BEHIND THE LINES: Regina PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 23 September 2014 11:35



REGINA, CAN. — Two days ago, my mother and I flew to this utterly dull, slow-paced city south of Saskatchewan, Canada, to visit my sister, May, and my son Robbie and his wife Pam who is on the family way and will welcome their son sometime in December. This is the kind of place that retirees are dying to go — quiet, quaint, and not too many cars and people. There’s a casino here where the old rich (mostly farmers) and locals would love to splurge their pension and wages. This gaming house is open from 9 a.m. to 4 a.m.

I’ve been here once before for the wedding of my niece, Candice, whose late father, Jory Camins (who doesn’t know him), migrated here after retiring in Manila. Man, when we got here at six in the evening after the four-hour flight from Los Angeles, California, the temperature was 60 degrees. Brrrr. It took us only 15 minutes to reach my sister’s house from the Regina International Airport (located in the countryside already). No traffic, no slow-crossing pedestrians, nothing in-between except a few cars, trees with golden leaves (it’s officially autumn here now) and few birds of unfamiliar species.

BION (believe-it-or-not), when we got to the city, it was like a ghost town considering that it was a Saturday. People just hit their homes early on weekends and even earlier on weekdays. I counted a total of 11 people walking around, a few cars parked along the dead streets. The main street (our version of Guardia Nacional) was desolate (pardon the word), I tell you, except for a few cars (again) parked along the road waiting to be driven by their owners who were probably working overtime in some banks.

Right across from where my sister lives is a mall that carries Canadian items made in China (of course) and a 10-theater movie house that welcomes retirees every Tuesday for half the price of a full ticket. Yes, seniors pay only $6 for the price of $10 on ordinary days. There’s a good-tasting steak house (Montana’s) behind the mall, but you get your ordered food in 45 minutes. That long! Peking House, a Chinese (obviously) restaurant at the downtown area serves food in just 10 minutes. That fast!

Like Americans, Canadians love football and hockey. They’re not really into basketball (they may have a hall-of-famer in Steve Nash). I wonder if they’re like Americans who love to leave town on long weekends. Except for some lakes, Saskatchewan is right in the middle of nowhere. So there are no beach parties here. If you want it, you may have to fly to Vancouver in the far west. That’s where the largest Filipino community is. I’m not sure about rural Regina.

What else can I say? Oh, Canada!