Tag Archives: Canadians

12 Months of Expat Confusion

Approaching our last American Thanksgiving holiday before the move to Malaysia, DIane and I plan on preparing one last home cooked turkey dinner for two. Because we’re a mixed marriage (she’s Canadian, I’m American), this marks our second Thanksgiving dinner this year. Taking the easy way out in October, we drove to a local Hofbrau on Columbus Day for our annual Canadian Thanksgiving dinner (shown in the picture below). Falling on a Monday like a normal three-day weekend, the Northern version is more of a harvest festival without Puritans, Indians, NFL football and annual parades presented by large department stores.

 Diane enjoying Canadian Thanksgiving dinner

Discussing the nuances of life as an American expat in Canada in a recent post, we highlighted important issues like understanding insane weather forecasts in Celsius and why the world’s largest indoor mall plays an important role during the holidays. Learning the differences between Canadian and American holidays takes some education and after the sixth year I finally mastered what days I’d be home from the office. Facing a brand new set of challenges, I glanced at the 2015 Public Holidays in Penang and sadly, I’m bewildered by Hari Rya Day, Merdeka Day and two days of Chinese New Year. Unsure how to celebrate Thaipusm and Wesa Day, it occurred to me I’ll need complete retraining. Continue reading

Ottawa’s Sad End to Innocence

Shielded from many public massacres, Canadians have mostly escaped the controversy and horror associated with one of America’s biggest debates: The second amendment, aka “The Right to Bear Arms”. Following mostly in the footsteps of its superpower neighbors, Canada’s been forced to enact many of America’s post 9/11 anti-terrorism laws at airports as well as a myriad of other rules for stepping up security levels. Until today, touring the nation’s capital and its governing halls was never off-limits as White House Tours have been for years. Sadly, thanks to an armed lunatic with a gun and a chaotic scene today, I’m confident we’ve seen the end of the Parliament Building tours for the public.

main room

The main chambers of Canadian Parliament

Fortunately, the Experimental Expats visited Eastern Canada during my American expat days in Calgary. Long before our intended move to Malaysia was hatched, we wondered what “The East” was all about. Rather than glorify today’s violence, I’ve chosen to share snippets of our wonderful trip to Ottawa complete with a video of The Changing Of The Guard parade, a highlight of any visit. Continue reading