Friday, July 28, 2006

28 de Julio: Independence day in Perù

Hoy, dìa de la Independencia!

Here how it's described in Wikipedia the process that brought Peru to its indipendence from the Spanish power.

The economic crisis favored the indigenous rebellion from 1780 to 1781. This rebellion was headed by Tupac Amaru II. At this time, the Napoleonic invasion of the Iberian Peninsula and the degradation of the Royal power took place. The Creole rebellion of Huánuco arose in 1812 and the rebellion of Cuzco arose between 1814 and 1816. These rebellions defended the liberal principles sanctioned by the Constitution of Cadiz of 1812.

Don Jose de San Martin proclaimed the independence of Peru on July 28, 1821.
Don Jose de San Martin proclaimed the independence of Peru on July 28, 1821.

Supported by the power of the Creole oligarchy, the Viceroyalty of Peru became the last redoubt of the Spanish dominion in South America. This Viceroyalty succumbed after the decisive continental campaigns of Simón Bolivar and Jose de San Martin. San Martin, who had displaced the realists of Chile after the magnificent battle of the Andes, and who had disembarked in Paracas in 1819, proclaimed the independence of Peru in Lima on July 28, 1821. Three years later, the Spanish dominion was eliminated definitively after the battles of Junín and Ayacucho. Its first elected president, however, was not in power until 1827.

My Canadian Kitty Cat!

Ladies and Gentlemen!
I am pleased to introduce you my new friend... I think I could call him Romeo, because he comes almost every night at my window to tell my good night (I guess). Actually I am not sure it is a boy... so if I end up discovering it is a girl… I might call her Romea. Wait... I prefer to call him/her Shakespeare! :)

I am used to have little (or not that little) kitties coming to my window (they are my neighbor’s cats). But this cute little one just started to come to my window last Friday when Francesco came to my house in Ottawa. The reason is that Shakespeare it's still a baby! I saw it with his brothers/sisters almost two months ago in my neighbors' apartment... they were so cute! sleeping all together and so tiny!

Unfortunately I can't have a pet, first because I will leave in about a year... and second because you need to clean it, feed it... it's a lot of energies and also money! So the best thing is having my neighbor taking care of his cats...and me enjoying to play with them at my window!
At the end of the month I will be moving to another apartment though.... so I will have to leave Shakespeare and his friends... but I will miss them (well Shakespeare more than the others)!

PD.: Am I allowed to name someone else's pet?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Arrival of the Guard to Parliament Hill

Actually this video should be seen before the other one I just posted.

It is the arrival of the Guard for the Change of the Guard Show. Unfortunately, I don't know why, I keep having that sound problem. It's a shame because the cornamuse music it's really nice and it adds a charm to the whole show.

Change of the Guard in Ottawa

Well... here my first home-made video upload. Apparently there are some audio problems which I can't explain. In the original video I do have in my computer the sound is great. But I guess we can accept this as a good start. I promise I will do better in the future :)

We had a great position with Francesco to see the whole show, the entrance and the exit of the Guard (which is the part that is in this video). We were sitting in the ground and enjoying the show with a great weather. At the end of the video you can see my cousin Francesco who was filming as well but with his Cell Phone. I guess no one can make jokes about Japanese people taking pictures of everything...we are Italians (and partly Swiss, partly Peruvian) and look at us... technology slaves :) Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Family week-end 2

On Saturday we planned to walk around Ottawa as real tourists, taking pictures of everything, and then go to the Pool-barbecue-party at Claudia's house, in Hull/Gatineau (picture in previous post, with the Canadian flag).

During the morning we went to Parliament Hill again, and on the way we could see a car with a Palestinian flag. The reason (which we discovered later on) was that there was a peaceful manifestation in front of Parliament Hill and the Prime Minister Office to ask him to take action with what is happening in Lebanon. Lots of Canadians are originally from Lebanon (they say that more than 50.000 Canadians were in Lebanon at the moment of the beginning of the conflict). So it is a really hot issue over here.

