I Have just received the precious letter from Citizenship and Immigration: on June 11th, I’m invited to write my citizenship test.
Browsing: Cultural Differences
To me, going door to door trying to explain people they are going to hell is about as useless as a telemarketer who is calling at 11:00 pm to sell AIG stocks. How does shoving your beliefs in my face is going to make the world a better place?
There are French things I miss, like the coffee culture and historic cities. But then, I think about the downsides: stupid shop hours, dodging dog poo, the bureaucracy…
Followers speak a weird language: home run, end zone, touchdown, powerplay, and mostly “scooooooore”. Their Gods? MLB (Major League Baseball), NFL (National Football League), NBA (National Baseball Association) and NHL (National Hockey League).
Some would love the Westboro Baptist Church to be sued for hate speeches, while some say (without supporting them) that groups like them may be the ultimate test for the First Amendment and free speech.
Owning a house. The true American dream.
North America is a land of settlers, a place where everything is possible, even buying one’s little piece of heaven. Land and a house on it. Far from expensive Europe or overcrowded Asia. A lot of households make it. Home sweet home.
Like any other expat/ immigrants, Sasha occasionally misses home. Her “5 American things you can not recreate in Europe” made me laugh… and I figured I could easily list 5 French things I can not recreate in Canada.
Every Monday and Thursday, you can find me trying to stretch my downward facing dog and desperately attempting to breath during sun salutations. So far, I master the corpse pose, which is basically lying flat on your back on a mat.
People feel the need to eat in places they shouldn’t even think of: at concerts, sports games, outdoor activities, movie theaters; on the bus, the train, in their cars. I clearly remember a time where I would go to the movie and would at most had a bottle of water in my bag.
I’m a small-time player. Or so said the last telemarketer who called to offer me a $10,000 Amex credit card. I gasped when I heard the figure. “But I don’t make that much money”, I naively admitted. “That’s why you should be interested in a higher limit credit card, ma’am. This is Canada”, he added, in his heavily Cantonese-accented English.
Ever heard of the Tragically Hip? Chances are if you did, you hold a Canadian passport. If no, don’t worry — you’re just a foreigner. The band from Kingston Ontario has been around for around twenty years but it just doesn’t work outside Canada. Could that be because their songs mostly revolve around hockey, small Canadian towns and Canadian history?
After living in Canada for almost 6 years now, this is my best shot at a sociology study: “Stuff Canadians Like.”
Don’t ever mistake a Canadian for an American. I mean, seriously! It’s the best way to get a snowball thrown at you. The truth is, despite being influenced by American culture, Canada has a true distinct society.
Historically speaking, Canada has been influenced by European culture, especially British and French. Later on, it also incorporated Aboriginal culture into mainstream Canadian society. Various immigration waves shaped the country as well.
Unless you’re from Russia or China, you will probably feel that Canada is a pretty big place. And if you’re from Russia, please let’s not argue about the Northwest Passage — it’s not like we can navigate it yet, okay?
So, 15% of $30… is…
No, I’m not calculating my Adsense revenues (that would be easy: $1 + 0.50¢ = $1.50… last time I checked!). I’m experiencing tipping-related stress. Don’t laugh: it’s common.
I would have relaxed myself (translation: drink Diet Coke while smoking cigarettes and read forums), but as the new year is about to begin, I wanted to end 2007 on a positive note. So here are the top ten reasons I love Canada.
The volunteer took a step back as he spoke, as if my Europeanism could jump on him. I decide to not mention that I spent quite a lot of time in malaria infected areas in Latin America, and got my yellow fever shot last minute in Panama’s remote countryside in a local health center.
I grew up with the traditional French daemons: fascism and globalization. They were easy enough targets, and fighting against them included chanting socialist songs in demonstrations, keeping an eye on the Front National — the French Nazi party — and watching old French movies to thwart Hollywood’s plans to take on the world.
Occasionally, a bunch of dark coats men wait at the next station: tickets collectors. Upon seeing them, weird things would happen: people of all age would run towards the nearest doors, some would pull washed out tickets out their bags and pockets and punch them quickly, some would distribute extra-tickets around them and the consensus would be “putain!*”.
Rock’n’roll stars, rap artists, rednecks, tycoons, politicians, lobbyists, aliens… North America has it all. But there’s one category that have never traveled across the ocean from its beloved old continent : the nobility.
Leaving France was not an obligation but just an option. A very tempting one, mind you. The world might be watching us eat, smoke and have sex with a disdainful smile, yet it casts envious eyes. But we know the other side of the story : no jobs, almost impossible to rent a place to live, a country stuck in the days of its glory.
I finally came to my sense before embarrassing myself by asking the stupid question. Of course I wouldn’t find wine in a supermarket. I was in Ontario !
Oh Canada ! Since coming from France a few years ago, I experienced Canada in many different ways, some good, some bad…
Standing in front of a busy LCBO meant attracting all kind of weirdos. I was known as the “flower girl” and people would stop by and talk to me about their life, their kids, their problems. Without buying flowers, of course. People would first speak to me in all kind of foreign languages : Russian, Lebanese, Italian, Spanish, Greek… I guess I did look like an immigrant !