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FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Joke is lost in translation

Many years ago, when we were new in Canada, I tried a joke which fell flat because the person I was talking to thought I was challenged in English.It was a common enough reaction, because we came from Hong Kong and looking at us, I suppose people assumed we didn’t know English. What happened was that the person was to come see us to discuss family insurance but called to say he was “running behind”.I couldn’t resist. “Running behind what?” I asked.There was a brief silence, after which he hastened to explain. “I’m sorry, I meant I was late.”I thought of telling him I had understood what he meant, but that involved another long phone conversation and I wasn’t sure we’d...


Posted: Jun 1, 2018



FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Newcomer learns what is a wart

Many years ago, when we were relatively new in Canada, I developed a painful sore on the sole of my foot. It started out as tenderness, hurting when I walked or stood a certain way, but not too bad otherwise.I couldn’t see anything and thought I must have sprained my foot. My wife wasn’t convinced and repeatedly asked how one could sprain the sole. The soreness continued and soon, there was a red, throbbing patch. It also looked like there was a pinhead in the centre. It must be a splinter that got embedded while I was helping our neighbour renovate their deck, I assumed.I tired to pinch it out with no luck. I used a tweezer to try and ‘pluck’ it out, I scrubbed away with a foot...


Posted: May 2, 2018



FRESH OFF THE PLANE: A question of trust

A neighbour first introduced me to factory direct outlets in our first year in Canada. Chatting while waiting for the elevator in our apartment building, I had told her that we needed to buy bed sheets but there was nothing on sale in the weekly flyers.She told me to check out a factory direct outlet instead of waiting until the next week’s flyers. They have the same or even better prices, she said. And it pays to go often, as their inventory is ever changing. She even very kindly offered to drive me there and so off we went, the following day. The store wasn’t fancy, as she had warned me, but then I wasn’t there for the fancy lighting or fixtures, I wanted the best prices. And...


Posted: Apr 1, 2018



FRESH OFF THE PLANE: On the one hand...

One doesn’t see this so much now – actually come to think of it, I haven’t seen it at all for years now – but once upon a time painting the nails of only the left hand was common practice among ladies from the subcontinent.I remember most of my friends and myself doing just that. We’d keep the nails of the right hand short and neat, but grow the ones on the left and then paint them in whatever the fashionable shade of the season was. The older ladies preferred reds and maroons, we opted for shiny silver. I tell my daughter that the blues and greens of her choice would have been deemed appropriate for ghouls and witches we read about in comic books! But back to the painted...


Posted: Mar 7, 2018



Newcomer learns how the cookie crumbles

We lived in Bahrain for many years before moving to Canada. There, too, like in India, we exchanged sweets with friends on Diwali and Eid.I sent a cake to the school with some other treats for our kids’ birthdays, but it was always a store-bought cake as I was not a confident baker. After moving to Canada, we continued the exchanging of sweets with friends we made here, but for school, things changed slightly. I didn’t see anyone sending a whole cake to school for their child’s birthday, just cookies or cup cakes, at the most. However, other moms I met in the school yard also sent these treats for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween and Christmas, etc. As new...


Posted: Feb 3, 2018



Newcomer learns that appearance can be deceiving
Posted: Jan 3, 2018


Newcomer learns the secret of regifting
Posted: Nov 30, 2017


Newcomer tells it like it is
Posted: Nov 1, 2017


Newcomer opens the door to a new experience
Posted: Oct 2, 2017


FRESH OF THE PLANE: Newcomer learns to fit in
Posted: Sep 6, 2017


Newcomer learns new skills
Posted: Aug 2, 2017


FRESH OF THE PLANE: Newcomer leaves a paper trail
Posted: Jul 1, 2017


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Learning to “speak Canadian”
Posted: May 30, 2017


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Newcomer finds answer to a burning question
Posted: Apr 30, 2017


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Friend points newcomer in the right direction
Posted: Apr 3, 2017


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Mystery solved for newcomer
Posted: Mar 2, 2017


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Newcomer lands in hot water
Posted: Jan 31, 2017


FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Fit to be Canadian
Posted: Jan 2, 2017


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