Browsing: Canadian Life

Anything related to my new life under the snow. From bitching about the weather to hockey games and the Stanley Cup, from culture shock to shocking culture, from old Europe to the New Continent, whatever is on my newcomer’s mind!

Practical Advice
By 17
Three Faux Pas I (Must Have) Committed When I Came to Canada

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”.

Life in Ottawa
By 9
Picture of the Week: Rain and More Rain

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.

Life in Ottawa
By 4
Inside Château Laurier

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!

Canadian Life
By 16
Ten Foods and Food Products I Discovered in Canada

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.

Practical Advice
By 18
Being a Canadian Consumer

It took me a while to start behaving as a consumer in Canada. At first, I marveled at how accommodating businesses were: customers could exchange merchandise, ask for refunds, demand to speak to a manger, complain about a service etc. I wouldn’t have dare to do so in France, first because there was little chance the business would actually care, second because it’s cultural—French consumers suck it up.

Life in Ottawa
By 10
Spring on the Hill

Last weekend, Feng and I took a long walk on Parliament Hill and along the Ottawa River. The Parliament grounds were crowded—the nice weather and the Tulips Festival brought a lot of tourists, mostly from China, India, the U.S. and other Canadian cities.

Canadian Life
By 20
Racism in Canada

The Front National went from being a marginal party in the 70s to being the third largest political force today. Frankly, if such a party existed in Canada, I’d be really annoyed. Fortunately, here, the influence of such fringe parties is very limited, so limited that I never hear anything about the Heritage Front or the Nationalist Party of Canada.

Life in Ottawa
By 18
Early Spring at The Farm

Some days are hot, some days are cold, but we are slowly getting there—spring is on the way. The grass is green, little critters can be spotted all around the city and flowers are blooming. It will take a while to be in full spring mode, but at least winter should be behind us by now. Hopefully, I didn’t just jinx it.

Practical Advice
By 19
Couponing, a North American “Sport”

When I first came to Canada, I did notice stacks of flyers filling the mailbox and catalogues left periodically at the front door, but I didn’t think much of it. Spontaneously, I’d put all that in the recycle bin. I mean, I hadn’t skimmed through a brochure since I was a six years old impatiently waiting to look at the Galerie Lafayette toys catalogue around Christmas time!

Canadian Life
By 26
The Fitness Quest

My plan A was Goodlife Fitness, a gym with several locations in Ottawa. The membership fee being one of my main criteria, I went online to see how much it was. Surprise surprise, the fees were nowhere to be found. Instead, those interested in joining Goodlife where asked to provide their info to be contacted about plan rates.

Winter (and Extreme Weather) in Canada
By 12
Winterlude 2012 in Gatineau

Ottawa has the best ice sculpture and the Rideau Canal to skate, but Winterlude in Gatineau, Quebec, is also a great playground for some winter fun. Although it no longer has the huge snow sculptures competition, a few impressive bas-reliefs are carved at the bottom of the main attraction: the giant snow/ice slides.

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