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Expats - what surprised you about Canada?

Expats - what surprised you about Canada?

Old Feb 6th 2009, 8:08 pm
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Default Re: Expats - what surprised you about Canada?

Originally Posted by Cassie 10000 View Post
Thank you, you have no idea how your response has made me feel

I hate feeling down
My wifes just joined a mums group in Sherwood Park, but I know there's one in Edmonton too. There's a reasonable sized expat community in Edmonton, so I'm sure there's something you'd like...
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Old Feb 6th 2009, 8:14 pm
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Default Re: Expats - what surprised you about Canada?

Originally Posted by jericho View Post
My wifes just joined a mums group in Sherwood Park, but I know there's one in Edmonton too. There's a reasonable sized expat community in Edmonton, so I'm sure there's something you'd like...
I'm not a mummy yet

There are one or two that have contacted me for a meet up off BE, you know how things are. They know who they are off here and I'm sure I'll meet with them soon.
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Old Feb 7th 2009, 12:28 am
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Default Re: Expats - what surprised you about Canada?

Originally Posted by dbd33 View Post
...think of North America in nearly vertical slices...
I like the sound of that. Does it come with cream?
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Old Feb 12th 2009, 4:37 am
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Default Re: Expats - what surprised you about Canada?

Surprises

How alike all the commuter towns are- same style sub divisions, same malls, same strip malls etc

The lack of variety in grocery stores esp with regard to cheese and yogurt, although I am noticing improvements

My Canadian husband and his Mom constantly worrying about me during Winter... "Is she cold?", " Is she too cold?", "Where's your coat?", "Your coat is too light"... kind of nice but can get annoying.

The inadequate public transit system in place.. granted Canada is a car culture

The distinct lack of a sense of humor.... .. both my friends are I are coming around to different ways of looking at it.

The biggest surprise is just how friendly and kind Canadians are. I was blown away by it- from the guy in my local store, to new friends to colleagues, everyone is very pleasant
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Old Feb 12th 2009, 4:47 am
  #110  
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Default Re: Expats - what surprised you about Canada?

Originally Posted by ruaillebuaille View Post
Surprises

How alike all the commuter towns are- same style sub divisions, same malls, same strip malls etc

The lack of variety in grocery stores esp with regard to cheese and yogurt, although I am noticing improvements

My Canadian husband and his Mom constantly worrying about me during Winter... "Is she cold?", " Is she too cold?", "Where's your coat?", "Your coat is too light"... kind of nice but can get annoying.

The inadequate public transit system in place.. granted Canada is a car culture

The distinct lack of a sense of humor.... .. both my friends are I are coming around to different ways of looking at it.

The biggest surprise is just how friendly and kind Canadians are. I was blown away by it- from the guy in my local store, to new friends to colleagues, everyone is very pleasant
I think you need to identify what part of Canada you live in given the negative generalizations. Though from your comment about public transit it must be here in the lower mainland of BC! The rest doesn't gel though. Canada is a vast country and each province is very different.
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Old Feb 12th 2009, 5:12 am
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Default Re: Expats - what surprised you about Canada?

Originally Posted by startwin View Post
I think you need to identify what part of Canada you live in given the negative generalizations. Though from your comment about public transit it must be here in the lower mainland of BC! The rest doesn't gel though. Canada is a vast country and each province is very different.
Apologies startwin- I am outside of Toronto in Whitby.

While you have termed my comments negative generalisations those genuinely, as negative as they may seem, were my immediate surprise moments almost two years ago!!
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Old Feb 12th 2009, 6:15 am
  #112  
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Default Re: Expats - what surprised you about Canada?

Originally Posted by Cassie 10000 View Post
I'm not a mummy yet

There are one or two that have contacted me for a meet up off BE, you know how things are. They know who they are off here and I'm sure I'll meet with them soon.
Just wondering how it's going for you this week?
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Old Feb 12th 2009, 2:30 pm
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Default Re: Expats - what surprised you about Canada?

