So, here the big news: on Friday, the government fell. On Saturday, Harper met with the Governor General who agreed to dissolve Parliament. Placards grew overnight on front lawns and we are heading to the polls again on May 2nd, 2011.
Monthly Archives: March, 2011
Music is a powerful medium. Songs stir memories and can perfectly evoke places, express feelings—and yes, give a snapshot of a country.
Here are five songs that talk about Canada and evoke an aspect of the country, from funny city names to hockey, from the famous Canadian winters to Canadiana.
And… I’m back! Gee, being off the grid for a day was strange.
For those who haven’t visited lately, I took the blog offline for a day for a much-needed spring clean-up.
We started to hear new noises around here. Birds chirping in the trees, the constant waterfall noise of water flowing in the drains and in the sewers, the “splotch splotch” sound when walking on soaked grass. The snow is melting fast, thanks to warmer temperatures. Nothing to get excited about though, it’s only about 3°C and the Northern wind is still cold. Yet, it’s a beginning. Winter is melting away.
Happy birthday to me!
Still no white hair (although it got bleached by the sun during our last trip).
Still no plan other than the usual—writing, taking pictures, traveling.
Still freezing my butt off in Canada, the country that adopted me.
Unlike in France, the customer is king in North America. This means that businesses take customer service seriously and everything is made to make your life easier: long opening hours, generous return policies, customer help desk, toll-free numbers… Unfortunately, there are also a few scams going around.
Feng calls me a “professional worrier”. I do worry a lot. I worry about the past, the present and the future. I mostly worry about the future though. And time. Time is my biggest issue. I don’t have enough time to do what I love and I spend too much time doing stuff that I don’t like. There are never enough hours in the day except when I’m bored, never enough time to accomplish everything.
This attitude is common when it comes to immigration. A lot of people want to leave their country for political or economic reasons. I get emails through this blog that basically say: “I’m desperate to leave XYZ country, how I can move to Canada easily?” And when I start explaining that moving to Canada is usually do-able but that you have to meet a few requirements, do research etc. their interest vanishes.
I was a French teacher for the federal government for four years. Once day, as I was having lunch in on the Statistic Canada campus, I was approached by two guys. They introduced themselves and explained there were “working here” and took an interest in the papers I was grading.
When I first came to live in Canada, Feng got a job working in a movie theatre. We were two penniless travelers and the perspective was very exciting: a job! Free movies! And so we started going to the movies regularly, thanks to the free passes Feng got at work.
Since I’m back to a 9-to-5 schedule, I take my week-ends rather seriously. Unfortunately, the powerful Canadian weather Gods conspired against me. It is March, really? Doesn’t feel like it. I know we skipped most of the winter but this doesn’t mean I wanted to experience it in March!
I recently complained about the number of scams going on in Thailand but I must admit Canada is not perfect either. While the government and the police are relatively corruption-free, and the country is very safe, we have a fair number of scam and fraud problems.
I work in a cubicle and it’s fairly common to overhear phone conversations. When I first started working there, I would always hear my co-workers begging IT Services for help: “Can you reset my password?” “Seriously people”, I thought, “how hard is it to remember variations on your birth date?”