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FRESH OF THE PLANE: Newcomer learns to fit in

Strange as it may seem to many people reading this, I didn’t grow up with fitted sheets. It was a whole new concept for me – so much so that while I loved the way they stretched over the edges of a mattress and made making beds so much easier, I thought of the flat sheets (the kind I was used to back in India) as an extra, a bonus!

I always wondered, though, why the two sets of sheets came with only one set of pillow cases or shams as I learnt they are called here. I took to buying an extra set of plain ones to go with the second sheet. And would have continued doing this, blissfully unaware of the flat sheet’s real purpose if a friend hadn’t complained about being given a blanket without the sheet below at a relative’s place. She had moved to Calgary many years before we moved to Canada, knew a lot more about how things were done here and had been a great source of information for many things.

Why did she need a sheet below the blanket, I remember asking her. People don’t wash blankets as often as sheets, she said, so it made sense to place a sheet below the blanket. 

“That way everyone gets clean blankets instead of ones that have been used for who knows how long,” she explained. 

“We never used sheets below blankets in India,” I said.

“The concept didn’t exist and I guess we didn’t know better,” she responded. “But since it does now and we do know better, I think my sister-in-law should have given me a sheet below my blanket!” said my friend categorically. “Unless you are using a duvet with a removable duvet cover that you can wash, in that case it’s okay not to use an extra sheet.”

Now I have duvet covers, and it’s all clean, but all those years of not providing sheets under blankets for house guests still makes me squirm.                                                                     



What’s your story? Every newcomer, no matter how savvy or where he or she comes from, has a Fresh Off the Plane (FOP) story to share about their early days in Canada. Do you want to share your story? E-mail it to us at canadaboundimmigrant@rogers.com.

Posted: Sep 6, 2017

June 2019

Centennial College

Immigration Peel Canada

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