You know that feeling when you find out something that's common knowledge for the rest of the world? Or you learn that the whole world does something differently than you do?
A lot of that happened to me when I moved out of my Caribbean parents' home at the age of 18 and started living with Canadian roommates.
My parents were born in Guyana, and while I was born in Canada and have lived in the GTA for most of my life, their upbringing obviously shaped the way that I grew up.
Here are a few things that bamboozled me when I moved away from my parents' home in Pickering, Ontario, to live in Montreal, London, and Toronto in the last decade or so.
Ketchup on eggs
This one really took me by surprise. I'd only ever experienced ketchup on fries or on burgers and hot dogs, so learning that people liberally spread it on their eggs was just simply unheard of to me.
I'm not judging — I personally like a little hot sauce or salsa on my eggs, which some people find strange – I just had no idea it was a thing!
Microwaving food in plastic containers
It wasn't until I moved to Montreal that I learned that some people microwave food in plastic containers. My mother is convinced (without any sound reason) that it's dangerous.
I've adopted the method in my own personal life, but whenever I go home and try it, she refuses to let it happen under her roof and will transfer the food to a plate. You do you, mom!
Not using random containers for food storage
My mom keeps a stash of containers that previously housed various dairy products for when she runs out of her "good" plastic containers, which I've never seen any of my Canadian roomies do.
It might be because she doesn't trust me with the good stuff, but she regularly packs up and freezes food for me in margarine containers to take back to my condo. In this pic, the top left container has channa, bottom left has stew beef, top right has chicken curry, and bottom right has roast beef.
No giant butchering knives
Not everyone has a mini-cutlass in their home, and I have to admit, in retrospect, this knife is pretty damn intense for a home chef.
I've never seen anyone outside of a Caribbean household own one of these, but they're really useful for butchering meat. Highly recommend!
Shoes in the house
If I ever wore my shoes past the threshold of the shoe rack in my parents' house, I'm pretty confident I'd get yelled at.
It was surprising to me to learn that some people regularly wear their outdoor shoes around the house and don't think twice about it. I don't want to judge, but all I can think about is the dirt that's being tracked around!
Some people don't know that Guyana is a country
I've had several conversations with people who are unaware that the country exists in the first place and that it's also an English-speaking country in South America.
I distinctly recall telling someone that my parents are Guyanese and their response was "oh, you're African?" Sigh. Ghana and Guyana are two separate countries, people!
The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.