A new start. The setting is not new for me. I’m starting a lot in my life. Hopefully, it will be the right one this time. I hope to live at least two years at the same time. I must admit that I do fear an administrative refusal (from the Australian experience). But I’m trying to stay positive. I know the process, the budget to allocate to this but the new component is time here in Canada. For the recognition of my education, the official website is stating 20 weeks.
New start, new culture. I am discovering the North American culture. I am feeling like I am going back to an Anglo-Saxon system with its pros and cons, like in anywhere and only from my point of view. Canada is full of promises, regarding employment and quality of life. Job offers are quite interesting. In my field, there is a lot of jobs in…Québec. In Vancouver, during my last three weeks here, I had four interviews, all successful but only for part-time jobs or as a contractor. But I must confess that all potential employers were very nice and helpful, trying to give me tips. I have been told about Canadian people; they are lovely and very helpful. So I have a list of employers to call back…once I will have my situation sorted out.
Of course, regulations are not the same and my biggest fear is the quality of food, a recurrent topic on forums, Facebook posts and pages and other Youtube videos from expats. I took the decision, a long time ago, after many investigations as a journalist working for a nutrition and health website, after my studies in hospitality and after being in touch with people in the field of permaculture and other environmental-friendly practices, to live and consume differently.
Looking for a job is a slow process, as always when you are deciding to settle abroad. My biggest challenge is to try to take some distance with my previous experience with immigration and my refusal of visa in Australia.
The ‘Canadian outdoor experience’ (a tiny bit of it, the wilderness will be for later)
Nature is beautiful and accessible in Vancouver. Mountains, with their shy snowy-peaks, are part of the Vancouverites panorama. I was having a walk in a park next to a beach recently and I could see squirrels but also geese and rabbits enjoying their freedom. Another evening, I met a raccoon.
Vancouver had been renamed ‘Raincouver’ by its inhabitants after its abundant and impressive pluviometry. However, until now, I had been very lucky and I had sunny continuous days with spectacular fall colors, as we do imagine them when talking about Canada. It is a bit cold for me but I had been very lucky and not sick for now (which sounds amazing considering the temperatures!). It is only around 10 degrees. Vancouver has the influence of the ocean so it is never really cold.
The city of Vancouver is looking a bit like Melbourne, its Australian relative, on some points. Apparently, the two cities are oftenly compared. But I think they are matching only their climates and topographies. Their vibes are different; Melbourne is more on the cultural side as Vancouver is more family-friendly. I am sometimes feeling nostalgic about Australia and New-Zealand… However, I had found this good old charm of ‘op’ shops’, here called ‘thrift shops’. The same good old smell of untouched wardrobe, the same kindness of staff, the same incredible clothes (or other items)… In France, this practice is still a bit taboo. I did not really lived in France for a while but from what I can see, this new tendency to ‘recycle’ clothing is more online, as if we were ashamed to go in a proper shop (in France, there are mostly owned by a charity called Emmaüs) , as it is seen as ‘being poor’ and in France, it is still a taboo to be poor… Different cultures…
I am trying to keep good habits and to do sport regularly. However, I tried to run one morning but my lungs disagreed with this practice. Icy-cold air in them was like a jab for all impulsive desire to do some outdoor footing. I never hiked yet, the weather being too cold and the ice and snow starting to appear, making the trails dangerous. However, I have heard about hiking groups and around me, I have people interested in hiking (for sure, I will never go on my own, I don’t want to be a snack for bears).
First Canadian celebration
I celebrated Thanksgiving within a lovely family and community. At first, I was a bit reluctant to celebrate an event, I thought, being the celebration of a genocide (in France, it is sometimes considered as such) , similar to Australia Day (link) in Australia. But I decided to leave aside any preconceived idea. We all have some. It was the opportunity to think further about preconception and mental conditioning: education, society. In France, unfortunately, North America is depicted as the bad example. On the contrary, I met very open-minded and respectful people. I discovered a celebration based on gratefulness, a value very close to my heart. Everybody (out of almost 30 people!) had to mention someone or something they were grateful about. I thought it was all about sharing and communion.
Masters a day, Masters…forever
As I am settling, I am also studying at the same time. Once again, I really appreciate the chance I have to study and I am very grateful to the opportunity I have to study at this level for this price, as I know the local fees for studies. I am a bit sad that these studies are only two years…
This year, I am daring to offer my application to be the student representative and member of the comity for improvement of the program. I am taking a new direction in being more involved for the community in general. As teenager, I was very shy and the idea of putting myself forward in order to speak for others gave me the impression that is was only about ego but with time, experiences and thoughts, it seems that it is the right time to apply in real life more than ever my values and convictions in being the spoke person. I also want to try out more group activities like curling for example. This true blue Canadian activity involves a team, bowls, boules, shuffleboard and ice… Interesting!
I think I would be eligible to a program helping me to fit the Canadian Education system at one of the local Universities and I do understand it would be helpful but it would cost about 55000$ for one year, not really fitting my budget for now…
Cowardice and narrow-minded vision
Recently, someone (man or woman), posted an ‘interesting’ comment about my last post in Malaysia. I have found it ‘interesting’ in a way as this person sounds potentially frustrated, jealous or having a quite boring life to have enough time to write such a comment on a blog that is not read by a lot of people. Coward would be the middle name of this person, using a pathetic pseudonym. Oh well, enough emphasis on someone who probably does not know what ‘emphasis’ means… Oh, and before closing the case, I am finding quite sad to think that we do ‘possess’ (‘have’, avoir in French) human beings (and it is already touchy for animals for me); ‘to have children’. To conceive children is a very personal choice.
My last post in Malaysia was announcing a new project. Unfortunately, it had been suspended for now, as I was busy with many things. But it is still going on in my mind and should come to life at one point. Stay tuned!