Tag Archives: expat wife

Three Blind Dates

A few months ago, I wasn’t sure how much effort I should actually put into making friends in Calgary since I knew I was only going to be here for a maximum of 6 months. I figured lonely bike rides around the park and solitary shopping trips were worth saving the heartache of eminent goodbyes. Not to mention it’s not exactly fair to my potential new friends either. But as a fairly social person (ahem.. extrovert) my mindset changed real fast!

So, to-date, I found myself on three blind dates. Yes, three blind dates.

There’s something exciting (and scary) at the thought of meeting up with a complete stranger.  Even when that meeting is simply between 2 women, hoping to spark a friendship or enjoy each other’s company for the morning over a great mug of pumpkin spice latte.

Granted my ‘complete strangers’ were recommended (and vetted) by mutual friends from all over the world. That’s why Facebook was such a great tool for me as an expat in Canada. (I didn’t need to rely on it so much in Qatar.)

Lo and behold, as soon as my friends and even acquaintances found out I would be in Calgary, I suddenly found more than a few opportunities to meet some fabulous women here. From students, professionals and stay at home moms, I really had some great conversations and a few less lonely days here. Some of them, I know, will remain life long friends.

But for those of you who might be new to the scene, allow me to share a few of my mishaps that may come in handy for your own blind dates.

1. A picture is worth a thousand words.. aka.. PROFILE PICTURE

Unless you’d actually like to awkwardly answer the question, “Just one more thing, what do you look like?”, put up that great profile picture, that one where your face is clearly visible. It’s ok if it was taken a couple years ago and more than a few pounds lighter. Save yourself the uncomfortable ordeal of trying to describe yourself to a complete stranger.

2. What’s in a name?

I am horribly awful with names. So it’s no wonder that on my 2nd blind date, as I walk up to the girl I was meeting for dinner in downtown Calgary (I knew it was her due to her cleverly clear profile picture) and asked her if she was ‘so and so’. Obviously puzzled and confused, she claimed she wasn’t, and that I was quite mistaken. “Oh but I insist I know it’s you. I am L and we’re meeting here for dinner!” I exclaim.

Cue prolific apologies from me and uncomfortable segue to dinner.

3. All necessary electronics in order.

I guess there wasn’t too much I could have done to avoid the catastrophic malfunction between my ATT serviced cell and the Rogers network I was connected to in Canada, but I’m sure it didn’t help that my battery was drained either.

On that note, spare yourself getting lost and real up close and personal with your new city’s streets and just update that GPS you’ve been putting off for 2 years.

I’m sure you can see how that could potentially ruin your plans, especially if your phone is not working.

The first few hiccups aside, my blind dates in Calgary were so much fun and I highly recommend them for you expats out there trying to get to know some locals. Honestly, I can’t imagine the nerve it would take to blindly meet a potential love interest. Kudos my friends.

three blind mice

My silly adapted version of 3 Blind Mice:

Three blind dates, three blind dates,
See how they run, see how they run,
They all ran to meet for coffee at eight,
Pretty soon to get around Calgary I’ll need ice-skates,
Three blind dates, three blind dates.

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Mini-Moving Day!

Today was my mini-moving day. Moving out of my home for the last 3 months has left me surprisingly emotional! This expat assignment has really been such a wonderful experience. From starting my blog, to reconnecting with my husband on our rotation vacations, and learning a new language, my time in Calgary has given me a new sense of self along with lots of laughs. While my last blog post certainly didn’t depict the upbeat side of petroleum wife-ry, my honest advice and heart felt opinion is to go on an expat assignment. Just jump into the deep end! You’ll have such a great time exploring and you’ll be so much closer as a family unit because of it.

very full suitcase

My trusty travel companion looks 9 months pregnant and just about ready to burst.

Moving into a new apartment (it’s in the same building, Much Ado About Nothing?) just reminds me that I only have about 3 more weeks to enjoy the liberation that comes along with staying in a new city.


Last Minute Suzy

I love last minute changes

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to explain to friends and family our crazy last minute schedules. Especially for those who haven’t been exposed to the workings of our oil and gas expat community.  Often times, with last minute business trips popping up, it becomes more complicated than not to plan for dinner parties and lunch dates, let alone family vacations. I believe I’ll perpetually be known as last-minute Suzy, and at this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if I lost a few friends because of it.

In the past year alone, we’ve had to seriously consider moving to the United Arab Emirates, Papua New Guinea, and Japan. They all fell through except for Calgary, Houston’s oil and gas equivalent in Canada.  I know that’s a lot of speculation right there. Some oil and gas expat assignments are straightforward and clearcut, you’re given a 2 year contract and that’s it. But my husband’s situation has always leaned towards the ‘exception’ to the rules for the last couple of years now.  I guess that’s what happens when someone is ambitiously successful, and when projects just don’t seem to want to let him go. I don’t want to let him go either, but I remain his ever-supporting partner in crime.

Yesterday evening, November 21st, we just found out that our stay in Calgary would be extended for another month, and possibly until January. We had been scheduled to repatriate on November 30th. While some might find it outrageous that we received word of our extension just 9 days before the end of the month, it has actually become somewhat of a norm for us.

Yes, this of course brings about several different complications.  The landlords of our apartment have been harping for a decision from us for weeks on whether we’d like to extend our rent for another month. It seems that 9 days was too short notice for them (go figure!) so we’re on the hunt once again. My fingers are crossed, prayers have been said and semi-threatening emails have been sent, all in hopes of being able to at least stay in the same building.

I’ll also need to beseech my dear friends and neighbors to continue to look after our house, occasionally start our cars, and check our mail for a few more weeks.

Cancel doctor appointments and dinner parties. Check. Write out and mail more checks for my neighbor to give to my lawn mower. Check.

Find something to keep me occupied in freezing-cold Calgary for 3 more weeks after my French Class ends. Help.


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