Welcome to this blog section on my new life in Canada. We moved from Little Red Dot, which Singapore is affectionately known as, to the Great White North, which sums up Canada’s large land mass to the north of the United States. This was not a spur of a moment decision to move but something we had planned for pre-Covid. The initial plan was to move by year 2020. Which everyone knows, Covid happened.
After dragging our feet for two years, we finally made the move in January 2022. We went from +35 degrees Celsius to -35 degrees Celsius. Having been here for Christmas a few times, it always seems like a wonderful time of the year with snow and celebrations since we return to the tropics a few weeks later. And December is hardly the coldest winter month here, so I’ve learnt.
We came to Canada with four bags and two cats.
Where are all the rest of our stuff? All of them are still stored in boxes at a warehouse in Singapore, waiting to be shipped. Once we get a house or place of our own. Who would have thought that we would once again be living with parents at the age of 40, in their basement at that.
My ten months in Canada so far has been a whirlwind of frustrations and adventures. The most frustration was centred around my transfer from the Singapore office to the Canada office. I am not sure how your company fares on global internal mobility but based on research, that often comes up as a recurring pain point.
The other frustrations were around getting used to Canada’s system of doing things coming from a central and efficient system like Singapore’s. This is not a complaint but an observation – there are pros and cons to living in both countries and no one system is perfect. (I guess it may be depending on what you seek in life.)
There are many stereotypes of Canada which some of are true and some may have been exaggerated. Being cold is definitely one which is spot on. When we arrived in winter, we were not equipped with what we brought. Most of our clothes are still stored in a warehouse and will not arrive until we get our place. That meant a lot of shopping.
Clothes for winter is just the tip of the iceberg as part of settling into a new life in Canada. I will unpack the rest of what you need to know in other posts. From getting a mobile line, a Social Insurance Number, Driver’s Licence, car, bank account and credit card.