1] No, Canada isn’t super cold (yet). Even though the early mornings and evenings can go below 20°C, most of the time it’s in the comfortable mid 20s. There was once it got above 30°C. I should have brought more shorts than jeans. Well, now we’re in summer, things will change in a couple of months.
2] The Caucasians are not giants. I guess we get this impression that westerners are big, hulking people from television. Just like the East, only the taller people go on to become models and actors, etc. If everyone here is a giant, I’d be worried about them peeking over into my toilet cubicle. Wenbin is still taller than almost all the people I’ve encountered here so far.
3] You do not need French to survive in Montreal. It may sure seem like mini-France here but I think I’ve been doing okay so far without knowing how to converse in French. I knew it would not be a problem at work since English is the operating language unless in a room of Francophones. I was initially worried that I’d be lost outside doing day-to-day stuff but fortunately while French is official language here, most people are effectively bilingual. My main problem now is understanding what’s written on a menu, other than the basic: chicken, pork, beef. I’d like to pick up some French over my stay here, I was told that a little French can go a long way. As they say, when in Rome, do as the Romans do.
4] Singapore is not the only “garden city”. As I’ve demonstrated in my Facebook gallery, there’s probably more colorful flora here than back home. They’re planted in porches, in parks, balconies. Parks seem to be fairly common and there are tress and city-owned flower planters along the streets. I’m looking forward to documenting the changes in the environment and flora with the changing of the seasons.
5] I’m not sure about the rest of North America but the people here are not generally fat. In fact, most of them are lean, if not in shape. People cycle a lot, they enjoy their walks, play sports in the parks and walk their dogs. I’m not sure if it has to do with their diet as well but from what I see, there are more cafes and small eateries than fast food restaurants. In fact, I’ve only seen one McDonald’s outlet since I’ve been here.
I’m sure as I learn more about the people and the land, I’d be able to dismiss more stereotypes and misconceptions.