In the afternoon we went for a barbecue with friends, where Francesco met for the first time with many of the AIESEC people from Ottawa University and Carleton. :)

Family week-end in Ottawa

First real Canadian week-end for Francesco, my cousin, who came from Montreal to visit me and the Canadian Capital, Ottawa. Francesco is also the first member of my family who comes to visit me in Canada... that's why I can consider it as our first Cosenza family reunion week-end in the new Continent. Let's say in the Union Jack, as I already had a family reunion week-end in the US with my mum.

Francesco arrived on Friday evening by bus, and we went to see the Parliament Hill lights show (here the link to see it live from the parliament hill web cam. The shows starts every day at 21h30, and 22h30 Ontario time - 6hours less than Europe). From the visual and sounds effects...we had a sensation of being in Disneyland...but we were at the heart of the Canadian Democracy. The whole show is a melting of colored lights and music telling the history and the identity of the Canadian Nation.

Then we joined some friends at "the Market", bars and pubs neighborhood in Ottawa. After a couple of beers we went back home to prepare for next day's barbecue and tour of Ottawa. Stay tuned for the rest of the story and pictures :)

Friday, July 21, 2006

Canadian Banks...from a Swiss perspective

I know many people in my family and friends were expecting more pictures and comments from my past weekend in Montreal with my cousin or more "touristic" kind of posts. But today I really felt like sharing with you my banking experience in Canada.

Since I arrived to Canada, I opened an account with a random Canadian Bank. Which I choosed just because it was closer to my house and office. Everybody told me that anyways they were all more or less the same. Since then, I kept telling to my boss how funny that Bank is compared to what I am used too. Maybe you will come from Switzerland, shut up... but no... I think that my vision about banks have always be the one of a serious place, where the costumer is the king, and where you should feel confortable because you are leaving your money the more professional they look, the most chances they have to keep you as a costumer. After my tale, you will be able to tell me if you share my vision...or if I am too Swiss. Am I?

The fist thing that surprised me when I walked into Scotiabank, was how people who work there were dressed up. From those who are at the counter, to the security to the managers. Everyone in Switzerland is usually very dressed up.
In my Canadian Bank, counter people were dressed in a sporty way (even wearing sport shoes), without make up, very easy going.
Maybe appearance is not all... but I guess that when I entered in a bank like that I was very very surprised... If the bank does not have enough money to pay its workers enough to get nice clothes...are they really such a good bank? It's all in the subconscious I guess, but you feel that when people are less dressed up...specially in a bank, they look less professional.

When I opened my bank account I had to present two pieces of ID (Swiss Passport and Swiss ID card), I had to tell every detail about how much did I get as a salary, where did I work, my boss name and contact, etc. Which is fine. Then I received a "welcome card" from the person who took care of the opening of my nice!
After a couple of months however, I lost my debit card (bancomat), then I blocked it by telephone and when they asked me if I preferred to receive the new card at home or if I wanted to go to the bank and pick it up instead, I chosed the second option...because it was faster!

Then I went to the counter and explained my problem. The person in charge, also dressed in a sporty way, asked me for my two IDs. I was not expecting to be asked for both of my IDs (they already ask you for a lot of security questions). Then I did not have my passport and I gave my Swiss ID and my Italian ID... the lady had a stranged face, and asked "don't you have any Canadian ID?".

I am a foreigner, I arrived here a month before (which was all in the informations I gave and they entered in the computer when I arrived) and I am not Canadian. How was I supposed to have a Canadian ID? She looked puzzled.

She did not know what to do (I suggested her to check the number of my Swiss ID with the photocopy of the same ID that they had in their files...since it was the same I presented to open my account). It was like a slow motion movie. She clicked around in her computer several times, without really knowing what to do I guess. After a while of keeping me waiting she said "I don't really know what to do now"

I was the one puzzled at that point! Was she supposed to tell me that??? Was I the costumer or a friend of her? Wasn't she supposed and ask to her supervisor instead??? Then she finally decided to get up (slowly of course) and go ask to someone. When she came back, she made me sign on a random paper to check with my signature that they had in their files. Ok, it worked. But isn't it more sure to check my document number, with my picture, instead of making me sign? I always made my parents' signature at school... it someone wanted to copy mine, I am sure it wouldn't be so difficult after all!

