What’s New In The World of Steve and Carin, The First Installment

So yeah. James said it was weird that there was an actual post from actual me. I’m about to blow his mind with another one…although this thing looks like a beast that could spawn several. Let’s see how far I get before I have to stop and split it. This is becoming a theme in my posts, right along with “I fail at blogging! Look how long it’s been since I’ve written!”

Steve and I are learning stuff. It’s at a slower rate due to Christmas, winter weather, my busy schedule, the near inability to get any lessons, us both getting smacked about with a flu, and other crap life tends to throw at us, but this city is starting to feel more and more like home, and we’re finding more and more regular destinations. We’ve even found a replacement grocery store like the old Market Fresh, something we thought might take a lot longer to do. Before, I said we felt like babies in this new town, now we’re babies who can crawl and motor around on hands and knees. When the snow goes, and the weather’s decent, maybe these babies will stand up and take their first baby steps while holding onto furniture.

Something that’s helped us explore and try to find our way is what we have nicknamed the Groupon Mobility System. We each watch stuff like Groupon and Wagjag, and when we see something cool advertised in Kitchener/Waterloo, we snap it up…then try and find the place. It leads to reasons to try new places, along with a better understanding of just how far some places are, which slowly, slooooowly, builds a mental map of this crazy city. That’s hard to do, considering that King Street West…isn’t actually heading west. And Weber meets it 3 times, but then runs parallel? Buh?

Speaking of places we’ve been thanks to Groupon, allow me to laugh at an earlier version of me. We have been to Marble Slab Creamery, and…om nom nom nom nom. We had said we were going to find it in Guelph, never did, and when we moved here, we saw a Groupon for it. Zoink! And so we went, and oh me oh my. It’s just…nom. If you want a treat, go there. It’s expensive, but oh my my is it good.

While we go on these crazy adventures, man do I appreciate Blindsquare. There are things I wish I could do, like repeat the last thing it said it saw, but it’s awesome to have it read stuff as I go, either confirming that I’m going the right direction, or warning me that hey chief, I might want to turn around. I haven’t found the perfect GPS app yet, but this one’s pretty damn helpful.

I’ve seen some funky venues on Foursquare. Once I got on a bus and Blindsquare said: “On a GRT Bus, 20 metres at 10:00. Um, why in hell would you check in on a moving vehicle? Why?

It’s at this point that I have to make a confession. I, gulp, checked into Foursquare somewhere. It was completely by accident, I swear.

I got Foursquare in the hopes I could add new venues, hopefully more useful than “On a GRT bus.” So once you have a Foursquare account, if you’re close enough to a place, you can shake your phone to check in there. But shaking your phone also gets your location. I forgot that it had just said “Shake your phone to check in.” I wanted my location, I shook my phone. So now I have 5 points on Foursquare. Oh god. But at least it didn’t tweet. And at least it’s a place where I do want to go. I didn’t end up being the mayor of the disability office or a gas station bathroom or some such.

Something else we’ve learned from our explorations of this crazy city. I think we’ve figured out the difference between Kitchener and Waterloo. Right now, everything we’re after is in goddamn Waterloo! I know there’s lots to find in Kitchener, but everything we’ve set out to find is in Waterloo Waterloo Waterloo! At least it’s easy to get to by bus.

So all that stuff about KW not making you mountaineer to cross at intersections? I take it all back. There have been a few snow storms, and yes, vaulting over snow banks is happening here too. Oh well, I guess it’s a fact of snow life.

I have to say tons of people in this town have been uber helpful and friendly. I don’t have to struggle for too long before someone’s offering me a bit of a hand. But every now and then, they’re a little too friendly.

Take, for example, the couple of women who don’t speak the language, so help me the only way they know how…by bodily grabbing me and dragging me! Um, eek! This has made me shriek and fight back a couple of times. I appreciate the help…I’d just like to be able to communicate with the helper.

Then there’s the woman who wanted to tell me to get out of the way of an oncoming stroller. Good, very good. But she didn’t have to grab my head and bellow full volume into my ear. I should have grabbed her head and yelled in her ear in reply, but I was too dumbfounded to do anything but stammer something back at her, shake my head as a dog would, and try to see if I could make the ringing go away.

I’ve met some strange people in my travels. One day, I was on the bus, and I turned on Blindsquare. It was reading. Suddenly, a guy says to me, “So you like poetry, eh?” Whaaa? I said I guess so, and didn’t say anything else. The only thing I can guess was he thought Blindsquare was reading me poetry.

I think I’d better stop here. Once again, this sucker is a beast.

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