Slowly Becoming Canadian Podcast on iTunes

Today is International Podcast Day (yes, for real) and it’s also the day Slowly Becoming Canadian The Podcast becomes available on iTunes.

Click on the link below and you’ll be redirected. You’ll have access to all the episodes. And if you subscribe, they’ll be automatically downloaded to your library.

If you enjoy it, please rate and/or review it!

Slowly Becoming Canadian The Podcast – Episode 1


North American sports are all very confusing to me and I’m always lost when people talk about them. I sat down with sports connoisseur and friend, Damian Daniels, so he could help me a little.

Whether you love sports or you don’t care about it, listen to this episode. You’ll learn a thing or two, laugh, and find out if me guest would pass the Canadian citizenship test.


Game on! (That’s what you say, right?)


35.16 million Canadians + me

Today I learned that I want to be Canadian. To be an actual Canadian citizen.

I was waiting for my bus when an international student asked me to explain the bus system. He didn’t know how much a ticket cost, nor where to buy a student bus pass. I started to explain how to walk to a store where he could get one, but I could see he was a little confused, so I decided to walk there with him. On the way, he told me he had just arrived the night before from China and that he was going to be taking English lessons this summer before studying engineering in the fall. He sounded tired, excited and a little overwhelmed. I remembered when I first arrived in the different countries I’ve lived in and how it was a lot to take in at first. When we got to the store I told him how to get the pass and showed him where he could get a sandwich. On an impulse, I also gave him my card, just in case he needed help with something else. He probably will never call me and will get all the help he needs from his university and fellow students, but I thought that at least for a few hours it might be reassuring for him to know there was someone he could contact. I wished him good luck and we parted ways.

Twenty minutes later, I got on a bus and he was there. He smiled and showed me his brand new bus pass. We looked at his map and figured out his next stop. He thanked me and got off the bus. I was probably imagining it but he looked like he was already feeling better. I was feeling good too and I thought, “Now he’ll know it’s true that Canadians are nice and welcoming” But then I thought, “Wait, I’m not from here, I’m not Canadian.”

But maybe now I feel like “here” is home, like I am a part of here, like I want to be Canadian.

Thank you Andy for helping me realize it’s time to look into getting Canadian citizenship.


Peer 21

Peer 21, Halifax, Nova Scotia


What is this thing you call summer?

Oh my God, what is this?! What is happening? There is a big bright light in the sky and I am warm. I must be dying. I’m sorry, what? What did you say it was? Spring? Oh ok, it’s just that it was supposed to start 8 weeks ago so I thought it was just not going to happen this year. That’s great though, it means summer is coming! It also means I – and you too, if like me you’ve been hibernating for months – need to get ready.


Summer check list:

1 – Get some DEET. No, get a lot of it! A couple times every summer I get very close to needing a blood transfusion to survive the constant attacks from mosquitoes/black flies/horse flies/evil flying creatures from Hell. So I have to choose between spraying we-are-not-sure-how-toxic-this-product-is insect repellant all over my body and risking  not surviving the summer. Or to simply look like that:



2 – Get some sunscreen: There is an average of 48 hours of sun per month of summer in Nova Scotia, which is not a lot. However, it’s enough for you to burn or get a weird farmer’s or fisherman’s tan so apply generously. And put a hat on, a Moosehead one or even a Habs, a Bruins or a Leafs one. I’m kidding, don’t wear a Leafs hat. (I don’t really have anything against the Leafs, I’m just slowly becoming Canadian, so I’m dissing them like everyone else.)


3 – Get ready to drink: Between BBQs, patios, weddings, playoffs, and regular evenings, you will see your alcohol intake go up a lot. That’s OK, you’re helping the economy. Plus now, you get Air Miles at the NSLC, so really, you’re just making smart economic decisions. Just don’t forget to have at least one Keith’s at some point. It’s the law in Nova Scotia.


4 – Get ready for the election: In October, the country will vote for its leader. In the meantime, you will be exposed to a lot of arguments, lawn signs, heated conversations and cheap jokes about haircuts. To help you make your choice you can always count on the televised debates and your colleague or relative that has an opinion on everything and knows for sure who you should vote for. According to Elections Canada, 12.2% of Canadians are not at all interested in politics. If that’s your case and you get caught in a conversation about the elections, just say “First, we really should do something about the Senate!”. 86% of Canadians want to either abolish or reform it, so chances are people will agree with you, and hopefully,  the conversation topic will change.


Mostly, get ready for some fun! But before fully enjoying the summer, make sure  you are done shovelling all the snow that got dumped on Nova Scotia this winter.