The thing that surprised me the most is that by phone, without checking any ID, without seeing my face or anything, they would have send everything by mail. But with my face, my document and everything in the bank...they needed a LOT of time to fugure out what to do. Very reassuring from a bank!

In Switzerland, when you use the e-banking system you can go online, upload the data of the person to which you want to give money (to pay something, or to give it away if it is your family, or whatever). So, I wanted to do that in order to pay my rent.

However, once on line, I discover that here work in a very very different way.

First of all concerning the security of the system. In Europe, each tyme you want to get on your e-banking you need a password, another password and a security number (which before you had printed on a page, where you picked up each tyme a different code, and now every costumer has a little machine, some kind of calculator, that tells them each time what security number to use). Here...things are simple. You go online, you set a password and you enter. That's it. (I am lucky I don't have that amount of money, and I can't use money that I don't have on my account. So I don't risk a lot).

Once I logged on, I discovered that I could not just simply transfer money into another account! Why to make things simple when you can complicate them? In Canada, if you want to transfer money you have to digit the account number of the other person and the email address (what if it is an older person whitout email address?), the person will receive an email with a secret question and will have to reply with the secret answer, then the money will go into its account. Anyways I was not able to do this, because when I organized the whole thing, the e-banking system asked me for another password (which I did not have).... so I gave up and paid cash!

Afterwards I went to the bank to ask if it was possible to pay through a monthly automatic payument into another bank account. The reply was NO. The only way to pay someone that is not a phone company or something like through checks. The chipest checks you can use are 25 dollars. What if I don't want to buy 25 dollars checks? pay cash. logic. In the land of credit cards, where people do not carry cash any more...the only way to pay your rent, if you don't want to pay for your checks (because you don't use them a lot), is CASH. :S

Until now, every "experience" and "cultural shock" I had with my Canadian Bank... I took it with a bit of irony and humour. "They are a funny bank", "they do banking for fun, not as a business", "they are amateurs"...those are some of the things I used to tell myself and the others... until I tryed to open a credit card with them.

Almost a month ago, I went to my bank to deposit my monthly check. At the counter, the lady asked me if I wanted to open a Credit Card.... actually I needed a Canadian one. So I accepted.
She booked me an appointment for July the 3rd. Smart. I realized on saturday that July the 3rd was the first Monday after Canada it was a holiday: which means Banks are closed.

I tried to call and I had to dial an infinite number of numbers: "if you want service in english, press 1", "if you want bla bla bla, press 2", "now, if you have the direct extension number press it", etc. etc. At the end I got to the voice mail of the lady which whom I had an appointment to discuss about my credit card. In the message she said that she was in holidays until July the 4th. So I left a message, explaining the whole situation and leaving her my phone number. Two weekd passed by and I did not receive any answer (she was the one who sent me a welcoming card at the beginning). As a costumer, I would prefer less welcoming cards, and more costumer service when needed.

However, I gave them another chance. I went back to my bank and I scheduled another apointment. This time with a different lady (I guess in the bank there are just women, usually from visible minorities, because they can pay them less....but this is just an evil though, I don't have proves of what I am saying). This time it was a very genrle chinise lady. She asked me again for all my information (even though they had it already uploaded in the computer... I wonder why do they bother in uploading the info, if then they ask everything again). After this, she also asked me a piece of ID, which she photocopied (again???? do they have a collection of photocopies of the same ID every time I go there???).

Then she asked me to come back the day after with the prove of my monthly salary (even though since March I have always deposited the same checks in their bank) and my security number (code that you need if you work in Canada). It's funny because when I scheduled the apointment, I asked if I had to bring something along, so that I could bring everything the first time, without the need to go twice to the bank... of course they did not tell me what to bring so I had to go back the day after with those documents.

The next day I brought my proves of salary from March and April (I knew I had to bring May and June...but I did not find them). So I brought my working permit which lasts until september next year. I thought that would be a sufficient prove. Apparently it wasn't because they called me by phone and asked me to fax them the new ones. Which still makes me laugh.... as they could check on my account all my monthly revenues.

