Monday, February 9, 2015


Canada has one of the most satisfying anthem to sing (even though it seems to not care if their daughters have patriotism). There's that dramatic rise from the get go (starting with an interjection is always a great idea), and then a proclamation at the end ("O Canada we stand on guard for thee!"), and you can sing it in French if you so desire. Awesome.

It's also really empty as a destination on a weeknight in the dead of February.  I was the only non-Canadian on the flight and got through customs far before my luggage made it.  When I arrived at my small hotel, the receptionist greeted me by name, and was the friendliest ex-New Yorker I've ever met. He even gave me a free carbonated water from the bar and did not accept payment! He told me he hates the snow, though, and parted with a great bagel store recommendation (yes).

It's almost midnight here, so I am typing this to burn off some excess Californian jet lag. I've noticed that the city looks generally the same (last visit was about...5..6...years ago?). The currency has definitely been upgraded with the new plastic transparent ones, which is really neat. I love how some countries print non-politicians or rulers on their currency (Swiss Francs has Le Corbusier and I will forever keep that bill), oh wait...I'm checking out my bills and it's prime minister, prime minister, Elizabeth II, prime minister, prime minister...nevermind they're just colourful politicians.  I initially thought they were burnt until I realized that the transparent part is high tech cellophane (or polymer). The back of the bills are far more interesting - space, trains, and medical innovations like insulin.

swiss francs

The Queen is green

I haven't been outside in the below freezing weather for more than a minute yet but I did step on slush. Mr. Ex-New Yorker hates the cold and the snow, but for Californians, Adventure awaits! I must walk like a penguin to survive the long 1/2 block walk to my work tomorrow!