Bonjour the France! Cantaloupes and Tomatoes
6

On Sun­days, all the stores are closed but a cou­ple of bak­eries and a bunch of bars (French can’t live with­out a sup­ply of booze). Even though these quiet Sun­days are kind of a recur­ring event and a tra­di­tion in France, most peo­ple still need to shop.

Bonjour the France! Waiting for the Train
8

The hol­i­days serve as an all-purpose excuse. Spend­ing too much money? Bof, c’est la vacances! Drink­ing too much? Les vacances! Eat­ing out? Mais oui, c’est la vacances! What­ever hap­pens, on verra en septembre.

Canadian Life Duplo Cop, Ottawa, May 2015
8

I mute the French anti-police slo­gans that auto­mat­i­cally play in my head when I hear the word “police”. Grow up, Juli­ette. You are no longer an angry teenager. “The police help peo­ple when they have a prob­lem,” I reply to Mark, almost convincingly.

Canadian Life Chinese Characters in Singapore, 2011
12

While the obnox­ious yet-to-be-caffeinated lady is still fig­ur­ing out what she really wants from life and from a Sty­ro­foam cup, I eaves­drop on other people’s conversations.

Canadian Life Ice Cream Treat, Gatineau, June 2015
8

Before Mark, I didn’t quite under­stand why peo­ple were using ser­vices and con­ve­niences or pay­ing some­one to com­plete a task for them.

Canadian Life Tim Hortons Cups at the Bus Stop, Ottawa
18

This is one aspect of life in Canada I find harder and harder to deal with: every­thing looks exactly the same—new, in good condition—and life is so orderly that it gets absolutely infuriating.

Foodies Corner Mark at Tim Hortons, May 2015
23

If you think about it, Tim Hor­tons is just another fran­chised restau­rant serv­ing cof­fee and donuts. Yet, Cana­di­ans almost feel it’s a patri­otic duty to get a double-double at Tim­mies rather than at McDon­alds, Star­bucks or—gasp—brew cof­fee at home.

Immigration Ottawa, June 2015
21

There is “one of these” again in my inbox today. The “object” line reads “help me”. I can guess the con­tent of the email, the sus­pense fac­tor is minimal.

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