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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!

Canada is Huge

At school, I learned that the three largest countries in the world were Russia (and at the time, the USSR was larger than current-day Russia!), Canada and China. As a kid, it was hard to comprehend...

The Phone Quest

One of the first things I had to do when coming home, along with doing loads of laundry, was to get a phone. Well, technically, I have a phone. Two, even: a landline (primarily for telemarketers to...

10 Ways to Not Become Poor in Canada

Christmas shopping is underway in most parts of North America and a lot of consumers took advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. So, how to not become poor in Canada? How to manage your...

Fall Sky

Between adjusting the clock backward and the short late fall days, the sun now sets around 4:30 p.m. The downsides are obvious: everyone feels tired and it’s hard to go back home in the dark. But on...

Ottawa Does Not Suck

Come on guys. Ottawa does not suck! It’s funny how popular capital-bashing is in the new world: Australians with Canberra, Americans with Washington DC etc. The old world usually have capital...

Charity Begins at Home (And is Everywhere)

All summer long, I bumped into canvassers wearing emblazoned binders and vests with the logo of the charity they were working for. “Do you have a minute for the environment?” some ask plaintively. “I...

Canadian Souvenirs

I admit it, I suck at buying souvenirs. First, I often don’t have room in my luggage. Second, most souvenirs are not exactly useful and can be downright tacky. What’s the point of spending money on...

Cocooning

Suddenly, the very same indoors malls I avoided all summer (it’s too cold with the air-con on!) look welcoming again and I don’t want to take quick cold showers anymore but lounge around in the...

The Same… Just Different

Thanks to globalization, no matter where you go these days, you will probably experience a lesser culture shock than the great explorers did a few centuries ago. Familiar brands and franchises took...

After The Rain

The other day was one of these blah days. I was soaked by the time I got home. I ditched my bag on the floor and grabbed the camera with my favourite prime lens for a quick photo shoot—I wasn’t going...

The Pumpkin Massacre

I'm very ashamed to say that, for the past...er, 8 years, the pumpkin carving duty was often performed by my Chinese in-laws. But this year, we decided to tackle the chore. Cut me some slack, okay...

Canadians Behind The Camera

My story with Canadian cinema didn’t start very well. When I first came here, Feng dragged me to see Men with Brooms. Keeping in mind I barely spoke English and didn’t know much about Canada, I...

Ottawa Zombie Walk

Soon, a long horde of newly-deads, including Colonel Khadafy, marched down Saint Patrick Street, blocking the traffic and scaring passer-by. Ottawa citizens stood no chance against the zombies...

Rideau Hall

Weather-permitting, I’m still looking for beautiful fall sceneries in Ottawa—this is the perks of living in the region! After Vincent Massey Park, I headed to Rideau Hall, the official residence of...

Occupy Ottawa

Last Saturday began “Occupy Ottawa”, a movement modelled on the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations in New York. Lots of people showed up at Confederation Park despite the cold and the rain and it was...

Sunset on Mackenzie King Bridge

Last Saturday, sunset came to me. After a drink in the Byward, I was crossing Mackenzie King Bridge to go for sushi in Chinatown when I noticed the tall buildings in the downtown core were set...

Fall Colours at the Park

This Thanksgiving weekend was amazingly hot, with temperatures in the mid-20°C.  It’s hard to believe it’s fall and I think we are in for a shock when temperatures will plunge, which is bound to...

How I Gained (and Lost) Weight in Canada

Alright, I was never 500 pounds neither I am 100 pounds today. I’m average. I’ve never been described as “skinny” or “thin” but again, at 5’7, I’m not a tiny little thing so I’m not aiming for that...

Night Owls

During summer, days are long and sunset is late, so I’m rarely downtown Ottawa after night falls. But as days are becoming shorter, I decided to go hunt for night shots while the weather is still...