Last weekend, we took a drive to the U.S. and headed to Watertown, a small town in New York State. A manufacturing centre in the early 20th century, the city was said to have more millionaires per capita than any other city in the nation. This is where the little trees air fresheners were invented! Today, 19.3% of the population live below the poverty line…
Monthly Archives: May, 2011
This second interview of the series is the chance to meet a very new immigrant couple: Nelson and his wife, from Venezuela, landed in Toronto just a few weeks ago. Coming to Canada had been a lifelong dream for Nelson, who wanted to complete his studies here.
I’m a bit disconnected from French news. But recently, a few headlines caught my eyes again, mostly because they quickly spread internationally. First, there was the tragic story of the Dupont de Ligonnès family—the father is still on the run by the way.
I know, I know, it’s slightly pathetic, I’m raving about spring a month after everybody did. But this is Canada, we don’t really do spring, we go from freezing to boiling in less than a day.
May has been a very rainy month—we were starting to feel like on Noa’s Ark. I mean, this was my daily commute! But suddenly, on Rapture Day no less, the sun started shining and the thermometer went up dramatically. It was the best end of the world ever.
We will start today with Nui, from Thailand, who recently arrived in Ottawa. After years on the move around the world, Nui and her Canadian-German husband decided to settle in Canada. They lived in Kingston for a while and are now in Ottawa, where Nui is launching her small business.
Comparing cost of living between two countries is a national sport among immigrants. It’s a touchy debate because unless you’re an economist, it’s hard to make an accurate cost of living comparison. First, it depends on where you lived before (for instance, life in Paris is invariably more expensive than in Brittany) and where you are in Canada (you can’t compare Nunavut with Saskatchewan). Second, our perception is also easily skewed even though economically it all comes down to purchasing power.
See, the good side of participating in photo contests? Occasionally, you win.
That’s what happened to me a little while ago: I won the 2010 ESAI Photography Competition. Not only I was flattered, but the prize was really sweet—a $350 gift card from Henry’s, a Canadian camera store.
So, you got scammed and now it’s too late. You feel angry and embarrassed and you wish you had trusted that gut feeling.
What can you do now?
Two words: report it.
The steps you need to take mostly depend on the type of fraud and on the nature of the scam.
A little while ago, Guillermo, my good blog friend and fellow immigrant in Ottawa, asked me if he could interview me. “No worries!” I replied—hey, who doesn’t like being interviewed?
“The interview would be in Spanish” he quickly added. See, Guillermo and is family are from Argentina and even though I know for sure he speaks English fluently, the interview was for his Spanish blog.
“Well, sure” I replied, mentally reviewing who could edit my Spanish replies.
“Oh, and it’s a recorded interview” he finally added.
I can almost always tell when a blog is about to die, and it has nothing to do with how popular it is. Once in a while, the author comes back to apologize: “I know I haven’t written in a while… I promise I’ll blog more”. This is usually the beginning of the end. Because you can’t force yourself to write to please the audience. Otherwise, you sound like an awkward date who tries to avoid uncomfortable lulls in the conversation.
The U.K and Royalists around the world celebrated the Royal Wedding, the U.S.A finally got “America’s most wanted” and Canada woke up from the federal elections with a hangover—Harper in a majority government, seriously?
Meanwhile, the headlines in France were all about a grisly case that took place in Nantes, my hometown.
How many times a day does this scenario happen to you? The phone rings and you drop whatever you were doing to pick it up, only to hear a familiar pause, and then a mechanical voice reeling off a script.
“I’m not interested, thank you”. You hang up and sigh. Bloody telemarketers.
I don’t care about my hair. I don’t dye it (although I used to when I was a teen), I don’t blow-dry it (that’s what the wind is for, right?) and I don’t style it (why bother?). I had long hair, braided hair (please, don’t ask for pictures, that was a long time ago) and I’ve had short hair for a few years now. I do have very thick hair though. It’s a blessing in disguise: I need a haircut once in a while otherwise it looks like I’m wearing a wig, but it keeps me warm and I don’t really need to style.
On Sunday, my foodie friend dragged me to the Ottawa Veg Fest in the Glebe. Okay, she didn’t “drag me”, I volunteered—I love food and the perspective of sampling delicacies from restaurants all across Ottawa was exciting enough that I actually got up early and skipped breakfast.