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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!

Teaching 101

I wish John would shut up. But you see, John is so enthusiastic about his French training that he has to mumble vocabulary on his way to class. For now, I'm trying to open the bloody classroom door...

Hockey Night

Canadians love their game, but the whole atmosphere is surprisingly friendly. Toronto is hated by everyone -- hence the "Toronto sucks" jerseys wore by die-hard fans -- but no hard feeling here :...

Colors Of Decay

The change of season is always dramatic in Canada. Spring goes like that : one day you're going to work with the usual three sweaters and snowboots on, the next day you're looking for your sandals...

Working Class Hero Is Something To Be

Rock'n'roll stars, rap artists, rednecks, tycoons, politicians, lobbyists, aliens... North America has it all. But there's one category that have never traveled across the ocean from its beloved old...

Flower Power

The whole world can worry about global warming, here in Canada we enjoy it (as long as it doesn't melt our piece of ice up there). We should be seeing red leaves and have chilly weather on the way...

Cigarettes And Alcohol

I finally came to my sense before embarrassing myself by asking the stupid question. Of course I wouldn’t find wine in a supermarket. I was in Ontario !

Geographical Humour

Geographical Humour

But one thing helped to make it through the long days (that is, other than the pack of cigarette I smoked and the cup of burning hot coffee sitting by me on the table) : when customers called, I had...

A Walk In Ottawa

The big heat seems to be over and winter will be here soon enough... So on Saturday, I took my camera and went downtown for long walk. Despite its "boring" reputation, Ottawa is actually a really...

Summer In The City

Summer usually brings the worse students, along with those to busy to take classes the rest of the year and whose only chance is to come to school when the Parliament isn’t in session. I don’t mind...

To Be Or Not To Be

Standing in front of a busy LCBO meant attracting all kind of weirdos. I was known as the “flower girl” and people would stop by and talk to me about their life, their kids, their problems. Without...

Losing My Religion

I knew Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism—and that was about it. I was—and I still am—clueless about Pentecostalism, Anglicanism, Baptists, Methodists, Lutheran, Presbyterian...

Lost In Translation

I’m losing my French. Too bad I’m a French teacher. It all started when I moved to Ottawa. The city is in Ontario but the French-speaking province of Quebec is only minutes away, across the Ottawa...

Morning Glory

Oh crap. It’s 8:50 and my brain is still sleeping. I ought to wake up. I extricate myself from the car, a task harder than usual considering I’m holding a can of Diet Coke and my handbag, slung...

Diddly-Ho, Neighbor-ino

See, I grew up in France in what North Americans call an heritage building. I mean, you would probably take a picture of it. Six storey, white façade, balconies, big wooden door leading to an inside...

The Interviews From Hell

How many interviews have I been to ? I’d say about thirty in Canada so far, ¾ of them in my first year in Ottawa. I was desperate for a job but the odds seemed to be against me. At 20 years old, my...

Dirty Little Secrets

However, I soon discovered that workplaces bore some resemblance with the world I was used to. Contrary to my naive opinion, people don’t automatically become smarter and well-behaved nor that they...

Do You Speak English?

English wasn't popular. French don't like English much ("they put vinegar on chips and eat meat with mint sauce !"), and the relationship with the USA has always been a bit rocky ("these warmongers/...