“So, here’s the challenge: make a list of five strengths that you possess as a writer/artist. It’s not really bragging, it’s an honest assessment (forced upon you by this darn meme). Please resist the urge to enumerate your weaknesses, or even mention them in contrast to each strong point you list. Tag four other writers or artists whom you’d like to see share their strengths.”
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 : it’s a game. I remember the soccer games back in France where the anti-riot cops have to be there during the whole game to prevent fans to go crazy… Canadians’ passion is much more peaceful .
How did I get into this conversation, already ? Oh yeah, I’m on the #151 going downtown, and I took the last free sit, by a middle aged woman who was obviously bored and started up the conversation as soon as she saw me pulling a French book out of my bag. The conversation wasn’t about literature though.
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 and the backyard is flooded by all the snow melting.
Fall is similar. Right now, we’re enjoying really warm temperature, but I know that it’s only a matter of day before we enter Winter, with a cap “W”.
I don’t have too many icons on my desktop because I use a dock under Windows XP. Still, you can see a few of my folders : “to read” (bunch of pages I copy from the web) and “to print” (usually my work schedule and my students plans for the week).Here is my dock : it usually sits on top of my desktop but for some reason it didn’t show on the first screenshot (autohide probably…).
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 continent : the nobility.
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, but flowers are blooming everywhere. Go figure !
Leaving France was not an obligation but just an option. A very tempting one, mind you. The world might be watching us eat, smoke and have sex with a disdainful smile, yet it casts envious eyes. But we know the other side of the story : no jobs, almost impossible to rent a place to live, a country stuck in the days of its glory.
After one week of struggling with HTML, Php and other barbaric names… here I am on Wodrpress !
The move wasn’t that smooth… but quite interesting actually.
I had made the decision to switch from Blogger to Wordpress a few weeks earlier. I wanted more flexibility, I wanted to learn more about coding, and I’ve been blogging for almost a years now – I knew I wasn’t going to quit anytime soon.
We took a sit on the bikes and watched. The second plane had crashed into the 2nd tower by then and it looked like anything but an accident. Our English was somewhat limited but we grasped most of the news. Not that it was hard to understand : voices and faces said it all. People just didn’t understand what was going on – neither did we.
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 !
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 to ask them for their address. And I soon discovered Canadians had some kind of humor when it came to naming places.
Oh Canada ! Since coming from France a few years ago, I experienced Canada in many different ways, some good, some bad…
Another bites the dust. Another Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan, the 67th. Americans casualty ? 427 soldiers, if no one dies by tomorrow. Operation Enduring Freedom ? Yeah, right.
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 nice city.
I first went on Parliament Hill. Fun place to hang out, there’s always something happening: deposed politicians trying to network, busy Members of Parliament, demonstrators, tourists trying to take a perfect picture…
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 those ones. They’re usually focused on their studies because they’re desperate to pass their French test, which will entitle them to a promotion or a pay rise. But the weirdos…
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 buying flowers, of course. People would first speak to me in all kind of foreign languages : Russian, Lebanese, Italian, Spanish, Greek… I guess I did look like an immigrant !
I got off the bus and walked towards the barracks. I showed a piece of ID to the orderly who was standing by the huge metal door and he let me in. Behind the doors were about a hundred people, all my age, anxiously smoking cigarettes and making small talk.
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, Pentecostal/Charismatic, Episcopalian/Anglican, Seventh-Day Adventist, Born Again etc. And what the hell is “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”? A bunch of people who believe they will eventually end up in Heaven because they have the longest religious group name ever???
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 River. As a result, roughly 50% of the population speaks English and 30% of the population speaks French.
— Dare to go explore the world ? — Sure ! It started with a…
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 across my shoulder, is bursting with colored folders, papers, photocopies and pens.
I step on the sidewalk and slam the car’s passenger door. I stand there and root around my handbag and pull out a lighter. Woohoo, first victory of the day, not a small one considering the mess in my bag.
Canadian politics. Two main parties : the Liberals and the Conservative. So, the Liberals must be right-wing – cause in France, being called a Liberal is a bad word, much like being called a Socialist in Texas. Oh, they’re fairly left-wing ? Alright. But what about the Conservative ? What a stupid nickname !