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After a month in La Belle Province

An Anglophone in the jungle that is French Canada


"As-tu un moment monsieur" oh god no, I thought in my head, those weirdos that try flog you a credit card in the front of the store at Canadian Tire are trying to flog me a credit card..... but in a language that I understand pretty much sort of not really? As a boy I was always taught to be kind even to those who are trying to flog you something that isn't really of any value, even if they tell you that it is of value. "Non" I replied awkwardly as I ran (aka walked) as far as I possibly could away from the lady who has the exact same look in her soul as I do, (I needed a job this is the best I could do). What I really wanted to say was no sorry lady I already have a credit card, easy enough if you've pre-played the conversation in your head before it happens. "J'ai deja un cart du credit madame, merci" I mumbled to myself as I searched for the grommets and expanding foam in the seemlessly never ending aisles of Canada's version Bunning's or Supa Cheap, "gosh darn-it next time you'll get it right mate".

"Non" I replied awkwardly as I ran (aka walked) as far as I possibly could away from the lady who has the exact same look in her soul as I do, (I needed a job this is the best I could do).

This 10 minute scenario pretty much sums up an anglophones everyday existence in L'Estrie, the region where I have set up my little anglophone refuge, Sherbrooke to be precise. It's a beautiful place besides the consistent barrage of -20C high pressure systems. Peeps here are genuine and I always get a kick, when peoples faces light up after learning that I moved to this winter wonderland by choice over the sub-tropical paradise of the Gold Coast, Australia. Truth is I've lived in Canada for over 3 years now, I've experienced most of what it has to offer on the surface, the east, the west, now the french part. I really like it here, also I really like it in Aus as well, I'm hell bent on trying to keep the two of them in my life and thats what I tell people when they get that look in there eye "WHY?". Perhaps what I like most about my current residential situation is parking, oh f#%$ yeah bud! Parking I love getting in my car driving to where I need to go and not having to do "blockies" to find a place to rest my chariot before ripping up a d'floor or eating a meal. Saa good! Aside from that I've come to enjoy the quiet suburban setting, the regular structured hours of life and having the time to use my brain for working on what it is I'm going to do for work in my newfound French suburban habitat!



Working is a crazy thing, since moving to Canada I've not had the best of luck when it comes to finding respectable gainful employment. Mostly I've spent my working days in weird clothes, washing dishes, cleaning bird sh#%, pissing in wet-suits and most recently cutting and stacking wood. Not to say that I've had no luck when it comes to enjoying work, I'd say I've had one job that was pretty hard to walk away from, I won't say which, and let the numerous employers I've had over the years fight for that title. Since moving to Sherbrooke, to my surprise I found a job almost instantly, working as a factory machine operator, at a wood processing factory. I'm almost certain the title should be more along the lines of "Wood Cutter and Stacker" the latter of which is not even a true verb conjugation in the English language this, I believe adds to the realized monotony of the role. I didn't even know that you could do an entire job based around cutting and stacking wood until now. All the jobs that I've had to do to get by are they worth it? Turns out in the "Wood Cutter and Stacker" side of things, I didn't have to choose as after two weeks of fruitful labor I was laid-off due to not enough orders being filled over the holidays months. Makes sense though, I mean I've never been laid-off before so why not let it happen when I've begun such a frivolous and exciting career in the wood factory business? There is a silver lining in all of this! I swear! I found myself asking the hard questions again, like what do you want to do with the rest of your life? Although that is a broad and outlandish question to ask oneself, I like it. When I lived in Cape Breton, before I met the mademoiselle I went through a stage of trying to set up life remotely, as if to say become a "digital nomad" between the hard partying, rugby adventures and fun I wished I put more effort into really setting up my career, at least for the near future, online. I know what you're thinking, "but Joel you've had ages (2 years) since you've lived in CB why didn't you do it then?" Truth is when I moved to the west again, I lost focus, I had a steady income and cheap flights to nearly any place on planet earth, I wanna say that I was lazy, but the truth is I was busy with all the "other" things that I had on the go in life. Anyways to cut this long story a little bit less long, I'm here in #sherbylove making my way into the world as an online entrepreneur. Even though I'm yet to move into the entrepreneurial phase of employment, I've begun to copy those, to "stand on the shoulders of giants" you might say, of those who have been entrepreneurial before me. So far I've got a pretty solid portfolio with stocks, ICO's and Cryptos, I'm beginning my venture into online English teaching and website testing all to try and keep me afloat while I set up something larger and waaaaay more interesting like drop shipping....... joking like photography, videography, vlogging or product reviews. Turns out its not that impossible to get going with your online career, maybe it'll be harder to keep going? Watch this space to see how it goes.



Why work online? I would love to be able to veer away from a traditional career for now, I mean the idea of location independent work still somehow inspires me. There is a huge world out there to see and only so much time to see it. I don't have a mortgage, yet, I don't have kids, yet, I have an imagination that I want to explore before I'm ready to lay it all down in a 9 to 5 for a solid 40+ years. In addition to this, although there are options out there for work as an anglophone in Sherbrooke, I've yet to see one for which my current skills would be used to their full potential. I want to wake up and feel somewhat OK with myself and what I'm doing, I want to most days really enjoy what it is that I do, truth is if I find 'that' in a traditional career I would take that opportunity in a heartbeat, but for now its me my laptop and my imagination....... That sounds kinda wrong doesn't it?


Cheers,

Joel

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 Photography by Joel Gregory Hayes & Keegan Taccori | routedelsol@gmail.com | +52 6647264347