There is an English saying that goes “Life is short, eat dessert first”. It is meant to be a reminder to avoid putting off doing the things you really want to do until it is too late. You can learn something about a culture by these kinds of sayings. Generally, Vancouverites tend to have a more balanced lifestyle between work and play. Perhaps it is because we live in a city surrounded by “dessert” in the form of tempting and beautiful nature and fresh air? Whenever I can, I try to introduce students to these common expressions and idioms because they are so frequently used in conversation.
This time last year I led a lovely group of women on a series of ESL Field Trips for Adults where we visited various Vancouver restaurants over six weeks. We had great fun practicing English conversation and learning more about western food and dining customs. As soon as I told the group about the above saying, they immediately decided to call our little club “The Dessert Eaters”. The name perfectly described their positive and enthusiastic attitude to their new life in Vancouver. Not only have they learned English but they also actively contribute to their community through their work, volunteer work, event planning and involvement in their children’s schools. They really understood the message that we all have too little time to postpone doing things we enjoy. So, put down your to-do list for a little bit and give yourself a chance to enjoy some of the sweeter things in life.