A Travellerspoint blog

All four senses, a Canadian cultural experience.

Blog 8 Week 4 - Final fourth one of October

Greetings all readers and welcome back to the eight blog in the CK@C series, it is also the fourth and last one for the month of October. In this blog, I will be talking about my experience and perception of the general Canadian culture in my area, and how parts of it differs from the one I experience back home.

Cultures here in Canada are very different from home, and thus it causes a very different general mood and atmosphere when compare to Thailand. Due to this, all the stuff I saw, heard, touched, and many other senses would be very different. So in this diary I will be talking about how different is Canadian culture when perceived by me compared to Thailand.

The first one is sight. Sight is one of the most important qualities and thus will be vastly different when compared to Thailand. Starting from when I stepped down from the airplane and took a car ride to my house from over two months ago, I can see a stark difference between here and Thailand. Nova Scotia, much like its population, remain pristine with a lot of forests and natural space available throughout the province. Even in a more populated area such as Halifax, it is still surrounded by forests filled with animals and plants. Compared with Thailand, which is more barren and the only forest that remain are either private, inaccessible, held no value, or part of a national park. So there's very little green space back home. But, there's a lot of them here and I liked it because it makes the air very fresh every morning. Especially around my house. Sometimes we can even get to see wild animals, in the wilds! I saw a skunk once and luckily, it did not release its stinky fluids.

The second one is sound, more specifically languages. As you may know, English as a language has a lot of accents ranging from the classical British accent to the extreme Middle-Eastern accent. Each accent sounded differently, were spoken at different speeds, and can cause people from another primary language (Ex: International students) difficulty in interpreting the words. Here in Nova Scotia, the majority of people speak English (unlike Quebec, which is French). English in Nova Scotia, at least what I heard, is more in the British-American tone in my opinion. They used a lot of words from the British dictionary like Centre instead of Center. Not only that, the people here somehow called lunch “dinner”, strange right? I'm not sure how that originated but that sometimes causes a lot of confusion. Also, generally speaking, the speed the words and sentences were spoken are not too fast, in the medium to fast range unlike French which is very fast and rapid. So, the language I heard here is a lot different than in Thailand, even when compared with English speaking Thais, it present me a great opportunity to learn how to speak and interpret English better.

The third one is smell, this one is more in line with what I see. Whenever I woke up in the morning, if I walked outside I would be greeted with the smell of fresh dew in the morning. It was very refreshing. Not only that, the town is relatively clean compared to Thailand's one. Most of the town area are either lined with trees or surrounded by trees (the school itself borders on all side with forests). As a result, even the general smell of the town is fresh wherever you go, no smell of pollutants, garbage, or sewage to be smelled. I think that is a very great thing, it improves both your mental and physical health as somehow, the smell of dew and forests makes you feel good in the morning.
The fourth one is the taste. I can only give you one conclusion, the food here is generally sweet and fatty, which I don't really like most of the time. They also have a lot of meat with less vegetables, which I don't particularly enjoy. Some of them I liked though like fish and chips if they're done right. Even when the food is salty, it is on the extreme end of saltiness. Food like ham and sausages are very salty, even when eaten with potatoes. But, generally, the food here is sweet and fatty which is very different from Thailand's sour and salty taste. There's some food I liked here but I would say it is generally sub-par compared to what I liked. Even though I think the food is sub-par, I still think it's a great thing to eat food you wouldn't usually eat at home, especially turkey and lobster.

So, the cultural experience here in Canada is very very different from in Thailand. All the sighs, sounds, smell, and tastes are different. I got to experience many different things that were not in Thailand, and that I've previously not experienced before. I also learned a lot about other cultures and how they think. In conclusion, I think this program is a great thing as I have gained a lot of experience and do activities I've never even heard of before. I am very happy that I chose to come here to Nova Scotia and I look forward to my next year with the program.

Posted by campnarakol 13:35 Archived in Canada Tagged culture taste sight experience feel feeling smell felt canda hear nsisp nsispfc Comments (1)

Turkey and stuffing, a thanksgiving feat to be thankful for.

Blog 7 Week 3 - Third of October

Greetings all readers and again, welcome to the seventh blog in the CK@C blogs series. The month of October is a very active month, filled with many holidays and activities I would like to talk about. In this blog, I wanted to talk about thanksgiving. You may have heard about it or even celebrated yourself; So I wanted to talk about how I experience a part of Canada culture which is Thanksgiving day as someone who have never seen a turkey at home before. Without further ado, let's get going!

