Now that I have joined the dark side—and that Feng can look at Mark and…
Monthly Archives: May, 2013
That Sunday, we decided to check out the Olympic Park—I had seen it from afar but I had never been up close. The Park is located in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, a quiet working class residential neighborhood favoured by newcomers and students. We spotted a few families having breakfast on their balconies, and people doing their morning “beer run” at the local convenience store—unlike in Ontario, booze is sold everywhere in Quebec.
It was hot and sunny, and there were a lot of tourists and locals in the streets. People were generally in a good mood, thanks to the weather and to the perspective of a long weekend. Suddenly, I didn’t mind being in the heart of a tourist district I usually find tacky—yes, I’m a snob. Suddenly, I didn’t mind being part of the crowd and playing the game.
Diapers? Checked. Bottle? Checked. Formula? Checked. Twenty-thousands things we probably won’t need but might need? Checked. Baby screaming in car seat, waiting for parents? (Sound) checked.
We loaded the car and left to Montreal. A spontaneous Victoria Day weekend trip—we had only booked the hotel the night before.
This year, loyal Ottawa hockey fans were rewarded: The Ottawa Senators, the city’s team, made it to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Suddenly, Sens flags started to appear all across the city, on windows, on cars… and even on the big crane by the National Art Gallery of Canada.
I subscribed to Day of the Shirt, a website aggregating limited edition designer t-shirt sales from different popular stores. After a couple of weeks, I finally found a design that caught my eye: “Good Luck Nobita” by designer Jeda, available on Unamee.
The annual Tulips Festival opened on a very warm week and the flowers were all in bloom. It was beautiful, as usual. We went to Dow’s Lake and by the Canal on several occasions to capture the beautiful sea of colours.
Canada welcomes immigrants for a variety of reasons, including to help the country address challenges such as an aging workforce and demands for skilled labour. However, many newcomers run into settlement difficulties, like having their foreign credentials recognized, fitting into the Canadian work culture and networking their way to a job that truly matches their skills.
So how can we bridge the gap and build a better country?
Canadians have the international reputation of being polite and courteous—and this apparently extends to our signs.
Everybody said so: “raising kids gets easier with time, it does get better”.
These wise souls just didn’t say when.
We are in Ogdensburg, New York State. Mark’s first international trip. Oh, I’m so proud of him—so far, he behaves.
Okay, this is not exactly and new-and-exotic location. Ogdensburg is the closest US town from Ottawa, a quick one-hour drive from home. But still, technically, it’s the first time Mark goes abroad—the three or four international trips he took when he was in my womb (France, New York State, NY City, France and London) don’t count, do they?
Mark is turning seven-month-old on May 12, and it’s time for the monthly highlight of new baby skills learned and milestones reached!
Jeff and his family live in a fishing village just outside Halifax, on the east coast of Canada. After years of managing IT information security, Jeff now runs his own consulting business out of his home. This allows his biggest passion: being around his two young kids.
But little by little, you will adapt. And one day, you will look back and realize how “Canadian” you have become compared to your friends or family members visiting, or compared to most newcomers. Meanwhile, here are ten signs that you are still new to Canada!
Baby Mark is starting to eat solid foods. This is a big milestone and a learning curve. Seriously, never take any basic life skill from granted—watching a baby discovering a spoon and the concept of eating is pretty hilarious.
Just like that, overnight, someone switched the heat on and we went from freezing to sweating. Or more exactly, from single-digit temperatures to a balmy 27°C. Welcome to Ottawa, where spring is a two-day transition between winter and summer!
In March 2012, Emily O’Hara and her husband moved from “Down Under” to Kamloops, British Colombia. Emily worked as an Environmental Engineer in a Canadian-owned gold mining company in Australia, and her husband and she were transferred across within the same company to the “True North strong and free”.