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Foreigner's Perspective on Canada and the US
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ls650



Joined: 10 May 2003
Posts: 3484
Location: British Columbia

PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The following is not meant as any kind of slam or put-down, but I think Cam does raise a good point. Vanica's post are generally negative and seem to express a lot of disappointment with life in Canada/the USA.

When I read her posts, I also often wonder why Vanica stays in North America if she dislikes it so much here. I would never stay long in any place I complained about.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12695
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 4:30 pm    Post subject: Stranger in a strange land - the good, the bad and the ugly. Reply with quote

Dear Is650,
Disappointments, differences, problems, questions, misunderstandings,
delights, etc.
We've (almost) all lived in different lands, different cultures, so we should know what it can be like. Even if we're from the USA and we've been only to Canada, we're going to find some things strange, some weird, some troublesome, and some enjoyable.
I'd say Vanica's posts are a combination of a lot of different reactions. There are certainly "negative remarks", but there are also positive ones:

"In Raleigh, however, bought a new computer, it crashed when I got home, I go back to Best Buy, do I want money back, we'll work on it, it's up to you. Hi, thank you, yes sir, yes ma'am. You don't like the DVD player, we'll take it back and give you your money and give you another one for half price . . "

"I liked Washington DC area very much. I also have a lot of NGO job opportunities there, and consequently people I can get along with!"

"In Raleigh, a man and a woman in a pick-up truck pulled up to me and my daughter in the Best Buy parking lot (the lot is massive and serves many other stores). They said to my daughter, Here's your doll. She had dropped the doll earlier on Capitol Boulevard and they had picked the doll up in traffic and sought us out to return it."

"Ohio is also a great value right now for housing."


"I agree with Symphany, here in Quebec people are very friendly to immigrants . ."

"Security is a big issue for me, and I enjoy it here immensely.."

"So much cheaper than Montreal, unbelievably cheaper than Calgary. I got a little giddy and bought my daughter anything she wanted, except the Shelburne teddy bear (75$!!!). Their factory is in a beautiful place, by the way. Quebec/Vermont border control is much, much nicer than NY side, so no problems there.
Beautiful mountain and lake views all around, despite the overcast skies. Must be ovely in the summer. Favourable impression, all in all."

"That's what people say here in Montreal, Kindergarten is wonderful, Primary is very good . . ."

"I met a Canadian whose mum has moved to Harlingen and they both love it."

"A recent immigrant from Italy told me, 'Here (in Canada) people trust the State.' We were completely the opposite, we were on guard about everything."


Even as astute and generally well-disposed outside commentator on "America" as Alexis de Tocqueville found some things to be critical of and a few that he considered to be either potentially dangerous or causes for alarm.

I rather like being able to view my homeland though the eyes of someone from another land. Robert Burns put it well:

"'O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!"

On a personal level, if we could see ourselves as others see us, I wonder how much we'd agree with those perceptions ( well, except for the complimentary ones, which we'd consider to be 100% correct.)


Now if you want to see lots of negative remarks, you might want to try, say, the Saudi Arabia Forum and read what some of the "Western" posters there have to say about that country.

Regards,
John
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ls650



Joined: 10 May 2003
Posts: 3484
Location: British Columbia

PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 5:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Stranger in a strange land - the good, the bad and the u Reply with quote

johnslat wrote:
I'd say Vanica's posts are a combination of a lot of different reactions. There are certainly "negative remarks", but there are also positive ones:

... but I think it's more than fair to say that a large number of Vanica's comments are negative, and strongly so.

