My love affair with Canada

Singapore celebrated its 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Canada in 2015. Canada was one of the first nations which established diplomatic ties with Singapore after our independence in 1965. The Canadian Association of Singapore (CAS) was established here in 1949, way before our independence. There are more than 700 active members with CAS. I wonder how many Canadians are there in Singapore…

When I was younger, I used to love writing stories and would fill plenty of pages of handwritten ‘books’. My research around where the story would be based ended up being in a part of Canada. I looked up places from my Mom’s old Atlas book and found that I liked the sound of Edmonton.

Little did I know that in 2012, when I was working at Edelman, I would meet a Canadian and that we would be together now. Since then, I’ve learnt to appreciate some of what Canadians enjoy.

  1. Ice Hockey: I went to my first ice hockey game in December 2015 at Bell Centre in Montreal to watch the Montreal Canadiens, also M’s favourite team. I ended up watching ice hockey on TV during my short stay in Canada.
  2. Tim Hortons: During our long drives across Canada, we would often stop at Tim Hortons when M would get his favourite and usual double-double – double sugar and double cream.
  3. Poutine: This is something I’ve tried but not a big fan of…So M finished two portions.
  4. Beaver’s Tail: First taste of it in a mild snowstorm in Ottawa, December 2015. It was warm, sticky, sweet (very sweet) and very tasty! We bought another one to share after gulping the first down. It was M’s first taste of Beaver’s Tail too!
  5. Holiday chalets by the lake: Summer of 2014. My first time kayaking. Yes, I can’t believe it myself too that it took me that long to try kayaking. I did not go to the school outdoor activities and overseas trips which would have exposed me to some kayaking. I was having so much fun racing M in the kayak on the lake that I lost my Fitbit in the lake then.
  6. The outdoors: British Columbia is a wonderland for hikers and campers. We’ve only been to Mt Robson so far for hiking in Canada. It has been one of the best hiking experiences compared with the others we’ve been on. When I was in Vancouver, I realised that I’ve not seen that many joggers and cyclists during a normal day before. It made me feel like cycling or running too.
  7. Maple syrup: The real deal. Pure maple syrup in Singapore cost a lot!
  8. Beavers: I watched some documentary about beavers and they really industrious and great ‘engineers’. They have a system for building dams and there are specific roles for each member of the family.

What I would love to do is to try cross-country skiing next time, more kayaking, more hiking and cycling around the city. Cycling on the roads in Singapore is scary as there are some drivers here who aren’t very gracious in sharing the road with cyclists.

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