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Canada, Featured

Speaking Canadian

July 8, 2017

I’m using the term Canadian English quite loosely here. Canada is a huge country (9.985 million km² to be exact), so while we definitely have our very own variety of English, the same terms aren’t necessarily used in every province or territory.

The terms listed here are what I’ve used growing up in Southern Ontario. I’m not saying they’re never used elsewhere, but they’re commonplace here, and not always understood by our international friends. This is a pretty decent list, but it’s not a complete list by any means.

Pencil Crayons

This is one of those words that pretty much all Canadian English speakers use, and it wasn’t until maybe eight or so years ago when I realized that pencil crayons wasn’t the “norm”. My co-workers in Japan were mostly American, and I can clearly remember the day when we were working on creating something, and I asked them to “pass the pencil crayons”.

The what?” they asked.
The pencil crayons? Is… that not what they’re called?

They pointed between the (wax) crayons, pencil crayons, and pencils, bemused, until I gestured to the box that I wanted. The box of, as they say in apparently most other varieties of English, coloured pencils.

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Canada, Featured

Niagara Falls: What to know

March 25, 2015

It’s finally spring, and the last remnants of snow are rapidly melting away as the city heats up with balmy temperatures that are finally above zero. With the change in season comes one thing in particular to the Niagara region: tourists.

Over the Horseshoe Falls Host to over twelve million tourists every year, Niagara Falls is still one of the most popular vacation destinations. The falls is divided into two sections; the Bridal Veil Falls (the American Falls) and the Horseshoe Falls (the Canadian Falls). Despite my bias being Canadian, our side does have the better view. I’ve spent a great deal of my summers working in the city of Niagara Falls, answering questions and sharing information. It’s easy to find information about the falls themselves, but sometimes those questions which you think would be common sense go unanswered. And hey, it never hurts to ask.

So here are the answers to eleven (or so) questions that I get asked pretty much every summer.
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Blog, Featured, Photos

Safari Niagara

August 10, 2014

Back in June, my cousin and I headed down to Safari Niagara to check it out, and take some photos of the animals. It was my first time there, and I wasn’t too sure what to expect. The only thing I really knew about it was that a bear had escaped years ago, causing quite a bit of panic.

There’s free parking at Safari Niagara, which is great for families, and the admission isn’t bad. We got in for free, because I had special tickets, but even if you have to pay full price, I think it’s pretty well worth it. They have a good selection of animals, and do shows at various times throughout the day.

So first up, are my photos from the farm area, where they house a selection of stereotypical barnyard animals like goats, chickens, rabbits, and ponies, as well as my personal favourite, an alpaca. The majority of my photos were of the alpaca, because he was just so awesome. The smirk he had on his face totally made my day.
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Featured, Japan


June 11, 2014

When asked to name a Japanese food, it’s a safe bet that a good number of people would quickly say sushi. Sushi is easy to get in Japan; you can go to a sushi restaurant, buy it in the grocery store, or even get it at the standard convenience store. Even though I don’t eat seafood, I really wanted to give 回転寿司 (kaitenzushi) a try.

I didn’t want to leave Japan without going to a conveyor belt sushi restaurant, so I asked some friends if they wouldn’t mind going with me, and they were more than happy to oblige. As it turns out, even if you’re not a seafood fan there are a lot of options for you. So don’t let that hold you back! We decided to go to a chain restaurant called スシロー (Sushiro), and while this isn’t necessarily how all conveyor belt sushi places are, this is my experience.
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Featured, Japan


June 2, 2014

Purikura (プリクラ) is an abbreviated form of Print Club (プリント倶楽部), and the booths were first out in 1995. You go in, take a bunch of photos under a time limit, get a few minutes to decorate them, and then pick up your freshly printed copies which can double as stickers. Nowadays the booths have a whole slew of features, with skin lightening and eye widening being two common ones.

So how do you go about doing some super fun purikura?
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Featured, Travel

Travel: Iga

October 26, 2011

Two Mondays ago, it was a perfect, warm, sunny day, and since we hadn’t been on a trip in a while (aside from the water park in September) we decided to take a short day long vacation to Iga, which is in Mie Prefecture.

From Nagoya station it took about 100 minutes by bus, most of which I spent sleeping. For the brief moments I was awake, the scenery was really nice, and I can only imagine that it’ll be beautiful when the leaves start to change into their autumn colours. Upon arriving at the bus stop (which was near the train station), we found the tourist information place to grab a map. The lady was really sweet. And all around the train platform it’s decorated with ninja figures and images.
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