Sunday, July 23, 2006

Impressions Of Canada

Came here last week on an official project. Will be here for about two months. Staying in a nice Marriot hotel in one of the suburbs of Toronto called Brampton.
As usual the first impact is the serene clean environment, the superb roads,and the lack of people. The contrast is even more starking especially if one is coming from Mumbai.

Canada seems more multi-racial than the USA. Also the society is much more assimilated , jobs are not that stereotyped according to race that one observes generally in the US. Like Indian software programmer, Chinese Phd student, Mexican housekeeping staff, White anglo saxon truck driver or Govt official etc.

Weather is at its hottest, Canadians are finding it tough, but for us Indians it is like October, with temperatures hovering around 25-30. Days are really long with dawn at 5am and dusk at 10pm.

The best way to discover and soak in the atmosphere of any new place is by walking around. I do it in every new place I visit, whether in India or abroad. But many of these small suburb places in North America are more or less similar. Have the usual look and feel; grid layout of roads, manicured lawns on the sides , strip malls at major intersections, with the usual suspects, McDonalds, Subway,Wendys,Walmart etc.

Have spent quite a lot of time doing exercises, jogging is fun here because of the cool weather, plus I can jog on the grass near the sidewalks, which protects my knees. There is a good gym in the hotel that has some fancy equipments, one of them is like a combo of treadmill and a stepper, you dont know whether you are walking or running or climbing stairs. It also measures your heart rate and there are options for hill training/cardio/fat burn/random. I was doing this thing yesterday, got tired in 10 min and then went on to do cycling, and there was this old lady about 60+, who worked out on the same equipment for over 30 min. I was really impressed. Though I have been never been a gym person but I intend to frequent this one for the duration I am here.
Another interesting thing that occured in the gym today when I was cycling was, that on TV they were showing Tour De France live, it was such a thrill watching Landis and co. cycle through Paris, while simultaneously I was also pedalling away energetically, having a vicarious pleasure of being a part of the Tour.

Have been sampling a wide variety of cuisine, though mainly been having red meat, but compensating it by having less portions and exercising more. Also had some good wines, first in the Air France flights, and later in a client party, which was held in a pretty golf course.


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