This morning, the gentle Chinese lady calls me back and tells me that, as I am staying just a year in Canada, I will have to open a saving account and keep there 120% of the credit of my credit card. Meaning 600$. Now I was puzzled again... is that logic to keep in my bank more than one third of my monthly salary just for the sake of it? Knewing that other trainees (Lukas for example) had no problems opening their Credit Cards. :S :S

End of the story: I will soon change Bank and see if also other Canadian Banks are in such a desperate situation. ...

UBS: I miss you!!! :'(

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Sto cane e' proprio scemo

This dog is kind of stupid...

ITA VS. AUS June 26 Italy World Cup Sorrento Cheers!

Video da Sorrento trovato su YouTube

Friday, July 14, 2006




Sapevate che Zidane sapeva il fiorentino? Po popo po popo poooooooo

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Veni, vidi, vici


Be careful Canadians! The Cosenza's family is invading the Country! But as you are soo lucky ( :) ) to have us here.. we decided to spread the luck equally in the English-speaking and the French-speaking Canada. I will stay in Ontario (Ottawa) and my cousin Francesco will stay in Montreal. :) Aren't we truly politically correct?

In the picture above he is the second one from the left (the only guy) and I am the first one from the left. On Francesco's right there are Lorenza, a close Family Friend and Antonella, my other cousin, Francesco's sister. Oh... and the picture is the place from were we all (Cosenza Family) come from: The Sorrento Peninsula. Actually that day we were on a boat excursion around Capri (the Island in front of our beautiful Sorrento and very famous for it's VIP Piazzetta and the Grotta Azzurra)

I am soooooooooooooo happy and I hope we will enjoy together this Canadian experience :) We will keep posting pictures for the family to see on this blog :)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Italian Pride

Actually I did not say it yet but ... WE WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON!!!!! GOOOOOL!!!!!!
I just posted the videos of the final of the World Cup, of the penalties described.... of the shouting of the speaker and the fans... because the emotion was too big to describe it in words!

While I was away from my blog I kept thinking how could I say that, how could I describe that... why does this football victory mean so much to me?

Well... while I was thinking about that my mum sent me a letter written by my aunt (her sister) in Spanish to family and friends (I told you we were an international family) about the feeling of the World Cup and what everything meant something to us. As italians abroad but also as italians in Italy...a Nation that could finally shaut FORZA ITALIA without having second thoughts for the political party...but just because we felt all unified by our team! Il cielo sopra Berlino è dipinto di Azzurro! (She promised me she will soon translate it in Italian and after that I could translate it in English). I loved her words and the made tears come to my eyes.... as tears come to my eyes each time I see our team partying for the World Cup and everyone in Italy (and abroad) doing so as well.

Here my aunt's letter which I put in the World Cup we won. Grazie Azzurri!


Queria escribir inmediatamente después de que Italia ganó la Copa del Mundo, pero era tanta la emoción que no me salieron las palabras para describir ese enredo de sentimientos que sentía, quería mandar algún artículo interesante de los muchos que leí, pero fueron tantos que no logré escoger a uno que lograra describir por completo el entusiasmo delirante que se estaba viviendo en Italia.

Me leí todo lo que había que leer de la prensa nacional e internacional, vi todos los noticiarios y todos los programas deportivos y no deportivos que hablaban del tema, hice indigestión de información, y el enredo de sentimientos era siempre más entrelazado.

En el momento en que Fabio Grosso tiró el gol decisivo en el 5° penality, toda Italia exultó en contemporánea. Todos los italianos, de todas las regiones y también los que viven en el extranjero exultaron al mismo tiempo. Todos se sorprendieron de si mismos al sentir correr prepotentemente en sus propias venas el orgullo de ser italiano.

Italianos que fueron atacados en un clima de terrorismo psicológico, italianos que fueron insultados por la prensa internacional, italianos que vieron y sintieron en esa victoria el rescate de la integridad y unidad nacional.

