Here, no one fights with anyone

Everything smelled like cookies. It had been a week since I had slept in a comfortable bed. It had been a 48 hour flight and a two hour wait in customs. But, we made it from South Africa to Canada and now, everything smelled like cookies. The tumultuous ’80s in South Africa was my childhood.…

A sense of belonging and tranquility

Vancouver’s multicultural scene can make you feel as if you’re walking around a foreign country for a few moments. As a Mexican immigrant who moved to Vancouver 13 years ago, I constantly find myself trying to decipher what language other immigrants are speaking while out on the street. Sometimes I guess correctly, other times I…

Life in a bubble

On the first day of my journalism class, not only was I late but I was lost. My classroom was located around a corner, tucked away, nearly impossible to find. Unfortunately for me, everyone else managed to find it. As I walked in, interrupting my professor, all of my classmates turned to look at me.…

Ski culture

I come from a big resort in the Alps, and my curiosity and love for snowy mountains pushed me to travel to the west coast of Canada last fall. Having known the hectic lifestyle of the seasonal worker and also aiming to discover a new way of life, it was in Vancouver that I decided…

The Canadian side of Vancouver

I heard about the city of Vancouver long before I came here. Vancouver, “the warmest part of Canada,” we used to say scornfully, in my childhood home of Edmonton, Alberta. Vancouver seemed somewhat less than Canadian with it being so far off behind the Rocky Mountains. Vancouverites didn’t slide to school on snow-packed roads the…

Anyone can fit in

I was eight years old when I knew that I would someday live in Canada. At school we were given an assignment with an open topic. Still lulled by the story my mother liked to recount often of a solo trip she made to Québec, my topic could only be of that large tract of…

Vancouver: My new home

I was born and raised in Dubai, a multicultural city in the United Arab Emirates. Even though I grew up in Dubai, I couldn’t call it my home because it is impossible for expats to gain citizenship in the United Arab Emirates. Children who are born in Dubai automatically take the citizenship of their father.…

Retrospective 1982

Dear younger friends, I will take you to a Vancouver you never knew! I was born in Quebec City and made my way very gradually to the “green city,” with a stop in Ontario for university studies, a quarter of a century in Alberta to bring up our children, and two enchanted years in New…

In discovering Vancouver, I discovered myself

I was born on November 14th, 1990 in Belgium, a small, lovely country, where the highest summit doesn’t reach 2300 feet. My parents speak Flemish. It’s very close to Dutch, only the accent is different. I was six when my parents decided to divorce. That’s when I moved to the South of France. From then…

No sense of home

My experiences of growing up in Vancouver are different from most people’s. For one thing, I am a Vancouverite, born and raised here. Also, my family has lived here for four generations. However, my family is of Chinese descent. I found it bewildering, growing up in Vancouver. I always felt as if I didn’t quite…

An urban perspective

“When you first arrive in a town, you see streets in perspective. Rows of nondescript buildings. Everything is unknown, virgin territory. A day will come when you’ll have walked those streets, gone to the end of the perspectives, come to know those buildings, interacted with the people. Living in this city, you’ll have walked along…

A role model for smaller towns

Even though I’m a Saskatchewan-born Regina resident now, whenever I visit Vancouver, I feel right at home – probably because I spent five and a half years living there. I didn’t leave because I wanted to, but because of employment opportunities. I’ve now settled back into the prairie life, which was a bit of a…

Canada, who are you?

When I started to think about a working holiday visa, my main goal was to enjoy a new experience, discover a different culture and get to know life in another corner of the world. After weighing all the alternatives, I decided to burn my bridges and fly to Canada. I submitted my application and was…