As a Canadian, I actually understand her feelings very well: having lived overseas for four years, I've now been back in Canada for just six months, and already I'm more than ready to leave for a new country. If Vanica is really as disenchanted with life in North America as her posts certainly seem to indicate, why not move and live somewhere else?
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12695
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:48 pm    Post subject: The geographic cure Reply with quote

Dear Is650,
Well, maybe Vanica will tell us. But I can imagine all sorts of possible reasons, some of which could be personal ones that someone might not want to post on a public board.
Maybe it's financial, maybe it has something to do with being a parent, maybe it is work-related.
However, as I've already written, it doesn't bother me at all for anyone (including a "non-native") to make negative remarks about my country,
Lord knows I certainly make enough of them, especially over the last 7 years. Instead I find it instructive to see the place through the eyes of someone who is used to another land, another culture, other ways of doing things.
As with the news in newspapers and on the media, it's seldom that the good things, the things that cause no hassle, that are mentioned. And when posting on Dave's while I was residing in a foreign land, a fair number of my comments were "negative", at least at first, since I was confused and sometimes dismayed by some things I saw or experienced.
It seems to me that Vanica isn't just being "negative" for the sake of being "negative." I think she sincerely would like someone to explain some things to her, why things are done this way and not that way, why people sometimes react to her the way that they do.
So rather than discouraging her from seeking answers (and suggesting that the best solution would be for her to move), I prefer to try to respond to her posts in a "positive" manner.
But - to each his/her own.
Regards,
John
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Vanica



Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 368
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 3:51 am    Post subject: Does this answer your question? Reply with quote

Thank you, Johnslat, again for your help. I really needed it this time.

ls650, Crying or Very sad

Okay, now I'm angry. Evil or Very Mad

Here's an exercise, ls 650. Why don't you take your lovely Canadian passport and insert Yugoslavia or Iraq or Somalia for 'place of birth.' And see if you still pass through the fast lane at customs. Or still get the jobs you've gotten. And who are you going to call if you have problems in a foreign country, because the Canadian govt doesn't take well to foreign-born Canadians trying to get assistance if they live outside of Canada. You might even lose the passport and have your citizenship revoked. I guess you could go home, to dead parents, a bombed out house and a country that doesn't exist anymore. Oh sorry, NATO won't allow you to do that, either.

A flippant, insensitive response would not be appropriate at this juncture.
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ls650



Joined: 10 May 2003
Posts: 3484
Location: British Columbia

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My apologies for causing you upset, Vanica; I was only curious as to why you stay in North America.
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Vanica



Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 368
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, now you know.

So is it really that bad in Canada? Montreal has some redeeming aspects, but Pauline Marois just announced that I should be giving her foot massages if I really want to stay in la belle province.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12695
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 4:46 pm    Post subject: Canada, O Canada Reply with quote

Well, I just got an education:

"Pauline Marois, like Ayann Hirsi Ali, like Wafa Sultan, like Oriani Fallaci, has found the courage to expose veridical Islam (not the self-aggrandized, fantastic Islam promised by its apologists) and its growing number of invidious followers, who have no intention of integrating into the French speaking society of Quebec, nor into the English and French speaking societies existing in the Canada outside of Quebec. Like Pauline Hanson of Australia, who complained recently about Muslim immigrants, that they "have no intention of being Australian," Pauline Marois is also shedding light on the same politically obfuscated problem now facing Quebec, which is that the vast majority of Muslim immigrants, as a result of the antipathetically insular tendencies of their religion, arrive here already disinclined to learn or speak the official language of Quebec, which is the one essential step toward integrating into Quebec's French culture. These Muslim immigrants have no intention of being Quebecois.

The rest of Canada should follow the example set by Pauline Marois and the brave Quebecers of Herouxville, which is to defend our Western traditions and our Judeo-Christian morals, as they have served us rewardingly for well over a century, and long before the hateful culture of Islam darkened our horizons."

Hmm, the New Testament injunction - "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another." - is apparently not included in this individual's canon of "Judeo-Christian morals.

Yikes - I didn't know that Canada (also) harbored such hate-mongers.
Fortunately there are many dissenting voices - an example:

"AND THEN YOUNG NAIVE YOLANDE JAMES, OUR IMMIGRATION MINISTER SUGGESTING THAT IMMIGRANTS BE REQUIRED TO SETTLE IN FRANCOPHONE NEIGHBOURHOODS. SHE WANTS IMMIGRANTS TO LIVE THEIR QUEBEC VALUES CONCRETELY. THIS IS A PERSON WHOSE RIDING IS 57 PERCENT ANGLOPHONE AND ALLOPHONE?
WHOSE OWN PARENTS IMMIGRATED FROM THE CARIBBEAN AND WERE WELCOMED BY ENGLISH MONTREAL.
EVERYTHING WE'VE BEEN HEARING LATELY SHOWS HOW INSECURE MANY QUEBECERS STILL ARE.
THIS IS ETHNIC NATIONALISM AT BEST....TRIBALISM AT WORSE."

