck-up and snotty. Many don't bother leaving their province ("We live in the best place on earth. Why go anywhere else?"). Compared to Russia, Nova Scotia is absolutely refreshing. After all this time it's surprising that I hadn't put more thought into settling here.

Then there is, of course, the wonderful Maritime culture. I'm not talking about the grating, better-than-thou Celtic culture of Cape Breton, but the deep-routed historic culture of New England and the Maritimes.

In one week I've firmly established a beach -head, as it were, here in Halifax, and from here on out it's all easy sailing.


  1. yay! I'm so happy to hear that you're having such a successful first week back home! Is the weather any better than it is here in Moscow?

  2. Thanks Kstarr! It's actually really nice to be back home. The weather is infinitely better: -3 today, but it was +5 a few days ago. I've been told that if, in Halifax, you don't like the weather, wait five minutes.

  3. I think you made a wise decision to locate to Halifax. At first, I wondered why not Toronto, thinking a Moscow girl would need a big city, but this isn't necessarily the case. I'm the Victoria guy who commented earlier, and I commend you for your honesty, and for putting your life online. Victoria is snobby, and we all know it. It's expensive; I'm currently renting a one bedroom apartment for $900/month. A house is half a million, minimum.

    Also, I want to add, and I'm sure you've thought of this - all the pressure is on you, your wife will have none. You'll be expected to lead. Are you confident of your employment prospects with a humanities degree? Again, I'm not trying to be mean, but I must admit I am a little curious. It takes guts doing what you're doing. Women are fickle, they know their rights, and in 2011, if they want to walk, they will walk. There is no stigma or shame in a woman initiating divorce; indeed, it is downright empowering, and she will be supported by all the feminist organizations Canada has to bear. I really don't want to sound cynical, but from one Canadian to another, you know what I'm talking about. Victoria is ground zero for feminist eat pray love divorce.