Diary of a new Canadian immigrant…

I came across this “Diary of a new Canadian immigrant” on Facebook where it was posted on a fellow Dutch immigrant and friend’s page. It gives you a good impression on how life in Canada is or can be. 🙂

Canada Fall
Aug. 12 – Moved to our new home in Canada. I am so excited.It’s so beautiful here. The mountains are so majestic. Can hardly wait to see them with snow covering them.

Oct. 14 – Canada. It is the most beautiful place on earth. The leaves have turned all colours and shades of red and orange. Went for a ride through the beautiful countryside and saw some deer. They are so graceful. Certainly they are the most wonderful animals on earth. This must be paradise. I love it here.

Nov. 11 – Remembrance Day. Deer season starts soon. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to kill such a gorgeous creature. Hope it snows soon. I love it here.

Dec. 2 – It snowed last night. Woke up to find everything blanketed with white. It looks like a postcard. We went outside and cleaned the snow off the steps and shoveled the driveway. We had a snowball fight (I won). When the snow plough came by we had to shovel the driveway again. What a beautiful place. I love Canada.

Dec. 12 – More snow last night. The snow plough did his trick again to the driveway. I love it here.

Dec. 19 – More snow last night. Couldn’t get out of the driveway to get to work. It’s beautiful here but I’m exhausted from shoveling. Friggin snow plough.


Dec. 22 – More of that white shit fell last night. I’ve got blisters on my hands and a sore back from shoveling. I think the snow plough hides around the corner until I’m done shoveling the driveway. Asshole.

Dec. 25 – Merry F’ng Christmas! More frigging snow. If I ever get my hands on the son-of-a-bitch who drives the snow plough,I swear I’ll kill the bastard. Don’t know why they don’t use more salt on the roads to melt the friggin ice.

Dec. 27 – More white shit last night. Been inside for three days now except for shoveling out the driveway after that snow plough goes through every time. Can’t go anywhere, the car’s stuck in a mountain of white shit and it’s so frigging cold. The weatherman says to expect another 10 inches of the shit again tonight. Do you know how many shovels full of snow 10 inches is?

Dec. 28 – That fucking weatherman was wrong. We got 34 inches of the shit this time. Can you believe that he missed it by 24 inches. At this rate it won’t melt before summer. The snow plough got stuck up in the road and that bastard came to my door and asked to borrow my shovel. After I told him that I had already broken six shovels shoveling out all the shit he had pushed into my driveway, I damn near broke my last one over his bloody head.

Jan. 4 – Finally got out of the house today. Went to the store to get food and on my way back a damned deer ran in front of the car. Did about $3,000 damage to the car. Those stinkin’ beasts should be killed. The bastards are everywhere. Wish the hunters had exterminated them all last November.

May 3 – Took the car to the garage in town. Would you believe the thing is rusted out from all that blody salt they put all over the roads. ??

May 10 – Moved to Florida. I can’t imagine why anyone in their right mind would ever want to live in such a God forsaken place as Canada.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Early November a colleague asked me if I was ready for Christmas. Huh, Christmas? That is like at least 8 weeks from now. No, of course I am not ready for Christmas. Apparently she had done all her shopping and she was ready. Not me.

I should have known better after three years in Canada. But the craziness around Christmas and giving presents to everyone is really a BIG thing here.


The first year in Canada I learned that you not only give presents to family and friends who are at your house at Christmas, but you also give them to neighbours, teachers and other people like the mail man/woman, garbage collector, school bus driver etc. So there I was: empty handed, receiving gifts from all kinds of people. Really nice and thoughtful of them, but it made me feel like the Grinch or Scrooge (or a real Dutchie ;-)). Did they expect me to give them something in return?

And even after three years in Canada I am still not used to the giving of presents and all the other things that are going on around Christmas.

There seems to be an unwritten rule that you can put up your Christmas lights outside after Remembrance Day, which is November 11th. Well, in our case, you can better hang them up in September when the weather is still nice and you can do it without freezing to death. Smart people install them once and let the lights up for the whole year, because why would you risk your life every year for a recurring event?

Actual turning the Christmas lights on is only allowed after November 11th. But even that is pretty early for a Dutchie like me. We don’t decorate or get our Christmas tree before December 5th, because first Sinterklaas (yes, that guy who was stolen by Coca-Cola and turned into Santa Claus) will bring a visit and he doesn’t want to trip over Christmas trees and stuff like that.

But back to Canada. The thing I love about Christmas in Canada is the way everybody turns their yard and house into a light show. It really lights up those dark months. Yes, it is over the top, a bit crazy and probably it means a huge electricity bill for the people who put up their Christmas lights display every year, but they sure make this winter season less dark. Some Canadians even broadcast Christmas music if you drive by their decorated house and you tune in on a certain frequency on the radio!

Check out this news fragment of a citizen of Rocky Mountain House, about a two-hours drive from here, in Alberta.

I really do love it!

Merry Christmas!!!


peace on earth

shorts snow

A couple of weeks ago we had really cold winter weather here in Calgary. Temperatures were around minus 30 degrees Celsius with a windchill that made it feel like minus 40. The kind of winter you’ll rather stay inside instead of letting your you-know-what freeze off.

But last week temperatures were on the rise again, getting into the single digits with lots of sunshine. Not so bad actually after minus 30.

But the thing that keeps surprising me is that when the temperature goes up again, it seems to be time to wear shorts again. Preferably with sneakers (no socks!). What? Is that a Canadian thing? You would think that when there still is snow on the ground and the temperature is minus, you would wear snow boots,  a warm coat, hat and mittens. No, not for Canadians. Minus 7 and there they were, waiting for the bus in their shorts!

Okay, I didn’t see any flipflops like that time in Toronto in a supermarket, but still… shorts???!!

Well, if you watch the commercial of the Canadian Tire on how Canadians celebrate spring, maybe shorts in winter isn’t so strange after all.



Saying you’re sorry, a lot…



Canadians are known for saying sorry – a lot – and being really polite. Maybe because of their British ancestors? I have no idea.

If you are in the supermarket blocking the isle with your cart, someone behind you will actually say: “Sorry, may I…” If you are Canadian too, you will reply with: “Oh, I am sorry!” and you will move your cart. Maybe you and the other customer will even say it a couple times more.

The same goes for bumping into someone. The person that walks into you will apologize profoundly and you will do the same, even if it wasn’t your fault to begin with. Huh?

Canadians are also very polite when merging onto the highway. How many times I have seen drivers actually slowing down or moving over to the left lane when another driver wanted to come onto the highway. It is almost dangerous the way people act by giving each other right of way. How can you ever get somewhere if everyone would say: “No, you go first.” “No, no, you can go first…” etc., etc.

I find it very confusing, but after watching the following video inspired by the books of Will Ferguson, this is what Canadians really say when they say “I am sorry”: