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FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Friend points newcomer in the right direction

When we were new in Canada and discovering our  new city of Toronto, finding our way around town, I took a great interest in learning street names.I have lived in different parts of the world before moving to Canada and have always believed that nothing makes you feel at home like knowing where you are – there are people who look perpetually lost because they only go from point A to point B and don’t look at all the places they pass in between.But knowing names of streets as they are written on street signs and knowing how to pronounce them are two different things, as I learnt.One day, I’d been to Strachan on some work and was telling my friend Samar about it when he corrected...


Posted: Apr 3, 2017



FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Mystery solved for newcomer

We came to Canada from India, before phones with call displays were common there. Before, actually, even regular landline phones were common there. These were the days when one had to sign up to get a landline and then wait – for years sometimes – to get a connection. Paying someone or using “influence” to push the file along, standing in long lines to persuade disinterested, bored looking officials how you desperately needed a phone, these were all common practices.Even before this, of course, was the age of one phone in the neighbourhood. Kept in a pride of place in the living room, usually on a table with an embroidered table cloth, it could be the bane of the owner’s...


Posted: Mar 2, 2017



FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Newcomer lands in hot water

This has been a cold winter. Like the good old fashioned Canadian winters, say old-timers. I recall one of our first few winters in Canada when the city was in the grip of a deep freeze.One morning, as I put on my winter jacket to go grab the newspaper from the porch, I spotted our neighbour Steve making his way to our door with a large pail in his hand.“May I trouble you for some water?” he asked.I was instantly transported back to our years in Chennai during a phase of particularly severe water shortage.With a couple of monsoons having delivered less rain than expected, the rivers and reservoirs were running dry. Water pressure was low and we had gone from staying up later to collect...


Posted: Jan 31, 2017



FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Fit to be Canadian

We moved to Canada in August and loved discovering the parks near our apartment. I have always enjoyed going for long walks and after the first few weeks of settling in, I decided it was time to get back to my regular brisk walks if I didn’t want to pile on the pounds. Specially since I had noticed the cravings for rich comfort food as it got colder.The walks went well until winter set in. It was our first winter and with winter gear for kids being our first priority – jackets, scarves, hats, mitts and winter boots – boots for me came last on the list.How bad can it be, I thought, bundling up one frosty morning before setting out on my walk in my regular sneakers.A few minutes of...


Posted: Jan 2, 2017



FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Lessons I learnt about the Salvation Army

This time of year, one sees the ladies and gentlemen who represent the Salvation Army collecting donations in various malls and department stores.It takes me back to the first time I saw a Salvation Army lady.There she sat, a very well-dressed senior citizen, inside a department store with a bright glass ‘kettle’, ringing a bell to draw attention.I thought, Wow! even the panhandlers in Canada are so well-turned out.And how nice of the store to allow them to come inside from the cold.I deposited the loose change in my pocket in the kettle as I left the store.A few days later, I spotted another lady at another location. And then again, a gentleman at a third.What was amazing was that they...


Posted: Dec 1, 2016



FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Newcomer shows neighbour how to think inside the box
Posted: Nov 1, 2016


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Newcomer loses them at hello
Posted: Oct 4, 2016


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: An egg-cellent idea!
Posted: Sep 1, 2016


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: A comedy of errors
Posted: Aug 7, 2016


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: A comedy of errors
Posted: Aug 7, 2016


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Message in a bottle
Posted: Jul 4, 2016


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Newcomer learns about plants that pop up like weeds
Posted: Jun 1, 2016


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Newcomer learns to talk shop
Posted: May 4, 2016


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Tax season is not taxing for newcomer
Posted: Apr 1, 2016


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Newcomer learns Canadianisms
Posted: Feb 29, 2016


FRESH OFF THE PLANE Newcomer finds silver lining
Posted: Feb 2, 2016


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Newcomer lands in a semantic soup
Posted: Jan 5, 2016


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: How did everyone know newcomer was going home for the holidays?
Posted: Dec 1, 2015


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Wishing you a bright and prosperous Halloween!
Posted: Nov 1, 2015


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Newcomer learns to let go
Posted: Sep 30, 2015


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Miscommunication!
Posted: Sep 1, 2015


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Newcomer feels the heat
Posted: Aug 1, 2015


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Happy Canada Day, eh!
Posted: Jun 29, 2015


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Sharing a birthday with queen gets a little confusing for newcomer
Posted: Apr 28, 2015


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Newcomer learns a lesson in Canadian etiquette
Posted: Mar 30, 2015


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Newcomer moves ahead without being pushy
Posted: Mar 2, 2015


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Newcomer can’t believe her eyes!
Posted: Feb 3, 2015


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Home truths about Canada’s culinary diversity
Posted: Jan 4, 2015


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Newcomer bites into a new tradition
Posted: Dec 3, 2014


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Newcomer goes nuts
Posted: Nov 3, 2014


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Newcomer gets spooked!
Posted: Sep 30, 2014


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: A walk in the park
Posted: Sep 1, 2014


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: No silly questions, only silly answers
Posted: Jul 29, 2014


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Newcomer learns to let kids be kids
Posted: Jun 30, 2014


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Newcomer in a pickle!
Posted: Jun 2, 2014


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: A lesson for a rainy day
Posted: Apr 30, 2014


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Mystery solved for new Canadian!
Posted: Mar 5, 2014


Newcomer makes a clean sweep
Posted: Feb 4, 2014


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Newcomer develops a taste for lemons
Posted: Jan 2, 2014


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Ho! Ho! Ho! And a hearty Christmas dinner!
Posted: Dec 4, 2013