Los italianos son así. No se sienten unidos el 2 de junio, dia de la República, no se sienten unidos el 25 de abril, dia de la Liberación. No. Aquí no exponen las banderas en esos dias. Pero en ocasión de los Mundiales si. Italia entera expuso la bandera fuera de sus ventanas y balcones, de sur a norte. Hasta los Padanos, que tanto reclaman su Devolution agitaban el tricolor!

Vi al Capitán Fabio Cannavaro una, diez, mil veces levantar la Copa del Mundo al cielo, y cada vez un escalofrío recorría a lo largo de mi espina dorsal. Fabio Cannavaro, napoletano veraz, un chico de 32 años que recogía pelotas en el 1987 mientras que Maradona llevaba al "Napoli" a ganar el "Scudetto". Fabio Cannavaro, con su sonrisa leal y sincera, es el rescate de Nápoles, es el otro lado de la medalla de ésta ciudad tan contradictoria y tan parecida a los paises latinoamericanos.

Y qué decir de Gigi Buffon? con esa mirada clara y transparente, con ese entusiasmo y sentimientos de lealtad deportiva.

Y Luca Toni? Saben que Luca Toni nació el 26 de mayo? Como yo? Sólo por eso me parece entender sus sentimientos y su entusiasmo en éstos mundiales.

Y Francesco Totti? Sólo 4 meses atrás, después de un infortunio en las canchas de futbol no se sabía si podía ser convocado en la Nacional. Por eso, aunque le decían "zombi" jugó como tenía que jugar, sin protagonismos, con el espíritu de equipo que lo contradistingue. Logró no perder la concentración cuando tiró el penal que devolvió el entusiamo y la confianza al equipo. Un chico romano veraz, que creció en la "Roma", que le tomaron el pelo e inventaron mil chistes sobre él, pero que no se perdió de ánimo e hizo una recolección de éstos últimos y editó un libro devolviendo todo en beneficencia.

Qué decir de Gattuso? Que devolverá todo lo que ganó en el Mundial a sus parientes de Calabria, otra región pobre y martoriada del sur de Italia?

Y Iaquinta? Que su abuela de 75 años decidió mantener la promesa hecha a su nieto y salió por primera vez del pueblito de Crotone (siempre Calabria) para ir a Berlín a ver la finalísima?

No los voy a nombrar a todos, no se preocupen, pero les hago notar que en el Olympiastadion de Berlin los francese gritaban "Zidane, Zidane!", mientras que los italianos gritaban "Italia, Italia!". Porque lo que caracterizó el equipo de Marcello Lippi es el espíritu de grupo, todos eran y fueron importantes, no había ninguna estrella que sobresalía sobre los demás.

La vida es un boomerang. Es increíble que justamente Trezeguet se equivocó en los penality, el mismo Trezeguet que metió el Golden Gol a los italianos en los europeos del 2000.

Increíble el entusisamo con el cual fueron recibidos los jugadores cuando llegaron a Italia. El ómnibus que los llevaba tuvo que marciar a paso lento por las calles de Roma por todos los hinchas que festejaban el regreso desde Alemania. Hicieron una gran fiesta en el "Circo Massimo", donde estiman que habían dos millones de personas, entre los cuales estaba mi hijo con algunos amigos, lo que me llenaba de orgullo y preocupación a la vez.

Hicieron una gran fiesta, cantando el himno nacional a voz de cuello, y yo me emocionaba hasta las lágrimas, desentonados como las campanas, desentonados como yo cuando estoy en el campamento y que tanto hacen sufrir a los oídos de músico de Mario, el cual me soporta sólo por el gran amor y altruismo proprios de él, el mismo que al momento de las grabaciones me decía "canta despacito, mi amor, canta despacito" jejeje.

Porqué tanto entusiasmo por una simple copa? Porqué tanto entusiasmo por un simple campionato mundial de futbol?