Photo taken May 18th, 2015


 Check if you speak Nova Scotian


Georgia… I mean, South Carolina on my mind

Going down South is a very Canadian thing to do. At first, I thought it was kind of odd to see all these people chasing the sun every year; 
however, after six winters in Canada I totally get it. This year after a few snowstorms, a couple of blizzards and 
three months of walking on icy sidewalks, I couldn’t wait to go to a place where the question “Is it supposed to be sunny tomorrow?” is not even a thing.

Last year, after a few drinks, my friends Pat and Claude offered to have a bunch of us over for a week in Hilton Head, South Carolina. I’m not sure they still think it was a good idea, but I sure am happy I said yes!  During the past  week, I have done a lot of things that – for the most part – I couldn’t do in Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

Here are a few of them:

  • Wear shorts in April
  • Bike everywhere: the beach, the marina, the supermarket… (Well, you could do that in Halifax but you’d have to survive the hills)
  • Buy my beer at the supermarket and for half the price I’d pay at the NSLC back in Nova Scotia
  • Make friends with an alligator  
  • Tan
  • Play golf in golf paradise. Well, I stuck with mini-golf, but still.
  • Enjoy a refreshing glass of sweet tea. Yes, it’s just iced tea, but there’s something different about it when it comes with a true southern meal:    


  • Get rid of my winter blues
  • Take advantage of US prices and 6% taxes 
  • Catch a BIG red fish  
  • Enjoy 6 consecutive sunny days with an above-twenty-five-degree temperature
  • Do a sunset cruise on a sailboat (this is possible in Canada too, but again you’d probably not be wearing shorts if it was in April)


I also committed to putting together France’s Olympic curling team for the 2018 games. I know you’re thinking “Buddy, it’s not that easy!”, but there are only 386 registered curlers in France, so Coach Mark and I figure our chances are pretty good.

As you can probably tell, this trip also involved a lot of drinking. From what I heard, that’s a very important part of the “going down South” experience.

Oh, if you’re planning on going to an all-inclusive resort down South any time soon, here are a few pieces of advice I wrote for you.

A Great Canadian Tradition: Going Down South

My first winter here, I quickly learned about one of the greatest Canadian traditions. No, I am not talking about giving a child their first pair of skates or closing the cottage for the winter. I am talking about “going down South”, which means escaping winter for a week or two by jumping on a plane to places like Cuba, the Dominican Republic or Jamaica. Now, if you’re retired or have a little bit of money, it could also mean heading to Florida for a while (but for no more than 182 days because you don’t want to lose your universal healthcare). Anyway, in an attempt to enjoy a true Canadian experience I went to Cuba for a week 4 years ago. If you’re soon going on a truly deserved vacation under the sun, here are a few tips (this is based on a one-time experience, so it’s probably not super accurate).

1- Remember the name of the place you’re going to. Not just the place, the name of your resort too. Sure, this could be useful when you get lost on one of the fun and exciting excursions you can’t wait to tell your friends about, but that’s not the main reason. When you tell people you went down South, their first question is “Where did you go?”, and by that they mean “where in Cuba/Dominican Republic/Jamaica and which resort?” because chances are they know it. If you don’t remember, just make up a Spanish name like “Princessa  de  la Playa”. Don’t worry, it’ll always sound fancy and believable enough.

2- There is only one Spanish sentence you need to memorize: “Una cerveza/piña colada/margarita por favor.” Most people who work at resorts speak English so you won’t really need it, but it will make you feel good for trying and your drink will taste even better. After a few drinks you’ll be convinced you’re bilingual anyway. Of course this doesn’t apply if you’re going to Jamaica. If you start speaking Spanish there, people might assume you smoked a little too much of the local green specialty.

3- Pick a resort that is known to be liked by Quebecquers because, let’s face it, they know how to take it to the next level. First of all, speedoes and thongs (for women AND men) seem to be popular which always makes hanging out at the pool entertaining. And if they all party like the ones who were at my resort, you’re up for a few late nights that involve a lot of drinking and swearing.

4- Do not post too many pictures of your trip on Facebook or Instagram.  Remember that some of your friends are still in Canada where it is most likely freezing. They will “like” your pictures but secretly be jealous and even hate you. Remember when Bob came back to work and couldn’t stop talking about how he just drank all day, laid on the beach and did nothing? Did you enjoy that? Exactly.

There, these are my tips for you to have a successful trip “down South.” Don’t forget to enjoy every minute of it, because chances are, when you land back in Canada your memories will be the only thing that can keep you warm.