Correspondence from Canada: Letter 02 - 31.08.81
Copyright holder(s): Name withheld
Dear Mum, Dad, & Al,
Hello Fadduh, Hello Muddah, here I am in Camp New Brunswick! Now for the good news... Today, Monday, I at last got into my residence at Maggie-Jean. Ah, the luxury of unpacking!! You're a good wee packer, Mum - my suit was hardly creased.
The second lot of good news is that I won't need a sub for fees, accommodation, or even insurance - these are all deducted from my monthly salary at the end of this month (September). So the panic was for nothing, really, I expect; altho' the extra money, now in the Bank of Montreal, is reassuring.
I've made a major alteration in my plans, after talking to some people here, that you should know about, and about which I'd like you opinion. I've decided not to stay in Canada for the 2 years, but to do the M.A. in one. This is what Edward, the room-mate I had for a few days, plans to do; and what John, an English student studying English last year, actually did. I saw my Professor today and asking him about it, and gave the impression that it is normal to do the M.A. in one (calendar) year. The idea is that I do the courses over term-time, till April, and complete my thesis over the summer. Given that I shan't be teaching, and that I've covered some of the territory already, I think I can complete the Masters in a year.
This being the case, I would try to go to Cairo with Carole in 1982-83. I am going to write to the University of Cairo, and also the American University in Cairo to see if I can obtain a tutoring post in either to finance the stay. With a postgraduate M.A. this may be possible. If it fails, perhaps some of Carole's contacts in Cairo could find me a post somewhere.
Of course, I would appreciate your opinion on this point. But I do think it is the best idea for several reasons: i) I'm beginning to think that 2 years here may be a bit too long, especially if it's unnecessary, and ii) I never liked the idea of Carole going alone to Egypt very much, and I know she is apprehensive herself. With both of us there things should be easier. I'm going to try for this, but I'd like you to write and tell me what you think. It will also mean I'll have to work fairly hard this summer vacation, which means giving up the idea of touring Canada. This I'm prepared to do, since I reckon a year in N.B. will help me soak up a fair amount of Canadian culture, and I'd just as soon see the Sphinx as the Rockies. However, I don't want to discourage you from coming across if you want to in the early summer. Canada is worth seeing, but I have some reservations. One is, that unless you can drive, the access to neighbouring towns is limited largely to buses - the train service is being cut; for example the train from Halifax thro' Fredericton to Montreal is being axed. If you are coming here, I suggest travelling to Montreal or Toronto & getting a plane connection. The plane from Montreal to Fred. costs around £40 just now and the flight lasts an hour. Edward flew from London to Fredericton in one day. Second, I think you'd possibly see more of Canada on a tour. Fredericton, apart from the scenery, is not really a lively place - we went out for a drink tonight and nowhere is open - and to get the best out of a holiday here I think you'd have to travel around a bit. If a major reason for coming were to see me then we'll have to take into account that I'll be busier than I expected this summer. I am not trying to discourage you from coming, honest - I am trying to give you an honest account of the situation here. I don't know if I'll manage to see much more of N.B. than Fredericton. Still, even this much is worth seeing, but it does have its limitations; it's not what I'd really call a tourist centre. If I get more info. I'll write you, and I will send you some brochures.
Otherwise, I'm settling down better now. Edward, or "Tomo", is a nice big chap who's studying P.E. and hoping to get into the soccer team. He's from Preston and it helps that we're both aliens. I'm a lot less homesick now I'm getting down to things. Professor [CENSORED: surname], another Englishman, seems really nice and friendly, and the library looks good and well-equipped. I'm thinking of doing a thesis on William Dunbar, so I may need some notes sent over sometime.
The weather is still gorgeous - very hot during the day but cooler at night. I hear it won't stay like this long.
My insurance, by the way, is looked after automatically by UNB, under "Medicare" and takes effect tomorrow, Sept 1st. It costs me $200, which isn't bad, and I'm insured for up to $10,000, not including dentistry or optician's charges.
The Maggie is very nice inside, with its own study areas and lounges - and a real coal fire in winter.
I hope you're all well & that the house is coming on. Write soon. Regards to all,
Love, [CENSORED: forename].
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Correspondence from Canada: Letter 02 - 31.08.81. 2020. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved August 2020, from http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=850.
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