A mi modo de ver las cosas es por el rescate de los italianos delante del mundo y delante de sí mismos. Es por sentimiento de "apartenencia" a una nación. Nunca me olvidaré de un campamento en Ica. Estábamos los líderes afuera discutiendo de varias cosas, entre éstas hablamos del Perú, de Estados Unidos y también de Italia. Una líder hizo un comentario en el que despreciaba profundamente a Italia. No fue tanto lo que dijo mas bien el "cómo" lo dijo. En ese momento la sangre me subió a la cara y sentí que estaba por llorar, pero nadie me tenía que ver en esas condiciones, por lo que me corrí al cuarto y me tiré sobre mi sleeping bag para poder estallar en el llanto de niña ofendida. Pero Yoli me vió. Ella estaba en el cuarto conversando con Ana y lo primero que hizo fue decirle a a Ana de traerme un vaso de agua. Me hizo beber a pequeños sorbos y me preguntó qué había pasado. Yo le dije que no sabía, no entendía porqué tuve esa reacción exagerada por un pais en el cual ni siquiera había nunca estado. Pero Yoli me entendió. Ella si sabía. No se si por su infinita sensibilidad o porque ella también en algún momento sintió algo parecido. Desde ese dia, cada vez que me toca consolar a alguien, le hago tomar antes que nada un vaso de agua, a pequeños sorbos, y me acuerdo de Yoli, de su infinita comprensión y humanidad. Gracias Yoli.

Ahora, después de tantos años lo entiendo. Fue el DNA de mis antepasados que tengo en la sangre que se rebeló. Fueron los sacrificios de mis padres, fue el coraje de mis abuelos, fue el espíritu de pioneros de mis trisabuelos que por un motivo o por otro se encontraron en tierra extranjera, tierra que no les pertenecía, tierra que algunas veces resultaba inhospital. Y fue también la nostalgia, la nostalgia del Bel Paese, la nostalgia de los afectos, la nostalgia de las seguridades y de las costumbres dejados en el pasado. Y también el conocimiento que nunca más volverán a ser sólo italianos, porque la sangre se mezcla, las costumbres se mezclan, las tradiciones se mezclan, y a pesar de todo en el momento en que se tiene la ocasión de regresar a su propio pais de origen ya no es lo mismo, uno se vuelve extranjero en su misma patria.

Por eso es tan importante una Copa del Mundo. En esta ocasión todos volvemos a ser italianos, todos entendemos el sentimiento de "apartenencia" y de unidad de la sangre.

Besos a todos


For all those who justify Zidane

Actually... you are right :) Let's do like him!

Monday, July 10, 2006

L'Italia è Campione del mondo

Che belle immagini!

Italia - Germania

Siamo campioni del Mondo! Il cielo è AZZURRO!

I have tears in my eyes each time I watch this! Enjoy!

Zidane expulsado contra Italia

With comment in Spanish

Mais pourquoi mais pourquoi mais pourquoi! ;)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Fateci sognare!!!!!!

Today is the day.... I can't believe we managed to get to the final. No one thought we could get here... after all what happened in the Italian football league and that Italian player, a friend of the Azzurri players, who risked to die and it is still in a hospital. But they did it!

Today I am nervous again.... we managed so many times to get so close from the cup... and then nothing, that I am trying not to believe in it too much. However, each time I thought about that tiny possibility of arriving to the goal...well tiars come to my eyes (they say that's the sindrome of the italian abroad). I can just imagine the whole italian peninsula getting organized to watch the game. Some at home with their family, some others at friends' houses... lots of people going now to the major squares to get the best positions to follow the match in giant screens installed specially for this occasion.

Last Tuesday I went to watch the game as usual at the Mac Laren's pub. I biked there from the office carring with me my computer in order to be able to work in the second half of the game... but I couldn't take out my eyes from the screen!
So many Germans were there for the match and very few italians. Not to count lots of random people who were neither Italians or Germans.... but did not want my team to win :(

It's incredible how the World Cup helps meeting and talking with people! I met two italian girls (second generation) that live in my neighbourhood.... we were all screeming and screeming at the end of the game (and singing loudly our anthem before the game).

Now.... I hope!!!!! Please Azzurri! Fateci sognare. Still a few hours left... I will try to keep breathing... I don't know how can they handle all this emotion and play... I am so nervous I can't breath or move. That's the World Cup power and my beloved team power!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Happy birthday Canada...the funny part

Here you go some more pictures of Canada Day... in my view the most funny or interesting let's say.