All of which shows, I suppose, that no country has a monopoly on prejudice or on good sense.
Regards,
John
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Vanica



Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 368
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dissenting voices in the anglophone press really doesn't mean anything here. Actually, Pauline Marois, who is head of the Parti Québecois, Mario Dumont, opposition, and the rest of them, are trying to outdo each other's nationalism. She was on the front page of the papers last week, declaring that immigrants should prove that they are a benefit to Québecois.

Still, the Maghreb immigrants are entirely French-speaking, is she out of her mind? You'd think she'd be courting them, because Québec depends on a large francophone population, and the other large immigrants groups from China, India, Russia, speak English.
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Tiger Beer



Joined: 08 Feb 2003
Posts: 762
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 6:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Blueprints? What blueprints? Reply with quote

Vanica wrote:
It is going to start snowing again today. My daughter is getting used to putting on a snowsuit in the morning, and she might miss the cold if and when we move away. Also there are no bugs here, except for a few weeks in July when they come out en masse.

I read the desert cities of Vegas (and I'm guessing Phoenix) doesn't have mosquitos.

That's a plus!
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Vanica



Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 368
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No mosquitos, that's great.
But there are snakes and scorpions, right?

Do you know about Tucson, too? I have never been to a desert except a weekend in Las Vegas, and I don't know if that counts.

My neighbour is actually shovelling the snow off his balcony onto mine. I was hoping he had moved away, but iI guess it was just a vacation. I think I'll take a holiday to the Southwest soon.
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Tiger Beer



Joined: 08 Feb 2003
Posts: 762
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vanica wrote:
Do you know about Tucson, too?

I drove around Tuscon last year. I'm no expert by any means, but I did get a very distinct impression from it.

Aesthetically it looks really cool. I absolutely love the adobe-style housing. The city is very manageable and feels more like a large town. A rather large university is right downtown and gives the city an overall big college town. Most of the population outside of the college community is predominately Latino. However, the suburbs are completely different. A lot of catcus and not much else makes up most people's yards.

It's a unique city. Vegas is much more international in feel. But if you wanted small city with a strong local feel combined with college town, Tucson would be a good place.
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Vanica



Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 368
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been reading more about Tucson since you last wrote, Tiger Beer.

Casa Segura, The Udall Center, the university. Borderlinks...very interesting activities.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12695
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 6:30 pm    Post subject: But not a drop to drink Reply with quote

Well, in Tuscon, the ground water supply's gone down fast.

http://www.climas.arizona.edu/learn/colorado/sld005.htm

but at least the residents there are reacting more sensibly about the situation than their "neighbors" in Phoenix:

http://www.azcentral.com/specials/special26/articles/0120drought-twocities.html

But you should be able to turn on the tap for a few more years, anyway:

"I have no doubt that within the next five to 10 years, we will be in a shortage," said David Modeer, Tucson Water's director and a member of the three-county board that manages the CAP. "It does not look good. If everything everyone is saying about the longtime climate or global warming is true, it looks worse for the future."

http://www.azstarnet.com/dailystar/170953

If you can afford it, that is:

"Tucson Water wants rates to go up 10%
City manager: Hold boost to 8%; customers would be hit by summer
By Rob O'Dell
ARIZONA DAILY STAR
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 01.13.2008"

http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/byauthor/220322

Regards,
John

P.S. Heck, I suppose you could always drink your whiskey neat.
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Vanica



Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 368
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Québec has water everywhere. I have a Road Atlas of North America (yes, it includes Mexico). Here's the Laurentians just north of Montréal.

http://www.inforoutiere.qc.ca/fr/carte_routiere/laurentidesN.htm

And it is still snowing!

So what is the water situation in New Mexico? It is also supposed to be a drought in the Southeast US.
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