January 1st, 2014, and I wake to the sound of talking. I’m still new to Australia, it’s still new to me. These days are spent maneuvering the wrong side of the road, flicking the windshield wipers on instead of the blinker, breathing in salty air.
As a Canadian, I have a shameful confession to make. When given the option between the BBC and the CBC, I pick the BBC nine times out of ten. With the CBC’s tagline proudly announcing “Canada lives here,” I feel like I’m turning my back on my country by choosing the UK’s public broadcaster over my own. And yet, preference wins out over patriotism, meaning I find myself at www.bbc.co.uk once again.
There’s something about waking before morning does. Not the process of it – the alarm’s incessant beeping, staggering to the bathroom in the dark, the sting of contact lenses biting raw eyes. Yawning despite the coffee as you move around with lead feet.
You creep from dread to a sleepy anticipation slowly, like water warming. You see the car pull up outside, tires crunching frozen snow, leaving ripples in puddles. You hurry down the slushy driveway with selective steps, sucking in the hollow-wet Vancouver air, but then you’re curled into the front seat with another half-asleep human. He drives. You watch the sky start its slow glow in the distance, lazy window wipers erasing the last few falling snowflakes.