Do you speak Canadian? Knowing basic slang words and canadianisms is a good start, but learning to read between the lines is also important. Every culture has expressions that shouldn’t be taken literally. So, what do Canadians really mean when they say the following?
Monthly Archives: October, 2013
I’m not exactly Martha Stewart material. I suck at proper etiquette, home improvement projects leave…
Ever wondered why I sound like a smartass when I give immigration advice? Well… that would be because I’ve made my share of mistakes when I first traveled back and forth between France and Canada. I recently wrote a few tips about crossing the Canadian border smoothly. Now, I have to share my own horror story—a cautionary tale of what happens when you are not prepared.
Traveling—and later immigrating to Canada—taught me to be less judgmental. We are a multicultural family and we blend our cultures, traditions and ways of living in this multicultural and diverse country. This taught me that there are many ways to live life and that no one really has a perfect instruction manual. Do you know what else taught me to keep my thoughts to myself? Having a baby.
It will get cold, eventually. But for now, we are just hopping from one park to the other to play with the leaves and teach Mark how to walk. We don’t even have to go far into the wild, any small park—hell, even the supermarket’s parking lot!—has an amazing display of colours.
The “Owls of the Nile” design was created by Rachel Caldwell aka ThirstyFly, a talented Philadelphia-based illustrator. I absolutely love the details she included in this art! It’s a truly unique piece.
I find this series fascinating. You see travelers, both Canadians and foreign, trying to smuggle goods or getting in illegally. People lie, threaten, plaid ignorance, get angry, etc. as CBSA agents dig deeper to get to the bottom of things. Sitting in front of the TV, you can’t help thinking “man, these people are idiot! Don’t they know any better?”
We checked out of the bedbugs hotel (yay!) hopefully leaving the insects behind (RIP dead bug on white sheets… I still have your picture!). The plan was to explore McGill University and its famous campus but we got sidetracked.
We were so proud of him we almost cried. Parents are stupidly emotional sometime… but seeing your baby walking for the first time is strange. He looked so… grown up!
I counted twice on his little fingers to make sure I got that right. Yep: Mark is turning one today.
On the East coast, we say “goodbye” to summer in style. And I’m not talking…
For some reasons, we always have a hard time “mastering” Montreal. It should be easy: it’s a first-world city, a blend of North American and French influences, it’s close to Ottawa… and yet, we always seem to run into minor annoyances—which doesn’t happen to us when we travel to, let’s say, Toronto.
Easy. Step one, make sure the baby doesn’t sleep in the morning (ah ah, easy with Mark!). Step two, head to the Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata for the open Ottawa Senators practice. Step three… enjoy!
Our first evening in the city had started off pretty well. After checking in at the “hotel from hell” (which, at that point, was just a regular bed bugs-free hotel as far as we knew), we decided to make the most of the remaining daylight. We headed to Mont Royal, the hill west of downtown Montreal, to which it gave its name.
I’ve seen bed bugs before, mostly in dirty hostels in Australia—I remember being eaten alive a couple of times in Melbourne. But I kind of expected it. I mean, hostels are… well, hostels. When the twelve guys in your sixteen-bed dorms haven’t showered or done laundry in days and when they store food on their beds… you know it’s a bed bug hostel. But I certainly wasn’t expecting a place like a Travellodge Hotel (not fancy but decent) to have bed bugs.