I still don’t consider Ottawa my “hometown” even though use of this word is appropriate since it is my fixed residence.
I’m finally getting good at this whole Halloween thing. Phew. Took me long enough!
Over the hotter months, there is a catchphrase that can be read or heard everywhere: “it’s summer, it’s (insert relevant product or service) season!”
We each have our way of dealing with the transition from traveling to home. I am not good with transitions and I don’t want to linger in that state of uncertainty so I get busy.
“But… why Canada?” “Because that’s where we live?” Oh, kiddo… I don’t want to go home either. But that’s life.
This is one aspect of life in Canada I find harder and harder to deal with: everything looks exactly the same—new, in good condition—and life is so orderly that it gets absolutely infuriating.
Even though I don’t interact much with this age group in Ottawa, I have the feeling that being a Canadian teen is very different from being a French teen.
We rarely truly pay attention to the various background sounds around us, yet they are part of our environment and clue us in constantly.
My tan is already fading. I think so, anyway—it’s not like I have many occasions…
It’s ironic: everywhere I traveled in Latin America, locals told me how “lucky” I was…
It’s itchy. Like, really itchy. Will someone notice if I… I glance around me. At…
The flight was a breeze, Mark slept all the way through from Nantes to Ottawa and we landed feeling refreshed. All we had to do once home was to grab one of the gourmet meals I always keep in the fridge for such occasions and go to bed.
Nah, just kidding.
Music is a powerful medium. Songs stir memories and can perfectly evoke places, express feelings—and yes, give a snapshot of a country.
Here are five songs that talk about Canada and evoke an aspect of the country, from funny city names to hockey, from the famous Canadian winters to Canadiana.
To celebrate the last long week-end of the summer (Labour Day was today), we decided to take a short trip to rural Canada. We hit the road on Saturday morning and followed the bumpy Trans-Canada highway. Our first stop was in Pembroke, Ontario, 150 km from Ottawa.
In France, the saying goes that “le client est roi”. But in fact, the customer is anything but a king: at best he is an idiot, a minor annoyance in your day. As this funny article on “How to play the French service game … and win” explains: “The customer is king. But we all know what they did to their royal family. The guillotined head of Louis XVI bounced across the Place de la Concorde as a few thousand Parisians laughed at it”.
Generally speaking, Canada is a fairly quiet country: strikes and social unrest are rare, unlike in France where I grew up.
That said, each country has its debates and touchy issues that never seem to be solved and are always brought up in the media. Here are the most famous ones in Canada.
I Have just received the precious letter from Citizenship and Immigration: on June 11th, I’m invited to write my citizenship test.
There are French things I miss, like the coffee culture and historic cities. But then, I think about the downsides: stupid shop hours, dodging dog poo, the bureaucracy…
The city hasn’t changed… I guess it never really does. It’s both comfortable and slightly disturbing to slip into our old lives, like nothing happened.
Like any other expat/ immigrants, Sasha occasionally misses home. Her “5 American things you can not recreate in Europe” made me laugh… and I figured I could easily list 5 French things I can not recreate in Canada.
I’m a small-time player. Or so said the last telemarketer who called to offer me a $10,000 Amex credit card. I gasped when I heard the figure. “But I don’t make that much money”, I naively admitted. “That’s why you should be interested in a higher limit credit card, ma’am. This is Canada”, he added, in his heavily Cantonese-accented English.
So, 15% of $30… is…
No, I’m not calculating my Adsense revenues (that would be easy: $1 + 0.50¢ = $1.50… last time I checked!). I’m experiencing tipping-related stress. Don’t laugh: it’s common.
I would have relaxed myself (translation: drink Diet Coke while smoking cigarettes and read forums), but as the new year is about to begin, I wanted to end 2007 on a positive note. So here are the top ten reasons I love Canada.
Occasionally, a bunch of dark coats men wait at the next station: tickets collectors. Upon seeing them, weird things would happen: people of all age would run towards the nearest doors, some would pull washed out tickets out their bags and pockets and punch them quickly, some would distribute extra-tickets around them and the consensus would be “putain!*”.