There is less than a week before I leave for Ireland for two years. Of course I’ll miss my family and friends, but there are some other random things I’m going to miss about my home and where I live right now.
The Edmonton International Fringe Festival
Without a doubt my absolute favourite time of the year is the ten days when the Edmonton International Fringe Festival happens. It’s got everything I love; theatre (you can see shows from about 11am to midnight), street food, buskers, a friendly atmosphere, market stalls and shops to browse, and it’s in one of the liveliest areas of the city. I drove by Old Strathcona, the neighbourhood where the main site of the Fringe is held, and I started to tear up thinking about how I won’t be going to the Fringe this year. And it’s not like I’ve gone every year of my life, but the last few years I have and it’s been amazing. If you’re in Edmonton while the Fringe is on go, see a show, get some green onion cakes, see another show. If you’re looking for a pick Toy Guns Dance Theatre is fantastic (I’ve seen two of their shows from previous Fringes) and this is coming from someone who isn’t “a dance person.”
One a positive note I’ll be in Dublin for the Dublin Fringe Festival, and next year I’m planning to visit the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which has been on my must-do list forever.
Green Onion Cakes
I don’t know what the deal is with green onion cakes, but they’re a thing in Edmonton. An unofficial food you can find at festivals, food trucks, different restaurants. They’re a flat savoury pancake made with green onions. They’re fried in oil so they are a bit crispy, and they are usually cut up into wedges and served with dip (often soy sauce or sambal olek). There’s a great blog post here about the origins of green onion cakes in Edmonton. Some say green onion cakes are like scallion pancakes, and I don’t know what the difference is (if any) between the two, but in Edmonton you better call them green onion cakes. It seems strange to me there are festivals in the world where you can’t get these delicious savoury treats.
Good news is I found a recipe for green onion cakes so I can try making them if I get a craving while I’m in Ireland.
If I could pack one completely unrealistic thing with me it would be my bed. A couple of years ago I got a foam topper for my mattress and now my bed is the most comfortable bed in the universe. If it wasn’t for work and travel (and the rest of life) I could spend all day in bed sleeping, or Netflixing Bojack Horseman. Could I ship my bed? I guess, but that would be hella expensive and seems a little unnecessary for my two years in Ireland.
If it looks like I’m going to be in one place for a while, and it’s not too expensive I might look into buying a foam topper for my bed in Ireland because they are amazing.
I love driving (don’t love traffic or other drivers all the time, but I love driving). Where I live you pretty much need a car unless you live close enough to your work you can safely walk there (I don’t). In Ireland I won’t be buying a car or getting a driver’s license because public transportation seems readily available, and if I want to leave Ireland and visit another country there are cheap flights (really cheap when compared to airfare in Canada). While it will be nice not to have to worry about the stress of driving I’ll miss just hitting the road, blasting the radio and car dancing.
Right now I’m in Saskatchewan visiting my family. This will be the last road trip I’ll be taking for a while. On the other hand while I’m in Ireland I’ll be able to take public transit, the train the bus to explore the country, and there seems to be lots of affordable flights (especially compared to Canada) out of Ireland for when I want to explore more of Europe.
What do you miss about home when you travel?