Not only my feet aren’t supermodel size, they aren’t molded to fit in stilettos or whatever expensive fancy shoes women are supposed to like. Honestly, I have no idea how other women manage to slide their feet into these pointy shoes. Don’t they have toes that get hopelessly squished? Don’t they feel pain?
Monthly Archives: June, 2012
In Canada, there are three main ways to pay for goods and services: cash, debit or credit. But which one is the best payment method? That’s the question I asked myself recently, when queuing at the supermarket and observing customers at checkout.
A while ago, I complained that nothing ever happened in Little Italy but some pasta-eating. I was wrong.
When I arrived at the yoga studio located in the heart of Little Italy on Friday, I realized that it was the “Settimana Italiana di Ottawa”, the Italian week. I came back the next day to check it out, and was treated to a nice display of Italian cars.
In Ottawa, Parliament Hill and the Canadian Parliament are a bit like Tolkien’s Mount Doom—you can see it from pretty much anywhere in the downtown core and it feel like living under the Eye of Sauron (or Harper, depending how you feel about it—to me it’s the same).
Don’t be surprised if one Saturday morning, you wake up to a busier-than-usual street with cars parked on both sides, or if your neighbour seems to have taken the garbage out too early—it’s garage sale season.
Canadians love garage sales. At least they certainly seem so, to an extent that sometimes confuses me. I guess this is another one of these cultural differences.
I hadn’t really studied Canadian etiquette before coming here, and I naively thought traditional European etiquette would apply.
I was wrong.
Here are three more faux pas I committed.
Although Ottawa doesn’t have as many condos as in Toronto, they are still popular here, especially in the downtown core. The past few years, I have seen quite a few new buildings popping up on Rideau Street, around the Byward Market and in the Bank Street neighborhood.
I receive a fair share of questions directly on this blog. I actually enjoy answering them—it’s always rewarding to share your experience and to help someone. Besides, I remember how lost and clueless I was when I was in the immigration process.
That said, some questions, on this blog or in the forums, get on my nerves.
The term “faux pas” comes originally from French (it literally means “misstep”)—I guess the French are so prone to cultural awkwardness they needed a word for it.
I like to think my parents raised me well and that I’m usually a polite and considerate person. But I was also very French when I settled in Canada, and my Frenchness led to me to commit many involuntarily social “oops”.
When it rains in Ottawa, it pours. And it has been pouring for almost a week non-stop now—blah weather, trust me. Umbrellas aren’t being terribly helpful because it’s flooded everywhere, and the wind is often too strong to hold the umbrella in the first place.
I headed to Château Laurier, nearby Parliament Hill, one of Ottawa’s most famous hotels and landmarks. The last time I was inside for a peek had been around Christmas time a few years ago, and this time it looked very different: brides and grooms had replaced Santa Claus!
The great part about immigrating to a new country is that you don’t lose anything—you gain new experiences and broaden your horizon. Sure, I occasionally miss French food (although I can quickly get sick of it) but I also discovered a lot of new products that don’t exist in France, or foods I just wasn’t familiar with.