First of all: who said that Ottawa doesn't know how to welcome Toronto fellows?
Toronto interns and aiesecer(Emil, Thiego and Lukas) can testify this is not true. They look something in between happy and unconfortable in this picture :) (I am the one who stopped the girls and asked them to have a picture with this Toronto boys)

Then the little "car" that can carry tourists around in a very Canadian way :) The fonctionning of the engine is more like the Flinston's car used to be(Los Picapiedra, I Flinston)...meaning a running guy :).

Last but not least... a Canadian invention! The social toilet! Who said that going to the toilet must be boring and you have to bring a book to read or start reading shampoos etiquettes? We are fare away ahead in Ottawa! You can bring a friend with you and have a lovely talk :) (I did not take this picture... this is a discovery from Emil in a Kebab restaurant in Ottawa) ;)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Happy Birthday Canada (report from July 1st in Ottawa)

Here a small description of my first Canada Day in Ottawa (actually my first Canada Day in Canada... or my first Canada Day in absolute as I didn't know about it before coming here).

For all the foreigners: what is Canada Day

Canada Day celebrates the creation of the dominion of Canada through the British North America Act on July 1, 1867, uniting three British territories — the Province of Canada, made up of Canada East and Canada West, and politically united since 1840 (southern Ontario and southern Quebec), Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick — into a federation, and creating the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. (

More about it...(wiki says): A proclamation was issued by Governor General Lord Monck, on June 20, 1868, asking for "all Her Majesty's loving subjects throughout Canada to join in the celebration of the anniversary of the formation of the union of the British North America provinces in a federation under the name of Canada on July 1."

The Interesting thing is that in Quebec also has Moving Day on 1 July (
read this interesting story here), due to the fact that most leases there begin and end on that day, with many people changing residences. Federalist Quebec residents who oppose the popular sovereigntist campaign for an independent Québec joke that Moving Day is scheduled to ensure Quebecers are too busy moving house to celebrate Canada Day.

What happens in Ottawa

Well.... first of all AIESEC usually organizes a reception event for other Canadians and foreign interns...and friends... to come and experience CanadaDay in the capital. Apparently Ottawa is the best place in Canada where to spend Canada Day (it's very fun indeed).

People come to Ottawa and crowd Ottawa's downtown for July the first. Almost everyone is dressed with the national colours (red and white) and has some flag around (we also saw some Swiss t-shirts around). In the downtown there are shows (concerts), the change of the guard, people, dogs...and turtles (as you can see in the pic) dressed up for Canada Day.

Usually locals start with a barbecue somewhere to then join the downtown at night to sing the national anthem and see the fireworks (rain during fireworks is part of the tradition apparently).
I had to go as well a bit later in the afternoon but for personal priority reasons... there were two world cup games, one at 11am (Portugal-England) and one at 3pm(Brasil-France). Canada Day is every year.... The World Cup once every four years... :) (I could see a lot of the show anyways)

The funniest thing I have seen is.... police men doing their job! meaning pouring beer cans into garbages in the street. Here in Canada people are not allowed to drink alchool in the streets... so police men have to confiscate it. So that people can go to bars to get drunk. Because, apparently, getting drunk in Canada Day is part of the tradition as well! (preferably with Canadian Beer of course). Another funny thing was to discover, after taking a picture with them, that one of the Canadian guards in front of the Parliament building...was an italian. So Switzerland is not the only country exporting guards for tourist use ;) ).

Here some of the pictures:

Canadian guy with canadian face :) (is that really a Maple leaf?)

Red and white Lukas and Chiara
After the Ninja turtles.... the Canadian turtle :)
With the farmer's parade at the back (manifestation against subsidized imports)

Canada Day!!! Pictures from last week-end (July 1st)

With the Canadian Guards (one of them was a Canadian... from Italy!)

Going to the Parliament Hill from Elgin Street

Taking a picture of the Farmer's trucks that were there to manifest... Farmers feed cities! (it's their slogan)


The fireworks behing Parliament Building

Plans for the week-end :)

After Canada Day... Trainees from Ottawa can't stay quiet in a place... so this week-end will be THE week-end to see Toronto! There are just too many things to do:

Who is going?
From Ottawa: Cintia (Brazilian intern), Rita (Hungarian intern), Christian ("best aiesecer"title awarded by the Ottawa interns) and Chiara (Swiss-Italian intern).

