First impressions

Now that I have been in Vancouver a few months it’s time to jot down my first observations, experiences and reactions, to record how they differ from my usual surroundings. These are the signposts that guide my understanding of the place in which I find myself. I have been lucky since my arrival in this…

Summertime in Seoul

In June, my wife Sherry and I travelled to Seoul, South Korea for our first international travel together. We chose Seoul as our first international visit since it’s a traveller-friendly Asian city and my wife’s best friend and maid of honour, Julie, currently lives there. For me, it was the first time I had travelled…

A nepalese point of view

Growing up in Beijing in a typical Nepali household was an experience of a lifetime that I cherish, and I will always be grateful for. However, one thing that I struggled with growing up was accepting myself for the way I am. The standards set by society for women are so specific and, to be…

Vancouver, a journey at the heart of diversity

French by birth and daughter of immigrants, I have known many different cultures and traveled to a great many countries during my lifetime – Switzerland, Belgium, Israel, Italy, Malaysia. I have experienced a lot of different cultures and met a lot of fascinating people. Each country had its own identity, traditions and conventions. Being accustomed…

Backing into the future

The demolition of the Farmer Building (foreground of picture) at the corner of Robson and Granville has uncovered the past while making way for the future. Exposed on the Power Block Building beside it is a rare painted movie sign advertising the 1922 Harold Lloyd comedy Grandma’s Boy. We can see a finger in a…

Ishmael and Ahab

This world will become one – I have found the way. Race. Tribal affiliations. National borders. Even my face will become irrelevant in the times to come. The world I envisioned will finally become a reality. It will make mankind whole again. That is an almost-verbatim of a narrative found in the MGS V: The…

A place where all is possible

I arrived in Vancouver in October 2018. Montréal had been the first city to welcome me on Canadian soil, and I stayed there almost three years during which time I felt as if I was in a small cocoon, in an easy routine surrounded by French speakers. In the meantime, I returned to France to…

New landscape, new life

I was in for a culture shock when I moved to West Vancouver, B.C. Having spent 22 years of my life living in the bustling multicultural metropolis that is London, England, I initially found myself feeling anxious when greeted by the stark shoreline of Vancouver. My instinctive reaction was restless and antsy, dreaming of being…

Love you, love you not

When I look at you, walk along you, discover you, I have the song Whirlwind by Joseph, in mind. Vancouver, you surprise me but also throw me. You are both welcoming and recalcitrant. You open the door but do not let me in. You enthrall me by your lightness and your sweetness of life, and…

Be you, here

I come from a very settled place. It’s a city, but it feels like a town. I know families who have lived in the same neighbourhoods for generations and grandparents who attended the same high schools as their grandkids. Even my dad has lived in the same neighbourhood ever since he was a kid. When this…

Discovering the Pacific Northwest

I remember running in the rain along the Arbutus Greenway – an old railway line converted into a pedestrian and bicycle path – and despite the pouring rain that had plagued the city for weeks, a thought kept repeating itself in my mind: I love you, Vancouver! I was living in Seattle, WA and occasionally…

Now I’m surrounded by mountains

For a while it had become my daily routine to get lost in the streets of Vancouver. One minute I would be asking a stranger for directions and the next, I would be zooming in on Google Maps just to get more confused. Relying completely on Google Maps is never a good idea and I…

I found respect everywhere

To go on a quest for a comforting place outside of one’s home is essential. To leave your hometown, to discover the world and to then share your experiences – all to enlighten the dreamy eyes of those who stayed put and let you go with a heavy heart. Western Canada has attracted me since…