C  A  N  A  D  A

My nomadic globe-trotting has brought me to Montreal, Quebec, Canada. I made it through my first winter without much problems, especially since the past winter was quite warm. I live in Montreal and attend McGill University.

After my first semester in University, having familiarized myself a little more with the culture, I have not honestly discovered much difference between Montrealites and Americans, let alone the rest of Canada. Yes, of course there are differences, but compared to the differences across most countries, Canada and USA seem to be much more part of one homogenous mass (and no, Canada is not the 51st state of the US, and I certainly have not seen giant Canadian bunnies around). All jokes aside, the differences I have discovered are at best subtle, something Canadians are not so aware of. Yes, I have noticed the usage of "eh" quite often since I came, but now I seem not to hear it that much. I actually like the sound of it, sounds quite friendly. There is no real Canadian accent, other than slight Brit-like sounds of some New Brunswick accents ('aoot' instead of 'aut' for any word  with 'out'). But, yes, there is a bit of resentment towards the US for the loss of a distinct culture and identity to the mass heap of congealed culture south of the border. The more distinct Canadian culture I have seen is that of the Quebecois and perhaps the natives. I know very little about the latter, but I have seen some Inuit art that just looks really enchanting.

In terms of culture, it is certainly not a major change. There seems to be very little to distinguish a Canadian from and American. The differences are perhaps a little more apparent here in Quebec, which is overwhelmingly French.

Canada the land itself seems to be amazing. It was stupidly named Canada (from a native word Kanata meaning Village). In perhaps a strange way, the word fits the country. I picture Village are rural and better connected to nature, and that is the perspective of Canada I seem to get from my relatively short stay here. Maybe I am interpreting things too much, but I have noticed a marked difference in Canadian money versus US money. Most of the Canadian coins and bills have some natural scene in one side, some sort of animal. The flag itself embraces the maple leaf, I cannot think of  another country (with the exception of Lebanon)   of the top of my head that I know  has something natural (earthly, so stars do not count!) in their flag.

In my stay here, I want to study this country further. I love getting to know more about different cultures, climates, and geographic locations. In fact one of my stranger reading habits is reading Encyclopedias & Almanacs, especially statistics about different countries, and little abstracts about countries. 

Getting back to Canada, I hope to see Polar Bears, Seals, Phenomenon such as Aurora Borealis, The Inuit & Eskimo cultures, fiords, & countless other things. After my first winter, instead of wanting to go to a warmer place, I want the opportunity to explore the cold deserts of Canada, Northwest Territories, and more of the French culture in Quebec. Canada is definitely much more than Glacier land. What more can you expect of 30 million people spread over land larger than the United States.



first impressions


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