Unlike some holidays or how people usually celebrate holidays, the family I stayed with did not actually celebrate Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving day. Instead spreading the feast out over a period of days beginning on Friday through Monday (This year's Thanksgiving was on Monday.) So, I actually went to two Thanksgiving celebration. One at my hosts son girlfriend parent's house and another in my host house. The first one, in the other house, is the one I liked the most. Thanks to the delicious and well-cooked turkey compared to the one my host cooked (this is a secret, do not tell her!)

We went to the house on the evening, driving from Hebbs Cross, which is basically the outskirts of Bridgewater, to the town of Lunenburg. Lunenburg is a beautiful, historical town that I've visited a few times already and the sight was great. A town built on a sloped hill overlooking a bay filled with boats ranging from small, modern yacht to big, classic sail boats. For this time, we diverted to the outskirts of Lunenburg, where a house stood on a very large tracks of land in the middle of a forest. The owner of the house had a farm, they even had a horse in their farm which I got a chance to went and observe closely. The house itself is pretty large, with rooms extension to make it even larger. When we arrived, we were greeted at first by a wide variety of animals, two of which are dogs then humans came out and welcomed us. After we met and introduced everyone, we were invited to the table and the feast begins.

It was styled like a Free-For-All buffet, with no order on who goes first, I was the second one to go and the moment I walked into the kitchen (It was separated from the dining room), I was greeted with one of the best aroma I've smelled, but the stuff that caught my eye was the turkey. It looked just liked the chicken, although whiter in some part, and it was surrounded with an assortments of colourful stuff. So, I walked in and picked up everything to my plate's maximum limit, some parts are actually spilling out of the plate. After everyone was seated, we began to eat. The turkey was delicious, cooked just right in order to be soft and not too chewy. All the side dishes including the stuffing (which were removed from the turkey prior and served separately), some kind of berry sauce, and sweet potatoes are also very delicious. After I finished my first dish I also went for a second dish with even more stuffing, and this time with some home-made bread as a side dish too. After everyone finished our very delicious meal, the final course which are some very delicious pies, ice cream, and coffee and teas are served. The room then broke into the usual family gathering business, talking and talking and even more talking to each other. I understood some of it but not all, the part I got are the part about thanksgiving where we are meant to be thankful for something and the story of how it supposedly begins. After about two hours, we finished all our drinks, packed up, and left the house for our own home. When we arrived home we immediately went to bed in order to gather energy to cook more food for tomorrow feast. I actually went to bed that night dreaming something about stuffing avalanche so I might not want to eat turkey for a while.

The thanksgiving story is now at its conclusion. Maybe the story was less about thanksgiving and more about food served during thanksgiving. Anyhow, I still miss that stuffing, they are very nice and I hope that next year food served during the holiday will be as good as this years. I am now looking forward to Christmas and what I'll be getting and eating during one of the biggest Christian holidays. I hoped you all enjoyed the story and come back for more next week. On behalf of the author(s), thank you for reading this blog and enjoy your day.

Posted by campnarakol 16:12 Archived in Canada Tagged food turkey canada thanksgiving delicious feat nsispfc nisip stuffing Comments (1)

An extreme school day; Episode II

Blog 6 Week 2 - Second of October

Greetings readers, and welcome back to the CK@C blog, for the second week of the month of October, 2015. This blog will be a continuation of the last week blog, part two of the event on PVEX extreme day. I hope you would enjoy the content and thank you for your continued interests.

After I ate lunch, I went around the school for a walk to see all of the activities in the afternoon, which mostly consisted of outdoor activities and a video game “tournament”. First, I went to see the activity that everyone talked about besides the bubble soccer match, it was called inflatable bungee run. At first, I though it was going to be dangerous like in real bungee jump where you run ahead while pulling at a rubber rope. At a point, the force pulling you back would overcome you strength and thus you would be pulled backwards, crashing into the hard, solid ground. As it turns out, you do exactly what I described except that you did in in an inflatable object. So, even when you were pulled back, you would bounce around the wall and it would hurt less. Although I still didn't want to go on it because I am still scared of twisting my elbow when hitting the wall. I looked at a lot of people playing it though, and it looks fun and exciting, getting pulled up from the ground and hitting the floor can sometimes be adrenaline inducing and exciting activity.

