The purpose of this blog entry is to help all newcomers to Canada to understand some holidays/statuary days that are not well-known abroad. Embrace the Canadian ways and not forget one of many on-field stories of those who have served.

Remembrance Day (also known as Poppy Day owing to the tradition of wearing a remembrance poppy) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth member states since the end of the First World War to honour armed forces members who have died in the line of duty.

I had the honour and opportunity to meet and interview Mr. Edar Barlow Huges, a 97-years old veteran (as of November 2021) who served in the Navy. Before I start spreading his story, I must say it was a delightful experience. Mr. Hughes is a very strong man, you couldn't tell he is 97 at simple sight. When I arrived, I found him playing the piano. After he finished playing, we headed to his room. He walks very fast!

He started to tell me about his days in the navy and some funny stories. When he was enlisted and doing his health exam, medical examiners agreed with him of being all navy just by watching his toes! Mr. Hudges showed me an old photo when he was young (a very appealing man), that reminded him of another story when he was in his 40's and when visiting a bar, nobody could guess his age; everybody was thinking he was in his 20's.

At that time, joining the forces was not a voluntary thing, Mr. Huges told me about the day he found out he had to serve. He was 18 at that time and his first impression was watching his mother crying while reading a letter. "You have been called to serve.", she told him.

He currently resides in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada.

This happened to me like eight years or go, but it is still valid. After I successfully got my first work permit notification from my home country, the only thing I got from the Government of Canada was a notification letter with some directions.


Québec is a province that has been always different in many ways. The renting process is not an exception. In this case, I rented a house directly from the owner. I was very lucky, he was a very thoughtful person and he delivered the house in mint condition. When the house had an issue that it would be considered "under warranty", he was there to fix it. I know, not every landlord was like him; there are several horror stories out there where landlords only answer with the painful legal path.

One funny thing about finding a house in Québec is the way they count the rooms. You will see things like 2 1/2 condo (it means a condo with a living room/kitchen, a room and a bathroom), or 6 1/2 house (could be one living room, one dining room, three rooms and two bathrooms). They count the number of rooms, regardless of the function they have.

As soon as I was under a roof, one of the most obvious things to do is getting a cellphone. A lot of people like to keep their home country number, but the truth is it is a new country. Local people, including the office, will need to call; friends and family can keep in contact thanks to social media.

One of the best things about this country is education. The public education, which is free, it holds, in my opinion, a high standard.

The first thing that as a parent I had to understand is how the system works and how it is organized. School starts with kindergarten 1, 2 and 3 (also known as senior kindergarten). After that, there is the elementary school that goes from grades 1 to 6. After that, it follows the middle school which includes grades 7 and 8. From grades 9 to 12, it is known as high school.

For me, my dog is a member of the family. I couldn't leave him back in Mexico when I moved to Canada. I will try to write here about what I did to bring him with me.

Miguel was six when he moved with us to Canada. He is a white Griffon Vendeen with a very charismatic personality.

I have more than ten years driving, and if you like myself, didn't get the Canadian way at first, let me tell you it is normal. Canadians drive in a different way than in Latino-Americans, they don't push themselves into the traffic. It is perfectly normal to see a car waiting for people crossing the street.

If you are coming to Canada, as a tourist you can drive with your still valid foreign driving license. However, you must follow the Canadian way. I will write here some details.

If your interest is more on how to get a Canadian license, you can read my article where I describe how to shortcut the process using your foreign valid driving license.