Being the new girl in Regina
Moving to a new country but experiencing a new world
By Sonali Maria Currie
What happens when you get off that plane which flew you miles from your home country to Canada, the land of opportunities? Do you visualize maple syrup, snow-clad houses and a smiling face of Trudeau Jr.? Well, I have news for you: Canada is more than just the above, with Regina holding a special place in its vast expanse of prairie land. Whether it’s spring, fall or winter, be ready for surprises!
Assuming your immigration goes smoothly and you land at night in Regina at a friend’s place or Airbnb, chances are exceedingly high you will miss breakfast and wake up around lunchtime, only to sink into bed immediately afterwards.
A significant initial observation about Regina is that people here love to talk, and they love to hear you as well. But sadly, since you can hardly keep awake, the conversation around you seems like a scene from an early 1900s silent movie. You understand the phenomenon of jetlag when no amount of coffee is enough to keep those eyelids from closing.
The next couple of days will pass in a flurry as you search and finalize your housing. One is spoiled with choices for accommodation options in Regina. Apartments, townhouses, suites, studio; Regina has it all. What’s interesting about living in a rented place is that you can be paired with a person from a different culture or nation. An Asian living with a Mexican or a European living with a South American, it gives one the chance to engage with different cultures.
Imagine this situation: you enter the kitchen and smell a pasta-like dish. Your European roommate tells you its gnocchi that she’s making which leaves you amazed since you had never heard of it even though you’ve frequented places with international cuisine before. Living in your home country, there is rarely such a close intermingling of experiences. Being open and interested in such occasions helps immensely.
Next, you will want to venture out on your own to places beyond the university. You keep hearing about this happening pub downtown and so you Google its location and transit route. You say to yourself, well that seems easy! Waiting at the bus stop you glance at your phone nervously to make sure you don’t miss it, only to see the bus flying past in the opposite direction.
This is when you realize the importance of the cardinal points and its relevance in the Regina transit system. The faster you can master navigating north, south, east and west, the easier your movement will be in Regina. Good internet data and Regina TransitLive will be your best buddies before you switch over to driving.
Regina, with its four distinct seasons, picturesque Wascana Lake, and well-manicured lawns and parks, is a treat to all residents. For a new girl in Regina, your first few weeks will be overwhelming and replete with new experiences. One aspect is sure though – your life is destined to change forever and in a positive way!