Next, I walked all the way up to the soccer field to see what was supposed to be the crown jewel activity of the day. It was supposed to be popular enough that people have to sign up for it to get a chance to play. It was the bubble soccer game. Now, before I go on and describe it, I wanted to describe what I thought it was first, because it blew my mind when I saw it (and not in a good way). I thought that, like some ball I've seen in a water park before, you would actually get inside the ball and it would enclose you while you try to run around inside the ball, trying to roll it to hit the soccer ball. Much like how a hamster run inside its ball and roll it around. While, in reality, you just slip into a sphere and it would just cover your body in protective insulation. You still stand on two legs but now you body is covered in plastic sphere and if you hit another person/sphere you bounced off. It might be fun as bouncing off and getting to hit your friends can sometimes be fun but last I heard it was very hot inside. When I went up to the field, a game was already finishing. But, from what I can observed, people are just there to bounce off each other and roll around. Not caring about the goal of soccer which is to hit the ball inside the net. I stayed there for a few more minutes until the match ended then walked down to the activity I signed up for, the video game tournament.

The tournament was held in the cafeteria, where two projectors was setted up on the stage, projecting images from two borrowed Nintendo game cubes that sat on a coffee table. This year game would be Super Smash Bros., a multi-player fighting game consisting of cartoon characters from a wide variety of games such as Mario, Luigi, Pikachu, and Ice climbers (I don't even know where they are from). After a while, the judge have all the player seated and began inputting all of our information into the machine. Then, the fight begin. The game was very fun, and even though I never played it before, I made it to stage three where I was beaten and eliminated. After that, I came out and sit to watch the grand final and found out that the number of people watching has increased a lot, I can't even see beyond the stage to the cafeteria beyond! This make the event the most successful on the day, eclipsing even the bubble soccer, partly due to the temperature outdoors. In the end, even though I missed the trophy (they actually had a trophy for the winner), it was still fun getting to play some multi-player games with friend and winning a few rounds.

Overall, the PVEX day was a very fun and great day full of activities of different kinds from video games, to arts, to sports, to extreme sports. I, and I think everyone there, greatly enjoyed the day and I am very pleased with how great this day turns out. I hope next year would still be as good and memorable as this year PVEX day and that I will get a chance to go to a day like this again. Thank you for reading, see you next blog!

Posted by campnarakol 17:44 Archived in Canada Tagged sport fun school game extreme activity xtreme pvec pvex Comments (1)

An extreme school day; Episode I

Blog 5 Week 1 - First of October

Greetings readers and welcome to the fifth blog in the CK@C series, for the first week of October, twenty fifteen. I still can't believe how fast time could fly by but now, the month of September have passed and I am already a week into October. Many interesting things had been happening since I have written the last blog and I'll share one of them with you today, the PVEX day.

The school, just as I told in the previous blogs, like extra curricular activities, especially a fun and enjoyable one. So on the first Thursday of October, the school held an activity day called by the organisers, the student council, as PVEX (Park View EXtreme) day. The entire day would be devoted to activities for the students, which means that there is no school and last I heard that's fine to all the students and teachers alike. Now you might ask, what really is PVEX day? It is one of the few days school can be called fun and exciting. The entire premises are filled with a wide range of activities to do, from athletic sports like floor hockey, to artistic one like pumpkin carving, to extreme one like bungee run, to a couch potato one like games and films. There's always one for you to do and I barely scrape the surface of it, there's too much to do!

So, because there's so many things to do, I'll just outline my day and a few noteworthy activities I've done or seen. The day begin as usual, just a ride by school bus to the school and walking through the front door, except that there's no school bags behind my bag today and no class bells. The first thing everybody who came in do was to crowd around the activities outline board. I caught a glimpse of it and manage to snatch a few picture to plan for it. I can't believe my eyes, there's so many things to be doing in too little time. There's pumpkin carving, trivia quiz, bungee run, floor hockey, bubble soccer, and many more that I wanted to do. Sadly, I can't be at all place at one time due to quantum limitations so I settle down to go carve a pumpkin first, I've never carve a pumpkin before and I think that this is going to be a fun experience.