From Toronto: Thiego (Brazilian intern), Emil (Rumenian aiesecer), Lukas (Swiss intern) and whoever wants to join us.

What is going on in Toronto?
Saturday: Visit of the city (maybe Kengsinton Market , CN Tower, China Town, Little Italy, the Lake.... etc.). Portugal-Germany World Cup match to watch for those who want and experience the winner festivities in Toronto (so multicultural that there will always be someone partying it up for the winner). Maybe some shopping??? :) and on Saturday evening... clubbing :)

Sunday: I am scared just of talking about this day... World Cup Final going on... let's see who wins. The rest of the day: shopping and seighseen of the city. On the menu for the week end there are also:

Other events during the weekend:
International Fireworks competition finals on the Lake Ontario.
The Molson Indy in Downtown Toronto: Canada's largest annual sporting event, the Molson Indy is held at Exhibition Place in Toronto every July, drawing an international field of world-class drivers.
Corso Italia Toronto Fiesta: Toronto's Corso Italia holds an annual street festival in July known as the Toronto Fiesta, giving people the chance to enjoy the food and culture of this colourful part of town. More than 30 bands perform live on street corners, patios and balconies, featuring a wide variety of music from classical to salsa.

Monday morning: Bus to go back home.

If you want to join us just contact one of the persons involved and we will see you in Toronto!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Zelig's song about Football in Italy

mi ha imparato questa canzone:

Here a video from Youtube.. a collection of images for the previous song. Siamo una Squadra Fortissimi! ;)

hehehe da Zelig :)

Link to auto-ironical Italian song from a comic show named Zelig. The song is about the Football cult in Italy, the scandal of the Juventus, the World Cup... spiced with errors in the way of speaking italian. Of course the song is very funny... in Italian... for internal use only :)

Caroselli Romani

Link to the images from the "caroselli" in the Italian Capital... imagine that all over the Italian peninsula plus in all th italian neighbourhoods around the World, surrounded by fireworks in many of the cities.

Beepbeep potipoti Aleeeeeeee' Oooooo Aleeee' Oooooo

I wish I could be there...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Fateci Sognare!!!

I have so many things to write about this fantastic Canada Day week-end. Bust just one of them is really urgent... the World Cup!

This weekend was really busy. On Friday I finished working earlier in order to watch the Italian World Cup match for the Semi-finals. What an incredible joy! We won... and 3-0! As I said to many people, this was the first italian game that I remember not to have risked a heart-attack during the match. After the game I was so so happy, but I couldn't party it up or write about it because I had 15 minutes to bike home and be ready to go to a Cabaret Show at the Casino in Hall. The match ended at 10 to 5pm and some people came to pick me up at home at 10 past 5pm. I had to be quick biking home and changing quickly for the other show. But I was so match thinking about the match!

During the week-end I could not write neather because I had some guests for Canada Day and we had a very busy schedule with the event planned for Canada Day by Ottawa and Carleton University.

But today is again THE big day... I am so nervous and looking forward to the match! I can just imagine so many people nervous for my same reasons at this moment in Italy and around the World. I want so match to continue this dream. (I even had nightmares about the World Cup this weekend).

To small observations:
I have never seen so many people around with Italy's t-shirts. The funny thing is that if you stop them to ask "are you italian"... most of them will reply that they are not.

Such a funny "media-war" launched by the German newspapers about this event... ehy guys, take it easy! it's just football. Apparently a German newspaper, Der Bild (which is a very popular, gossipy and not really reliable newspaper) called people to boycott pizza. Isn't that funny? As Cannavaro said... if people do it... they do not know what they miss. And Lippi added "...well if they are the ones who cooked the pizza, then is better that they do not eat it". Some people in Italy suggested to do the same with German krauti...but then noticed that we already do not eat it hehehe. A part from the funny thing. To both saids, take it easy guys, and "che vinca il migliore".