Saturday, June 14, 2014

I'm in Canada!

After many months of stressing about whether I was going to be allowed to work in Canada, I successfully got my work permit and started my internship at the beginning of this week. Yay! I'm doing computer science research in Montreal, which is pretty darn awesome. My coworkers are a fun bunch: to celebrate someone's Doctorate, one student got him a machete, and we hiked up the mountain to play real life fruit ninja! Turns out coconuts are really hard to slice, but melons work surprisingly well.

Montreal is an interesting city. In the US, I generally know what language to use when talking to people: if they are my parent's French friends, I use French, otherwise I use English. In Montreal, most people speak both, but would be more comfortable using one language over the other. It's a confusing guessing game.

Nonetheless, I have definitely been enjoying life here. I love walking around my neighborhood and checking out the little grocery stores and cafes. I seem to be living at the intersection of a Greek neighborhood and a Hasidic neighborhood, so there are a lot of Greek restaurants and kosher grocery stores. Even the generic grocery store has interesting greek cheeses that I had never tried before (including Mizithra, which my Greek friend keeps talking about). This morning I also saw freshly grilled Souvlaki being sold outside one of the Greek restaurants! I'll have to try that next week (or perhaps tomorrow if it is still there).

I've been lazy about bringing my camera places, but I promise I'll be better next week. In the meantime, here are some things I've found with my phone camera:

There is a fruit store near my lab that has some nice looking and rather inexpensive fruit. It's "La Sucrerie" and it sells fruit, pastries, and maple syrup. It also does not seem to exist on the internet (...?) Unfortunately, it is really far from my apartment, so I won't be going shopping there very often.

There is a used bookstore about 5m from my apartment building! It does not seem to have much Sci-Fi/Fantasy, but as I only brought 2 books with me, I'll probably end up getting some books from there :)

As a final treat, here is a video of the post-doc I'm working with slicing through a cantaloupe :)

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