Originally Posted by ruaillebuaille View Post
The lack of variety in grocery stores esp with regard to cheese and yogurt, although I am noticing improvements

The distinct lack of a sense of humor.... .. both my friends are I are coming around to different ways of looking at it.
That's another surprise to me...that some places appear to have a lack of variety in the shops. Especially given your location. I'd think you'd have the wide choice and we wouldn't. There are tons of different cheeses and yogurts available here....although none of the really low fat yogurts I used to get.

The humour is there...just a different kind. Some of the TV ads are hilarious and people are cutting them out on their playbacks.
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Old Feb 12th 2009, 2:34 pm
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Default Re: Expats - what surprised you about Canada?

Originally Posted by BristolUK View Post
There are tons of different cheeses and yogurts available here....
It's all relative though innit? In Whitby there's likely just the chain stores, Loblaw's, Sobey's, Metro, Costco, they don't offer much choice compared to, say, the St. Lawrence Market. Just yesterday I toured the local chain stores in search of mussels, oysters and a chunk of Parmesan, none of which were available. At the market you can always get those things.
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Old Feb 12th 2009, 2:54 pm
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Default Re: Expats - what surprised you about Canada?

Originally Posted by dbd33 View Post
It's all relative though innit? In Whitby there's likely just the chain stores, Loblaw's, Sobey's, Metro, Costco, they don't offer much choice compared to, say, the St. Lawrence Market. Just yesterday I toured the local chain stores in search of mussels, oysters and a chunk of Parmesan, none of which were available. At the market you can always get those things.

Exactly dbd33! Each chain store is a repetition of the other. Of course I moved here two years ago and I was surprised two years ago at the lack of variety. Things have started to pick up in the last few months and now I am starting to notice new ranges.
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Old Feb 12th 2009, 3:08 pm
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Default Re: Expats - what surprised you about Canada?

Originally Posted by ruaillebuaille View Post
Exactly dbd33! Each chain store is a repetition of the other. Of course I moved here two years ago and I was surprised two years ago at the lack of variety. Things have started to pick up in the last few months and now I am starting to notice new ranges.
Visit the market, it's a short walk from Union station, that should satisfy even the broadest taste in cheeses.
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Old Feb 12th 2009, 4:44 pm
  #117  
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Default Re: Expats - what surprised you about Canada?

Originally Posted by dbd33 View Post
I don't think it's useful to think of Canada as a cultural entity. Rather, it makes sense to think of North America in nearly vertical slices, perhaps following the time zones. Atlantic Canada is like Maine, Ontario is like Ohio and Massachusetts, Alberta is like Texas, and the left coast is what it is.
I believe this is true. I've felt more at home visiting Denver and Phoenix (never been to Texas) than visiting Toronto, Ottawa or Boston.
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Old Feb 12th 2009, 4:54 pm
  #118  
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Default Re: Expats - what surprised you about Canada?

Two things suprised me the most, and it probably indicates how little I knew when I arrived;


Couldnt get over how hot and humid the summer was. I had no A/C that first year...


Still cant get over how unimaginably huge this country is and how little of it most of the residents ever see outside of the couple of hundred miles around where they live. I agree that there are large differences east to west, more so then north to south perhaps.
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Old Feb 12th 2009, 10:32 pm
  #119  
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Smile Re: Expats - what surprised you about Canada?

Originally Posted by fledermaus View Post
just socks??

The fridge thing amused us too, but it makes being a host easier.
Do they really just help themselves to the contents of your fridge? Mental note to self, make sure fridge is well stocked at all times when we get to Canada, just in case!

If a Canadian looked in my fridge now he would be very dissapointed, bit of the old Mother Hubbards going on in our house at the moment
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Old Feb 12th 2009, 10:48 pm
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Default Re: Expats - what surprised you about Canada?

Originally Posted by tracys View Post
Do they really just help themselves to the contents of your fridge? Mental note to self, make sure fridge is well stocked at all times when we get to Canada, just in case!
None of our friends would consider helping themselves to anything from our fridge or cupboards without being told to first.

My sons when they visit, well that's another matter.
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