A Taste of Freedom

I booked a trip to Florida for 7 people. Four of them are from Canada, and what gives me the greatest joy about the trip is that four Canadians will finally experience normal life for the first time in over a year. I’ll advise them to seek psychological help to prepare. It’s like being let out of jail. People need to adapt to freedom.

We never experienced anything like the Canadian-style police state but I remember feeling weird and disoriented back in November when we went to Florida and saw crowds of people dancing in the streets, maskless, happy, and free.

17 thoughts on “A Taste of Freedom”

  1. “I’ll advise them to seek psychological help to prepare”

    An American friend of mine who was in Poland for the Martial Law period (arrived shortly before and ended up staying a while).
    After a year or so she went to West Berlin and not long out of the station saw a produce stand bursting with vegetables and fruits! including pineapples! and stopped cold in her tracks… and started crying uncontrollably (you probably understand why even if most readers here wouldn’t).
    I also heard of people in the west for visits who dealt okay with everything else but were traumatized by western supermarkets. They were unaccustomed to making shopping choices, as opposed to just buying what was available and being thankful for that. They would experience psychological paralysis and be unable to move or even think of what they might want to buy…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. So true! The question of “what do you want for breakfast?” was torture for many post-Soviet people for the longest time. They weren’t used to having to choose! You eat what there is.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. This is so true! I am still paralyzed in supermarkets (and malls) sometimes. My husband simply cannot understand why I am having such a hard time choosing what to buy. It is better now than it used to be since I have a routine for certain things I buy often but the paralysis definitely comes whenever I need to get something out of ordinary.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. “husband simply cannot understand why I am having such a hard time choosing what to buy”

        In communist times people bought whatever they could find and then decided what to eat (depending on what they could do with whatever they could find). In a capitalist economy it makes more sense to decide what to eat first and then go shopping and ignore everything but the specific things needed for a couple of meals.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. That is an excellent advice and it can definitely simplify things. However, the problem can be with simplest things. For example, you want to buy bread and see an ENTIRE SHELF of 50 different types of breads. Or you want to buy vanilla ice cream and there are 15 choices. Repeat with rice, chocolate, carrots, apples, and you see the problem. Things are much better now, but my first year living in the US made for some very interesting grocery store visits.

          Now I am having an opposite problem visiting home when I am always surprised that no one is bagging my groceries for me…

          Liked by 1 person

        2. People would join mile-long lines without knowing what they were queuing up for. Whatever it was, they knew they needed it. Or somebody needed it, and it could be traded for stuff.

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          1. No worries, we may be heading toward reliving the “good” old times. The empty shelves in the grocery stores about a year ago this time felt eerily familiar to me. “This is just like home growing up!” I found myself explaining over and over again to my husband while marveling over the empty shelves where toilet paper used to be…

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  2. Florida: and still, we have not had some kind of viral apocalypse. Imagine that! Where are all those people who, months ago, were insisting we’d regret it in a few weeks when we all died miserably… ?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I know, right? Where? Where are the mountains of corpses we were promised?? The overstrained hospitals? The devastated nursing homes? Oh, right, we protected the LTC facilities, because that’s where the precautions were needed…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Your relatives may save some money on therapy and just take a walk along the Lachine Canal around the Atwater market in preparation for their trip. After that they will definitely be able to survive transition to Florida. 🙂

    But seriously, from my viewpoint, exaggerated complaining about the police state is not looking that much different from exaggerated complaining about … whatever the “progressive” issue of the day is… The only difference is in the sign.

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    1. I can’t even read past Atwater Market because I miss Montreal. Atwater Market! Only people who’ve been there can understand the nostalgia. Makes me want to go cook something.

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    1. I just had a flashback to yesterday, when my sister, after a panicked screaming phone call from a coworker who was being savagely beaten by her drug-addled grandson, called the cops. The dispatcher was like “So you’re not on the phone with her anymore? OK, we’ll make a note of it and if you hear from her again and she needs help, we’ll send an officer out…” I’ll let your imagination supply her response.

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    2. On a serious note, my sister hasn’t been to a restaurant in a year. The gyms opened for two weeks in March but then closed again. Her kid does rap dancing in a mask. The grandparents can’t come over and see the kids. My mother hasn’t been able to see her sister in a year and has no idea when she’ll be able to. As one approaches seventy, it becomes a lot more urgent. Not being able to see relatives and friends is a pretty big deal to a retiree. Or going to church. They can’t go. My mother always shares her paschas on Easter. Even in the USSR she did it. And now there’s nobody to share them with. No church service to take them for a blessing. It’s just sad.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Many manifestations of police state are real. Many traumas of the left-wing people are also real. The issue is not if any of it is real – it is – but what it is used for.

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