When I first came to Canada, I had been warned: there are much less holidays on this side of the Atlantic Ocean, and no public strike will change labor laws. Looking back, I can say the system is different but not in a bad way.
Browsing: Cultural Differences
Some of my core values were challenged at one point or another after I moved to Canada. I had to reconsider what I had been taught as a French. What I had blindly believed in for all the years I spent in France. What had been passed on to me by my parents and by the education system.
Even the slightest things.
The scale in the corner of the kitchen was taunting me, and one morning, I finally climbed on it. I was just curious, I guess. Barely awake, my eyes still out-of-focus, I blinked several times, trying to bring the scale’s needle into focus. And I gasped.
When I first came to Canada, my English wasn’t good at all. I hated talking to people, especially strangers. I’d go to the stores and try to keep the conversation to a minimum.
I soon realized I just couldn’t do that. No matter how hurried I tried to look, or how clueless I may have seemed, people would always talk to me. Canadians love small talk.
I think prospective immigrants should be given the whole picture and I don’t believe wearing pink-colored glasses really helps on the long run.
This is not about bashing Canada or North America, or saying that other countries on earth are by comparison much better. This is about giving some other facts, for once a bit on the “minus” side.
I was absolutely unaware of our reputation abroad until I started traveling. Then, I realized that the French were said to have this little je ne sais quoi. In plain language: French were libertine, were doing it all the time, routinely had several mistresses and lovers and had a god-given talent for romance.
I Have just received the precious letter from Citizenship and Immigration: on June 11th, I’m invited to write my citizenship test.
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.