I was at the dentist the other day and one of the dental assistants was a Brazilian lady. We chatted a little bit in Portuguese. She's been in Canada for less than a year and she asked me what were the Facebook or Whatsapp groups I was part of. She was ready to pull out her phone and add more groups to her list. I quietly told her: “Hmmm, none really. I don't use Facebook and I only use Whatsapp for calls with my mom”.
It was a weird moment, because the look in her face was of total astonishment. She made a comment about how it should have been hard for me to live all these years without having these groups. I told her that I survived all right, and I actually used a lot of the newcomers immigrant services offered by the government, so I didn't feel the need to search for a Brazilian local group, honestly.
And she told me about an association that promotes parties and such for the Brazilian community here, and again, I felt super weird telling her that, as an introvert, I don't really enjoy parties. They are loud, and crowded, and... it's just not my thing.
After I left the dentist I kept thinking about this encounter. I've been in Canada for 6 years now and I've adjusted to the local groceries products, I learned the quirks of using the public transport, I know where is the closest public library (and I know how to use it), I learned how to pump gas in my car (in Brazil there is an attendant who does that for you), I learned the best combination of layers for winter clothing. And all those lessons learned were made without using services like Facebook or Whatsapp groups.
Maybe I took longer to learn those things, I don’t know. It was not until last year that I discovered the perfect combination of winter socks for my winter boots, for example. Lots of trial and error.
I guess what I'm wondering here is: Have I missed something? Should I have been in constant communication with fellow Brazilians and participating in these non-stop discussion groups? Even the lady I met at the dentist said that these groups are crazy, she receives hundreds of messages everyday.
My gut feeling is that I don't feel I missed anything. I enjoyed my quiet days as a newcomer. There is so much information out there. And making observations and asking around has always worked for me.
It's certainly not the same for everybody. Because of my quiet nature I was okay. In the real world I always found help when I needed it. Anyway... this post was just a reflection.
Post 08/100 of 100DaysToOffload challenge!
By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.