A couple months back one of the first calls I received on my new Canadian phone was from a nice lady volunteering at Welcome Wagon.
She immediately welcomed me to Regina and told me she had all this great stuff to drop off. As soon as she said “welcome wagon and free stuff,” I stopped listening and immediately began thinking that I was going to get butter tarts and peanut butter squares, frozen lasagnas and casseroles. Maybe even some vegetables? (I also had a mental image of a group of people actually showing up to my door in an old style wagon with hay and everything?)
Why I thought the Welcome Wagon would bring me food, I have no idea. I guess for for a guy whose wife was living 20,000 km away, it was the best possible thing that could happen to me. I didn’t even know what the Welcome Wagon was, but the nice lady was coming over on Tuesday at 6:30 to drop off the goods.
Ooo, and I also forgot to tell her that I had lived in Regina for 31 years…ah well, details. I felt like I needed, no, deserved to be welcomed back.
When Tuesday arrived, sadly, the nice lady (let’s call her Gladys) showed up sans any grub at all – not even a single Nanaimo Bar. What she did have was a giant wicker basket jam-packed with papers, flyers and brochures. As soon as she asked, “Oh, where’s your wife?”, I knew I was in trouble.
The next 30 minutes was just me and the nice lady sitting on the couch going through all of her 37 coupons – one by one – for local businesses in the area. Not one was for a product or service I would ever use, unless I planned on getting a sex change or I suddenly aged 45 years in the next year. Does anyone need new dentures? I have a 2 for 1 coupon, I’m pretty sure.
Anyway, Gladys and I had a lovely chat about the Queen City during her welcoming visit and I actually filled her in on a few spots she could check out in the neighbourhood. She left with a smile and a wave and a request to tell others about the service.
So here it is, if you’re new to the city, recentlly moved to a new area in the city or just love to chat with elderly ladies about coupons written on foolscap and napkins, then give the Welcome Wagon a buzz.
Just don’t expect any dainties.