by Nigel Johnson from Toronto, ON
When I came to Canada, my older brother told me that Canadians were turned off by English people who kept going on about how good it is in England.
"You're in Canada now," he said, “just get used to the Canadian way of life."
My first job in Canada was at Bell Telephone . I was involved in a new twelve-hour shift experiment. There was nothing wrong with the shifts themselves, but the way Bell organized it I was on nights one week and days the next.
So when I arrive at Fran’s Restaurant that morning in 1973 for breakfast I was pretty bleary-eyed and not quite with it. I had just come off a 12-hour swing shift.
There was a sweet little old lady named Rose who worked there as a
waitress. She gave me a menu, and I saw "oatmeal porridge". I was
concerned that this didn't sound much like English porridge, but I
remembered what my brother told me and decided to eat whatever was served and I made myself promise not to compare it to English porridge.
Service was extremely slow that day, and it seemed like an eternity before Rose shuffled over to my table with the bowl, unceremoniously putting it down in front of me with a small jug of milk. Hungry, I looked down at it, thinking that it looked more like molasses than porridge, but then I heard that little voice inside telling me I was now in Canada and I should do things the way Canadians do.
I ate the contents of the bowl. It seemed a bit sweet to me, and it was
cold, but as I was about to complain , I heard that little voice again.
As I was sitting back thinking that this life in Canada was going to take a bit of getting used to, Rose came over with a steaming hot bowl. She put it down, looking confused, and said:
"Oh, What did you do with the brown sugar?"