The first moment I stepped inside the room, it was crowded. Bustling with students and teachers trying to either carve a pumpkin or manage the activity. I manage to find a decently sized pumpkin and sat right next to one of my peers. Now the fun part begins, first you would have to cut out the top part angular to the vertical axis of the pumpkin in an arc away from the centre vertical axis. This is needed in order to open it up and remove all the stuffing underneath. If done correctly, it would be a hatch that can be popped open and it would be able to be placed back on top again for decorative purposes. Sadly, I'm just a beginner and thus left a gaping hole on the top as I accidentally cut the top too small so I have to cut around the hole again. Then we have to dig in with spoons and all sort of tools to remove all the stuff inside the pumpkin. As it turns out, pumpkins are actually hollows inside. I didn't know that before, I though they were full of orange pumpkin meat. The process was tedious but I finally finished scraping the last bit of stuff and seeds out. Now, the fun part begin. So I took my carving tools and begin to play on the pumpkin, carving my artistic skills (maybe not really that artistic) on the pumpkin, cutting out chunks of pumpkin here and there and sharpening the edges of the newly created figures and inscription. I was having a lot of fun carving a picture of witch burning rituals onto the pumpkin and decorating it to my liking. When I finished, though, I realized that two hour has passed and it is lunchtime already. That means that I had missed all of the morning activities already. So, I packed my pumpkin up, placed it on the side counter and hurry to grab some pizzas for lunch before the are all gone. The pizza were quite nice, but certainly not overly delicious. I finished my lunch with some dessert and went around the school for a walk to see the afternoon activities.

Wow, look at that. It had already passed the seven hundred word mark. Sadly, that means that this blog must now come to a close. But, don't worry, I will publish the continuation in the next blog and maybe, if there's any room left, my thanksgiving experience. Thank you for reading, see you next week!

Posted by campnarakol 16:59 Archived in Canada Tagged fun school activity nsisp nsispfc pvec pvex Comments (1)

School in Nova Scotia, now classes are actually engaging!

Blog 4 Week 4 Last one of September

Greetings readers and welcome to the fourth and final blog for the month of September, 2015 in the CK@C series. In this blog, I'll be talking about my impression of the school in Nova Scotia, specifically my school Park View Education Centre in the town of Bridgewater.

One of the primary reason why I chose to come and study abroad in Canada is because of the educational system. Compared to Thailand, Canada education is pretty much heaven in its own right. People back home always praised studying abroad as being much better for the students in terms of both workloads and understanding. Now that I am here I can safely tell you that, Park View has not yet to let me down in the duration that I've been staying here. The school is amazing and the teachers are very nice to the students. Now, let's dissect some aspect of the school that I liked and share them with all of you, shall we?

The first one is how much encouragement and importance the school gives to extra curricular activities and to some extent, to the student themselves. During the first day of school; Orientation day, and the first few weeks the school staff, student ambassadors, and student council had been encouraging students and even invite me and other international students to do some extra curricular activity. The principal, Mr. Walters, even said that, “This school has a lot of [extra-curricular activity] to offer and all you have to do is take the chance.” That might not be the exact quote but it still communicate the point of the message across. This school has a lot of activities such as sports, clubs, and bands that you could do and you should do it. This shows how much they valued extra school activities and that is great. That allowed me to get into many interesting project that I wouldn't have had the ambassadors not gave me the info and I got a lot of new and great experiences. So I liked it that the school and teachers promote activities outside of classroom.
s find the pattern that would evolve into a concept themselves. They also have you do a lot of interesting and “fun” labs, but sadly we are not allowed to access caesium. That would make stuff more interesting (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Dwl_amSvDI) pretty quickly. In the end, these allow me to understand concepts in Physics, Chemistry, and Math better than back home and it actually made me enjoy studying at school!

The last one I wanted to talk about is how the principal and the administrative staff was very friendly. You (or maybe only me) would sometimes get the mental picture of the Principal as this black figure sitting in a dark office making up some evil educational plan for students and siphoning funds for field trips. That is not the case here. During the first week, I saw the staff walk around the school and offer students help a lot. That is extremely great and I liked it that the staff and teachers try to help the student and all of the students not just the fiftieth percentile and above. The principle has once helped store my bag during a school dance. That shows how nice and friendly he is and that is why I liked him, and the school. That also cause me to have a little more trust in them to do what is the the best interest of the students seeing them engage with the student a lot.

So, while staying here, I have come to enjoyed school a lot. I thought that was not possible but the experience here gave me a new view of school and classes. Classes are actually fun and engaging and I greatly enjoyed the class. I also enjoyed the school itself and its activities that I participated in. The student council are holding an extreme day (a fun day) next week and I'm already looking forward to doing some great activities with friends. In the end I'm looking forward to what I would be doing during the rest of the school year and the many new experiences, friends, and knowledge I would get. That's it for this blog, see you in the next blog and the first one for October!

Posted by campnarakol 15:27 Archived in Canada Tagged teacher fun school activities class student science extra engaging curricular Comments (1)

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