Canadian phone charges: 5 important questions that deserve an answer

Posted by on 5 Mar, 2013 in Canada | 0 comments

Roaming Graphic

The costs of roaming

Fido charges up to $30/Mb for international roaming.

I recently got quite a shock. I looked in my bank account to find a large chunk of my savings wiped out. I didn’t have enough money to pay off my credit card, despite having just been paid. I couldn’t understand it. I found the culprit: Fido charged me $1,287.18 for one month’s mobile phone service. Over a thousand dollars on a phone bill!!

I always knew that Canadian mobile phones are the most expensive in the world, and

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My first fishing trip

Posted by on 8 Jul, 2012 in Canada | 1 comment

Learning to fish

Learning to fish

On Saturday, I went to the lovely lakeside village of Chambly, Quebec, with my friend Andrei and his wife Gabi, and for the first time in my life I tried my hand at fishing. I’m not sure why I’ve never tried it, but I really took to it.. It’s relaxing, exciting, and downright enjoyable. I will definitely be doing it again!

I’ve written a few words to try and capture my experience:


Eager; I’m going fishing!
Overwhelmed; This rod seems complicated.
Relieved; Casting is easier than I thought.
Confused; Too much line, tangles, aargh.
Determined; I can figure this out.
Unafraid; It’s starting to make sense.
Surprised; A tug on the line…

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The English des Québécois

Posted by on 21 Apr, 2012 in Canada | 81 comments

Next Cash Please

Since I moved here three years ago, I’ve been intrigued to listen to the way Montréalers speak. I’ve previously written about my experiences living in a bilingual city, and the bizarre experience of conversations switching back and forth between languages effortlessly.

As a settled Montrealer, having grown in confidence and ability with my French, I find myself doing it too, especially since I started my current job – where the staff are mostly francophones but the business is mostly in English. Most of my daily conversations involve a hybrid of French and English to some degree.

But what I find quite unique is the experience of being in a linguistic minority.

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Ten things I miss about Montreal

Posted by on 11 Jan, 2012 in Canada, Lifenotes | 1 comment

My strange start to 2012 has given me plenty of perspective on my life, as well as helping me to learn what’s important in my life, it’s also helping me to figure out what things I value. Which brings me to this, ten things I miss about Montreal, in descending order of importance:

  1. Movie night and all my movie night friends
  2. The Writers’ Bloc writers group where i get my fortnightly writer’s kick.
  3. Working face to face with my coworkers
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Living in a bilingual city

Posted by on 9 Mar, 2009 in Canada, Lifenotes | 3 comments

“One man’s fish is another man’s poisson”

Uploaded to Flickr by caribb

One of the things that has been particularly fascinating to me since arriving here is the way that language is used here in Montréal. It is the first time I have lived somewhere truly bilingual. Canada is officially a bilingual country, but Québec is an entirely French province. Some parts, like Québec City, have little difference from France. Montréal though has a fascinating mix of “Anglo” and French, along with many other nationalities, Jamaican and Arabic being some of the most prevalent. It even varies between parts of the city. Notre-Dame-de-Grace, where we live, is a very Anglo area, as are most parts West and South of the mountain. On the other hand, the Plateau, Outremont, and areas East and North of Mont Royal tend to be more French.

On first impressions, you would think that you were surrounded by French speakers, because all the signs, billboards, store fronts and even announcements on the Metro are in French. Most stores and businesses have different names here – Kentucky Fried Chicken is branded here as PFK (Poulet Frit de Kentucky) and Staples is Bureau en Gros (literally “Office Wholesale”). Business owners and restauranteurs will often greet you in French, and when you attempt to respond in French, they will continue to converse with you in French.

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