My November

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Tim Hortons Cups on Parliament Hill

November is such a depressing month—I don’t even know why it exists. Days are cold and damp and it is pitch black by the time I go back home at 5 pm. This month is an interregnum between pumpkins and Santa Claus, between red leaves and snow. I guess we need a transition period to adapt but boy, November drags on forever.

I have tons of little things to do before we go, ranging from buying a few books to seeing my accountant. Last week, right after I finally took my winter coat to the dry-cleaner, I also realized I needed to buy some practical summer clothes for Australia. Felt like a déjà-vu: a couple of years ago, before going to Latin America, I noticed at the last minute I didn’t have a swimsuit. The old one I had brought from France was all washed-out and the black had turned greyish. I had no idea where to buy a swimsuit in Canada in November but I remembered seeing Bikini Village stores at the mall. Oh boy, wrong move… tops and bottoms were sold separately and any set was much more than I was willing to pay. Seriously, who pay $100 for that little fabric?

This time, I do have a swimsuit (bought in Rio de Janeiro) but I needed shorts and tank tops. I must have sounded like a crazy lady at Sears when I asked where the “summer clothes” rack was but never mind. I bought a great pair of Calvin Klein shorts for $20—the perks of shopping off-season.

We also took care of our Australian visa. Well, Canadians don’t need a visa per se but we had to apply for an Electronic Travel Authority online for AU$20.00. For some reason, mine was granted right away but Feng’s got stuck in limbo. Poor Feng, his passport is always double-checked because he was born in China…! It was also a problem upon entering Panama last time.

It got pretty cold lately and even though we don’t have snow on the ground yet (the Halloween snow has long melted now) I long to feel summer again. Walking bare feet, getting rid of my big winter jacket… I started hot yoga again a couple of months ago and I must admit half of the reason why I regularly go is because it’s nice and warm in the practice room. Yeah, yeah, sure I enjoy the workout too…

The Quantas A380 plane problems don’t scare me much, however, I’m slightly anxious at the perspective of going through the U.S.A. A lot of ink has been spilled over the latest TSA security requirements and I hate the fact that flying seems to get more complicated each year. Seriously, what kind of choice is that, between the body scanner and a pat-down? I don’t like either, both are invasive! I think the world has gone crazy over the threat of terrorism.

At least, I’ll be traveling with my Canadian passport so I shouldn’t be questioned as much as I used to with my French passport. Plus, no more fingerprinting. ETA and visa-waiver paperwork. I’m grateful for that.

Australia… two weeks to go!


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. I get frantic when it is November and frenzy when it crosses over to December LOL 😀

    So many things to do, so little time it seems. You seem like a very organised person so I trust that you will be alright 🙂

    By the way, where are you stopping over in US? There is no direct flight huh?

    Sounds exciting to be travelling Downunder 😀

  2. My friend from Perth told me it’s pretty hot at the moment. That’s gonna be a drastic change in weather for you and Feng! :p You’re running away from the cold and I wish I could go to Canada in December and enjoy a white Christmas. How ironic! Hahahah XD

  3. Hi Zhu,

    They shouldn’t look at you that way asking for shorts in November at Sears! What about all the snow birds who go down to Florida each year in winter?
    Going to Australia is certainly something to look forward to! All I can look forward to in Paris(if I really wanted to) is the sale season after Christmas; pour rêver d’hiver peut-être en achetant une doudoune ou des boots? Je préfère le shopping à toi 😉


  4. @Nigel – It was a long month here… probably because we know it gets colder and colder.

    @shionge – No, there are no direct flights. Our only options were L.A or Vancouver, but we were afraid the weather wouldn’t be good in Vancouver (and in fact, it’s not, they are having a lot of snow). We don’t want to carry warm clothes plus we feared delays because of the winter conditions. So L.A it is!

    @Linguist-in-Waiting – I know, I’m actually nervous. Well, I’m always nervous when I go the U.S., these borders are not always easy to cross.

    @Celine – Thank you! I can’t wait to leave the cold behind.

    @Angele – Yes, it’s summer in OZ so it should be hot. We are definitely hoping it is!

    @London Caller – 😆 Not sure I could eat them, they are so cute! Yes, I know, it’s a dumb comment from a foreigner 😆

    @barbara – You are right, they *should* have summer stuff for the snow birds. I got some great shorts on sale but finding sandals is hard.

  5. Australia? It sounds great to me! Have a nice trip.

    BTW, November is quite depressing as well but in Ireland, after Halloween, it starts Xmas time so you can hear Xmas Carrols everywhere you go so, it’s like there is no November, just a very long December.

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