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terça-feira, 21 de julho de 2015

Bittersweet Canada


Toronto city view from Toronto Island, from Vilton's  file. 

I've been here twice, however in my first time i stayed in Quebec-City (Québec-Ville) to improve my french at Université Laval.  It's been almost eight years ... Of course, beeing  in love with the French and Portuguese languages, hasn't left me much time during my years of life to devote myself seriously to the study of English.

So, this year, my academic life invited me to enjoy a linguistic-cultural dip in English Canada, Toronto, the University of Toronto. I feel in love with Toronto. Made up the peace whit english language, now i think to build a future together.

Toronto from de top of CN Tower, from Vilton's file.

Sunset from de top of CN Tower, from Vilton's file.


High Park, Toronto ON. From Vilton Soares' file.

Canadian flavors don't impress me. But, the landscapes are breathtaking ... because there are many contrasts. In the heart of Toronto is the High Park: "High Park is Toronto's largest public park featuring many hiking trails, sports facilities, diverse vegetation, a beautiful lakefront, convenient parking, easy public transit access, a dog park, a zoo, playgrounds for children, a couple of eateries, greenhouses, picnic areas, a bunch of squirrels and various events throughout the year."(

CN Tower from King's College Circle, U OF T. 


In Toronto we can hear many, many different foreign languages. The numerous new skyscrapers are also not perfectly adapted to the harsh and rigorous climate of this part of Canada. In full "Summer," for a few days you can not see the top of the CN Tower and numerous buildings.

However, there are days when the city (and even the weather!) Show sweetness. We can see the city in all its splendor.

Toronto is the biggest city of Canada and we speak English. But you can hear the French coming from Quebec.

Canada is a "bilingual" country. But the people are not. It is much harder to find someone in Toronto who speaks French, which in Québec someone who speaks English. While English is the predominant language spoken in Toronto, Statistics Canada reports that other language groups are significant, including and Canada's other official language, French, only spoken by 1,2 % of the population. It is inevitable not remember the book of Jean Calvet "Language wars and linguistic politics", and regretting the difficult conditions in which indigenous peoples living in Canada.  I would like to deepen my knowledge in these policies for the indigenous in Canada.

If we forget the language politics issues in Canada, the better we feel the "sweetness" of this country: the squirrels, the wonderful architecture, the stunning scenery and the people (in general) very friendly.

Québec-Ville, Québec, Canada.

Château Frontenac, Québec-Ville.

Live the experience of an intercultural exchange is even embarking on the high seas.  At first the other is very interesting, we are open to discovery. However, the otherness is still something to be practiced, including the university. How difficult to live, accept and respect the other ... This was undoubtedly the greatest learning. 

Group of students with teacher Sean Brown.

Toronto framed by water

To wash the "bitter-sweet" taste of Canada, water! And this country has water! For those who like waterfalls, I recommend Niagara Falls, are beautiful! And if you want to see something bigger (in volume), visit the Iguaçu Falls on the border of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.

Ah Canadian wines ....  I prefer not to comment. Despite the kindness and acceptance, I could not describe the visit to a winery frustrated.

If I could sum up my experience with two images, they would no doubt those who represent the tradition, modernity, water, skyscrapers, and the meeting of all opposites.

Before I end this post, I want to register my shock with the high interest rates of credit cards in Canada. Some even up to 30% / month. If you think Brazil has the highest interest rates on the cards (now between 10% and 15%), was mistaken.

I really like sweet and sour flavors. Therefore, the Canada is a country where I always come back.

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