Saturday, October 09, 2010

Landed in Canada

Day 1 (4-Oct): Received "Information for Newcomers" and "Welcome to Canada" guides from the C.A.N.N. (Canadian Airport Newcomers Network) at the airport. The C.A.N.N. lady was very helpful and informative. She went through step-by-step what I needed to get done for the next few days and where/how to get help. PR card application completed by Immigration Officers at airport. Taxi to home. Unpacked luggage.

Day 2 (5-Oct): Bought groceries. Settled my SIN (Social Insurance Number) at a Service Canada Centre. The Service Canada officer gave me a "British Columbia Newcomers' Guide to Resources and Services". It has good information and a checklist of things to be done by newcomers. Obtained the Richmond Library card and a Canadian mobile phone.

Day 3 (6-Oct): Opened bank accounts and applied for credit card. Tagged the Vancouver Library registration to the Richmond Library card. Hung out with new friend HC, went to Oakridge and Metrotown.

Day 4 (7-Oct): Laundry and drying done. Bought Monthly FareCard for travel on all public transport. Sent out MSP (Medical Services Plan) application. Dinner and movie at Vancouver with another new friend SL and her Toronto friend. I suspect SL invited me because she wanted me to play gooseberry.

Day 5 (8-Oct): Jet lag finally hit... I am totally sleepy today. Thankfully no headache. Now that all the critical paperwork are completed, I allowed myself to rest for the day.


Think I'm settling down ok. Distances that looked long on Google Map are actually nearer in reality. E.g. A 20 min walk estimated by my landlord is actually only 10-15 min. Or maybe I walk very fast for a Canadian pace?

Still acclimatising to the cold. Nevertheless, I'm improving. Needed 5 layers on top (thermal top, long-sleeve T, cashmere sweater, thin padded coat, mid-thigh length down-padded coat) initially for a 14 degree Centigrade weather, but I'm ok with 3 to 4 layers now. Still 3 layers at bottom (thermal bottom, leggings, jeans/pants). Socks and long boots for footwear. Well, I have a good excuse. I have just arrived from Singapore, where the coldest temperature is around 24 degree Centigrade.

Richmond is very Asian. Chinese and Cantonese are commonly heard. Many shops have both large Chinese and smaller English labels. I think my non-English speaking parents will be so at home here, ha ha!

While I like the friendly and relaxed suburban feel of Richmond, I prefer the more cosmopolitan mix of Vancouver. However, people in Vancouver are more hurried and less friendly than Richmond (although still better than Singapore). Perhaps it's due to Vancouver being a city/downtown area. Maybe I will check out Burnaby in future.


  1. could I ask if you quit your sg nursing job to head to canada for the assesment? How long did you stay in canada during this period of your assesment? I am quiting my local job in a private hospital and planning to head over during my assesment month and stay in canada for 6 months before coming back to sg, what do you suggest about this plan of mine? I would be jobless when I come back and I all I will be doing is to wait for the college's response. Is this plan wise? I am afraid that in case this assesment fails me, I am stuck with reapplying all over again. I am wondering if there is any implication if i apply for fsw and to college. If i do not get lisenced, will it affect my fsw application? from what i understand, it does not. (ps, i am writing in this personal entry to ask you for some advice and i am not quite comfortable if you do share this short para on your blog, could you kindly revert to me on an annoymous response or a blank blog post or something? however, if you are unable to do so, it is fine if you publish this.) XD

    1. Hi Anonymous on Saturday, July 26, 2014 6:25:00 AM,

      For my privacy and security, I do not enter into private/anonymous correspondence with my blog readers whom I do not know personally. I agree with the saying that "Discretion is the better part of valour".

      If you are still serving a nursing bond, then I suggest that you read "The Art of Bond Breaking" post.

      If you do not have a bond to serve, I would still suggest that you read the above post. You may get a feel of what I think are wise vs unwise approaches to quit nursing in Singapore.

      I believe you've only read selected posts on my blog, so you may not be aware of my background.

      Firstly, I left Singapore to emigrate. I did not leave Singapore for the purpose of being a foreign nurse in Canada. There is a subtle but important difference behind the motivation. That is, it did not matter to me if I successfully become a nurse in Canada or otherwise. In fact, I believe my PR was approved based on my previous career, rather than my (at-that-time) limited nursing experience.

      Secondly I have a previous career prior to entering nursing. In fact, I have multiple skill-sets and am highly adaptable. E.g. I even applied to be a part-time cleaner.

      As long as I can make an honest living and live a balanced lifestyle, I don't really care how others view my life choices. Another blogger, Darkness has written eloquently about such a world view.

      So my answer to you is that only you know your own SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats). Do you own analysis and ask yourself, what would be a wise move for you?

      You are not me, and I am not you. Whatever works for me may or may not work for you and vice-versa. Sorry if I cannot be more helpful, but (as I've written in my other blog post) the reality is, "No 2 persons have identical situations, and thus each must forge his/her own way."

      Cheers, WD.