When Pam and I first moved here, I remember writing about how nice everyone was to us, from the realtor who helped with the purchase, to the banker who set up new accounts for us and got us credit cards, to our new neighbors and even the law offices who helped with our immigration issues. The postal carrier for our building was helpful and friendly, as was our building manager and various tradespeople who came during our initial months of setup. I took some of this to be, perhaps, partly the West vs. the East coast, partly the Canada vs. US, and partly just being lucky.
These days, a little over three years later, I’m now convinced it wasn’t luck, because the kindness and generosity that we initially met with have continued. This past month, a friend of mine surprised me with lunch and Canucks tickets out of the blue (I won’t embarrass him with naming him, but he knows who he is). For Pam’s birthday a few weeks ago, our neighbor Estelle brought in several vases of flowers, because she was leaving town and though Pam would enjoy them. She also gave Pam tickets to see the Speed Skating trials at the Pacific Coliseum today. Yesterday, my friend DaveO, who was working at the happyfrog.ca booth at the Health Show, gave us free tickets. Last week I visited with two of the first friends I met just as I moved here, Matt and Maktaaq (in fact, I’m happy to have known them even knew them before they were married!), and at their Halloween party, Ryan offered to lend me one of his bicycles.
The frequent generosity of my friends has been seen online in this blog, with offers from Monica and others to twitter that I was looking for work (as well as others who have put the word out on their blogs), messages of good will on birthdays and anniversaries, and even flattering blog posts about me (completely unexpected as well, I might add. Thanks Raul.). Comments from fellow Bush Refugees Bob and David frequently make my day. They also gave us a bottle of their own wine.
I’ve seen the fireworks from a fabulous vantage point in Yaletown with MJ and laughed myself silly at a comedy night hosted by Tanya. I’ve gotten patient iPhone consulting from John and the opportunity to write an op-ed piece for the LA Times, thanks to Travis.
I’m only scratching the surface. With both Pam and I looking for work and living off of our savings, and all the scary economic news (on CNN, mainly) I still submit that like George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life, I am truly a rich man, because of friends, and they keep reminding me of this fact.