Friday, September 26, 2008


People ask me a lot if I get or got cravings during my pregnancy. It's hard to say. In Zimbabwe, I craved a lot of foods, but I don't know if it was pregnancy-related. I think it had more to do with the fact that we couldn't get almost all foods. One of my delights of being home has been able to just buy any food that I have a fancy for. Like today, I craved some Doritos, so I went and bought some. They brought me right back to my childhood. The cool ranch ones always do. You see, my mother is probably the most disciplined (in a good way) person I know. As kids, we always got to have a bed-time/evening snack. But it wasn't ever, "what do you feel like?" It was assigned - in teacups. When we'd have a baby-sitter, we would get chips - all lined out on the kitchen counter in 5 teacups (one for the baby-sitter). We never thought to ask for a second cup or a bowl or (gasp!) the bag. It just wasn't the system.

I can remember the day in grade 4 when I bought myself a big, huge bag of cool ranch doritos. I was allowed to keep it in my room -in the top drawer - and to eat it all by myself (no sharing with 3 siblings). Of course, by grade 4 I had inherited, some of my mom's discipline, so I made that bag last a long time. But each time I reached in for a few chips, it was the taste of freedom. And that all came back to me this afternoon on my way home from work with my little snack!

Generally, I eat my food guilt-free. After all, I've just returned from Africa, and I'm pregnant. But I must admit that I had a twinge of guilt as I was eating my Doritos waiting for the elevator. I had the sudden realization that every other person in the lobby was fasting due to Ramadan. Woops. But they still tasted good...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Size discrimination

I went to pick up one of my maternity shirts at the drycleaners' yesterday. They got the stain out, so that was a blessing, but I noticed that the price was quite high. I asked the lady why she was charging me for cleaning a dress. She answered "this is a dress!" I explained that no, it was a shirt, and not possibly long enough for a dress. I showed her the shirt I was wearing, and said that it's the same thing - a maternity shirt. But she insisted that it's so big that it needs to be charged as a dress. I hate being ripped off. I'm huge, but not that huge. John's shirts are still bigger than mine. I think it's a CLEAR case of size discrimination!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Coffee, pizza and a banana

Today I went for "coffee" (I didn't really drink coffee) with 2 beautiful friends. It felt deliciously normal. The other day I was walking home from work and grabbed a pizza pizza square. Because I could. There is food everywhere in this country. Again, deliciously normal. (And it reminded me of Farhad - the pizza pizza man who, in high school, used to give me and my brother free slices because he liked us).

I was taking the bus home from downtown and 2 stops from my house, 2 very old Chinese ladies got off. One fell as she was getting off, and this young Black man ran to her, helped her up and checked if she was ok. 2 Muslim ladies also stopped to make sure all was well. That is Toronto. And then right outside of my building were about 30 Afghani/Pakistani boys playing baseball. It made me smile. Another smile this week was when a banana peel fell from the sky right in front of me. And then half a banana right behind me. I guess I could have been ticked off that someone was targetting me with a banana, but I just felt really blessed that the person missed both times!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Life goes on

News coming out of Zimbabwe:
The good news is that there was a power-sharing deal made on Monday, meaning ZANU-PF and MDC will share power. The president will remain the president, but a new post of prime minister will be created for Morgan Tsvangirai. Mugabe keeps control of the military, and Tsvangirai is tasked with the day-to-day running of the country. I've become a little pessimistic about Zim's future, but I do hope - for the sake of Zimbabweans - that this works. I hope peace will really be peace - that people will really have freedom (and that they'll have food). There's a new $1000zim note (which in the old currency is $10trillion) - and that's worth less than $3us. Our old neighbourhood is having problems with sewage coming out of the taps, and our neighbour's son was sent home from boarding school because there is no food and they haven't had water in weeks. Life goes on.

A friend told me last night that I have to forget about Zimbabwe - that I can't let the sadness of Zimbabwe affect my health and my baby. But I can't forget. However, I don't walk around depressed all of the time. Sure, I have days where I cry my eyes out, but I also have days where I sing and dance and laugh my heart out. That is life. One of my biggest prayers for my little son is that he will grow up knowing about the pain in the world, and yet will have immense hope, joy and faith through that.

Speaking of our little son... he's still kicking up a storm and growing healthily. I'm now sleeping with 3 pillows, so John is learning to conserve every inch of his side of the bed. I can no longer see my swollen feet, and I'm on a tight schedule of visits to the washroom every half hour. But it's a joy. I can't wait to meet him. It's cool when you can love people before you've even met them.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Lost and Found

Sometimes I feel lost. I'm not sure where I'm supposed to be or who I'm supposed to be. I feel confused by myself and have no idea what I want. I'm excited and scared about the future all at once. There has just been so much change in the past few months; so many emotions... On Saturday I had this glorious moment where I felt absolutely at home within my own skin. I was on my way home from a friend's gorgeous wedding. I love weddings, and I loved the chance to sing with my old choir. I was in a big truck with blaring raggae music, my friends were talking in good Jamaican patois, I had just tried sweetened tamarind for the first time (mmmm), I had just been called "Ro" for a couple of hours, and I shared lots of hugs and laughs. I was so deliciously happy. Then I went home, took off my too-tight sandals, ate pizza and watched "P.S. I love You" with my mom and sister-in-law. I cried way too much in the movie, but it was a good crying, and I just felt like me. That was a great feeling too. Feeling lost or alone is not fun at all, but feeling found; feeling at home; feeling loved... that's good stuff.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Freedom and Beauty

We walk to work, and I love that. Maybe I won't love it in a snowstorm, but right now it's nice because I love walking places and not having to fear for my safety or my life. It's also pretty great to go for a walk at the side of a hot guy and to know that you're the one who gets to kiss him before you fall asleep. On the way to work, we pass by a community living building, and there are always people outside who have developmental disabilities. There is one woman that I admire. I don't know her name yet, but in my head I call her Joy. She always has earphones in her ears and she's always dancing. She smiles a lot too. The other day she saw her friend down the street, and so she bounded towards her and gave her a bear hug and said, "I love you!" She is so free!!! Freedom is such a beautiful thing. You don't really appreciate it until it's ripped from you. I guess here, freedom isn't usually ripped from you - we just let it erode by becoming "grownup" and conforming to our conservative society.

I got my hair cut yesterday by a cute Pakistani girl. Something came on the radio about Tom Cruise. My hairdresser started laughing and said, "who cares? I'd rather cut your hair then Tom Cruise's. Everyone always talks about how beautiful these people are, but look at us. I think we're the beautiful ones!" Too true!