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: A Canadian cross-connection!
Posted: Oct 30, 2013


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: She had heard of arranged marriages, but what’s a ‘love marriage’?
Posted: Oct 2, 2013


Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary among the best 10 cities in the world
Posted: Oct 2, 2013


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Lost in translation!
Posted: Sep 5, 2013


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Going with the flow
Posted: Jul 31, 2013


Premier Wynne meets India's High Commissioner as Ontario creates opportunities for newcomers
Posted: Jul 31, 2013


Newcomer finds bows and arrows in multicultural Canada
Posted: Jul 3, 2013


Canada trolls Silicon Valley for entrepreneurs
Posted: Jul 3, 2013


Welcome to our open house
Posted: Jun 5, 2013


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Newcomer parks his confusion
Posted: May 1, 2013


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Same English word, different Canadian meaning
Posted: Apr 3, 2013


Canadian Immigrant Integration Program helps newcomers succeed
Posted: Apr 3, 2013


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: I landed in Canada with my old fears
Posted: Mar 3, 2013


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Newcomer gets the nod
Posted: Jan 31, 2013


Strengthening Canada’s international student program
Posted: Jan 31, 2013


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Going potty in a new community
Posted: Dec 31, 2012


Canada’s new Skilled Trades Stream begins accepting applications
Posted: Dec 31, 2012


FRESH OFF THE PLANE:The day I found a doctor on a road!
Posted: Dec 4, 2012


More immigrants to be admitted through Canadian Experience Class
Posted: Dec 4, 2012


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Learning experience on tap
Posted: Oct 31, 2012


Revised Federal Skilled Worker program unveiled
Posted: Oct 31, 2012


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Winds of change
Posted: Oct 2, 2012


Why Canada is the destination of choice for international students
Posted: Oct 2, 2012


The other side of the new arrival story
Posted: Sep 4, 2012


Monument honours a community’s arrival in Canada
Posted: Sep 4, 2012


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Finding my way around
Posted: Aug 1, 2012


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Newcomer indulges in turf wars
Posted: Jul 4, 2012


Immigrants celebrate Canada Day with pride
Posted: Jul 4, 2012


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: I turned our driveway into a skating rink
Posted: May 30, 2012


Canada transforms economic immigration
Posted: May 30, 2012


Green behind the ears
Posted: May 2, 2012


Beware of immigration fraudsters
Posted: May 2, 2012


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Little boys’ room
Posted: Apr 2, 2012


Ontario’s first-ever immigration strategy
Posted: Apr 2, 2012


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Newcomers taken for a ride!
Posted: Feb 29, 2012


Language plays a role in finding success in Canada
Posted: Feb 29, 2012


Sticker shock in Canada
Posted: Feb 1, 2012


Ontario seeks input from newcomers, small businesses
Posted: Feb 1, 2012


Show him the money!
Posted: Jan 3, 2012


Canada will invest $2816 for every new immigrant this year
Posted: Jan 3, 2012


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Eidi for Christmas!
Posted: Dec 1, 2011


Bringing the world’s best and brightest to Canada
Posted: Dec 1, 2011


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Feeling at home at the public library
Posted: Nov 2, 2011


South Asian faces in Canadian elections
Posted: Nov 2, 2011


Newcomer caught in time warp
Posted: Oct 6, 2011


Pilot project attracts more working families to British Columbia
Posted: Oct 6, 2011


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Checking out Mrs Agha
Posted: Aug 31, 2011


More international doctors are choosing Ontario
Posted: Aug 31, 2011


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Washroom, bathroom, same difference
Posted: Aug 5, 2011


New Canadians welcomed at special Canada Day citizenship ceremony
Posted: Aug 5, 2011


The day my neighbour led me up the garden path
Posted: Jul 1, 2011


New research report finds more visible minorities in leadership positions
Posted: Jul 1, 2011


Birthday parties, Canadian-style
Posted: Jun 2, 2011


In 2010, Canada welcomed the most immigrants in 50 years
Posted: Jun 2, 2011


How I embarrassed myself!
Posted: Apr 30, 2011


Why Canada is celebrating the Year of India in 2011
Posted: Mar 31, 2011


The stamp of a newcomer
Posted: Mar 31, 2011


The day I mistook a neighbour for househelp
Posted: Mar 4, 2011


Cricket has a long history in Canada
Posted: Mar 4, 2011


The day my dad called 911...for India!
Posted: Jan 6, 2011


Warming Up To Canada
Posted: Dec 4, 2010


Twelve outstanding Canadians receive Citizenship Award
Posted: Nov 14, 2010


I now wear a poppy with pride but there was a time I was not aware of its significance
Posted: Nov 14, 2010


Almost half of all newcomers to Canada choose to settle in Toronto
Posted: Nov 14, 2010


The friendly customs officer took a load off my mind
Posted: Oct 16, 2010


New immigrants contribute to the changing face of Canada
Posted: Oct 16, 2010


New rules to strengthen Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program
Posted: Sep 3, 2010


Who was that stranger on the cold, dark night?
Posted: Sep 3, 2010


I grabbed our valuables and ran
Posted: Aug 6, 2010


Study reveals new Canadians at higher risk of drowning
Posted: Jul 25, 2010


Adults with newly diagnosed diabetes at risk of liver disease
Posted: Jul 25, 2010


Life expectancy in Canada
Posted: Jul 25, 2010


Weight and children with developmental coordination disorder
Posted: Jul 25, 2010


How to reduce the risk of food borne diseases
Posted: Jul 25, 2010


Career change spells success
Posted: Jul 2, 2010


I felt we were home
Posted: Jul 1, 2010


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