Browsing: Trends

Debates, discussions, news articles, cultural differences stories and everyday life blah blah.

Canadian Life Danger!

Amid the reces­sion, money is tight for every­body.
Let’s face it, immi­gra­tion can bring a fair share of finan­cial trou­ble. First, apply­ing for per­ma­nent res­i­dence and relo­cat­ing in Canada isn’t cheap. Then, find­ing a good job may take time. And above all, man­ag­ing your money in a new coun­try isn’t easy, as you may not be as “street smart” yet as residents.

Trends Kiva: Loans That Change Lives

A while ago, I was vis­it­ing Gean’s blog when I noticed an intrigu­ing ban­ner: “Lend $25, change a life. Get $25 back and lend it again. Change another life.” I clicked on the ban­ner and I was directed to Kiva.
I learned that Kiva’s mis­sion was to: “empower indi­vid­u­als to lend to an entre­pre­neur across the globe”.

Trends Bilingual Signs in Ottawa

Every day I thank the lan­guage Gods for the inven­tion of the pro­noun “you” in Eng­lish. No mat­ter who you talk to, whether it’s your boss, your in-laws, a close friend or a per­fect stranger, it’s a no-brainer: just say “you”.
It’s not a given, you know. A lot of lan­guages have two ways of say­ing “you”: French has “tu” and “vous”, much like Span­ish has “tú” and “usted”, Por­tuguese has “tu” and “você” and Chi­nese has “你” and “您”.

Trends Sign promoting the use of French language in a mall in Montreal: "I like when retail employee talk to me in French. Thank you."

It’s only when I showed up at Star­bucks that I real­ized I had no idea how to order in French. And order­ing my cof­fee in Eng­lish in Mon­tréal would look back, wouldn’t it. But I needed cof­fee: this is a work­ing week­end for me and I haven’t had much sleep the last few days.

Snapshots Gazes

When I exited The Bay, he was stand­ing here, play­ing the har­mon­ica. I stood here for a minute, look­ing at him. I grabbed the cam­era which was slung over my shoul­der and our eyes met briefly. He nod­ded, still play­ing. He first slowly turned on his side to show me the cat perched on his shoul­ders, safe from my camera’s peer­ing eye. I smiled and waited. Even­tu­ally, he looked straight into my eyes. I snapped two pic­tures quickly, gave him a cou­ple of bucks and walked away.

Trends Stop Sign Crying

In France, the say­ing goes that “le client est roi”. But in fact, the cus­tomer is any­thing but a king: at best he is an idiot, a minor annoy­ance in your day. As this funny arti­cle on “How to play the French ser­vice game … and win” explains: “The cus­tomer is king. But we all know what they did to their royal fam­ily. The guil­lotined head of Louis XVI bounced across the Place de la Con­corde as a few thou­sand Parisians laughed at it”.

Trends Graffiti In Nantes, France

The more I attend classes at uni­ver­sity, the more I feel like I belong in a museum. The big museum of failed and for­got­ten ideals. Move along, noth­ing to see here.

Snapshots Waiting For The Show

After shoot­ing the torch relay, I decided to stay down­town and to have a look at the night fes­tiv­i­ties on Par­lia­ment Hill. By the time I got there, I learned from two ladies (pic­tured below) that they would only start after sun­set… I wasn’t going to sit on the cold wait­ing, like them, for a few hours. I headed to Chap­ters and grabbed a hot coffee.

Snapshots Waiting For The Flame

Today, the Olympic Torch of the Van­cou­ver 2010 Olympics arrived in Ottawa and it trav­eled all over the city. I walked to Bank Street and waited patiently with the next torch bearer for the cur­rent bearer to arrive.

Trends Smile!

When I stepped out­side the house for a last smoke, right after mid­night, I caught sight of a shadow on the side­walk. A young woman was stand­ing there, look­ing in my direction.

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