Arrival: First Thoughts on First Days in The Capital

Ottawa is the best. I've been here for a week now, so I think I can say that with complete certainty and authority on all things Capital.

I have had a great first week in the city. Of course there have been hiccups - my first experience bussing to Carleton, for example, during which I took two wrong buses and got caught in rain without a rain jacket or umbrella - but overall I love it here. In fact, I was thinking yesterday morning as I rode the crowded bus to the O-Train (a la Vancouver's Skytrain) that already I feel like I'm settled in Ottawa.

My first few days were spent unpacking my room, picking up a few things I needed, and traipsing around downtown. I saw the Van Gogh exhibit at the National Gallery on Saturday with my friend Jenn. She brought along some friends from her program at Carleton, both of whom spoke Russian, so naturally I adored them. I showed off my one Russian phrase, Jenn and I shared a cheese plate, and then we saw the Van Gogh exhibit. It was one of my favourite trips to a gallery ever, I think. It was packed and there were people from all ages and walks of life and mother tongues reading the exhibit pamphlet, talking about Van Gogh and enjoying his artwork. It was art to which everyone could relate and it was such a nice, inclusive atmosphere.

Carleton itself is a beautiful campus. It's small-ish and easy to navigate. Everyone I've met so far (which isn't many, comparably) has been helpful and friendly. Yesterday I got stuck in a mob of first-years at orientation and that was super annoying, I'll tell you, but otherwise I had a lovely day on campus. I was overwhelmed when I first went to the school last Friday because it was humid and I had no idea where I was going and I had taken the wrong bus so I was already frazzled when I got there. But orientation Tuesday and Wednesday was informative and welcoming, and my first class this morning went well. I think my cohort is full of interesting people and the professors are friendly and helpful. Mostly I'm just really happy hearing what sorts of things people are researching and writing on, because I finally feel like I've found the discipline that encompasses my style and area of research interests.

I like my living situation, too. Steve (the homeowner) and Steven (the other house mate) are great and the house is comfortable. We have a home theatre with Netflix, anyway, so what the heck else does one need? Nothing, I tell you! Nothing!

Now, there are obviously some things I'm not head-over-heels in love with about Ottawa. Primarily:  the heat. It is still hot and occasionally humid and I am so ready for it to be properly fall now that I hate the weather. The only reason it's so bad is the walking to the bus, waiting at bus stop, crowding onto busses, climbing millions of stairs at bus stops/campus. When the humidity finally ends, all will be well.

So come visit me! I bet you'll like Ottawa as much as I do; if not, I will treat you to a cupcake.

Jillz
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Number of books read in 2012: 15
Current TV series: Jekyll
Current nail colour: OPI's "My Very First Knockwurst" 

Comments

trac54 said…
So glad you're liking it here!
We are adoring Ottawa and are totally settled in!

We should grab coffee soon, Chris too!

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