INTERNeX Canada: The secret of the Canadian Happiness

A recently studio says that Canada is the 6th happiest country in the world (the first one is Denmark, if you feel curious). The study, supported by the United Nations, contemplates many factors like life expectancy, GDP per capita, social support, generosity of fellow citizens, state of the economy, perceptions of corruption and freedom to make life choices.

This result doesn’t surprise me at all. Everybody has a smile here, everybody is polite and nice. Even the police.

I’m here for almost 5 months and I still feel surprised about the kindness of the people. Is very common that somebody come to you in the middle of the street only to say you: Hey! I really love your tights! And the other day I found the following notice in a Liquor Store:

“We are obligated to ask for two pieces of ID to all the people under 30. So don’t be angry with the employees if they ask you for your documents, it’s a compliment”.

After a while, is logical to realize that if they are so nice, is because they feel happy.

So, I decided to make a sociological investigation about the factors that explain why the Canadians are so happy.

– Obviously, one of the main reasons is that Canada is a rich country. They have a good economy, it’s easy to get a job and there are a lot of resources for a small population.

– The social cover is pretty good here, other reason to feel safe. Have universal health care and public education is one of the foundations of a happy society. This is one the biggest differences when you compare Canada with USA.

– Equality and tolerance. It’s also a country where the differences between the social classes are not very big, and other cultures are usually welcomed. I repeat, in general, it’s impossible to extend one opinion over a whole country. There are stupid people everywhere.

So up to now, we can find these factors in others countries with a good position into the ranking. But, what factors are exclusively Canadians, what makes Canada so especial, what is impossible to find in other place?

– The amazing nature. With all this beautiful landscapes around you is impossible to feel bad. And practicing outdoor activities, be in contact with the nature, is very easy even if you live in a big city.

– Hippie culture heritage: maybe is my impression, but I think that some concepts of the 60’s hippie culture are still present in the global values of the Canadian society. Apart of be nice and take care of the environment, there are other things. For example, be easy-going is almost a must here, at least into the young community. And is very common to hear expressions like “good o bad vibrations” or “harmony” and they have a strong sense about being a community.

– Avoid the critics or negatives comments are another very common features inside the Canadian society. This behavior sometimes drives the Europeans crazy, because is impossible to know if they really think that you are so amazing or they really hate you.

– Freedom: in my opinion the social codes are more relaxed here. For example, the other day I went to a hospital and my nurse was completely full of tattoos and she had green hair, which is completely impossible to find is Spain.

Anyway, this is only a personal opinion. If you want, you can share with us you more shocking experiences with the Canadian way of life.

Take care!

Clara.

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 9N9-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

INTERNeX Canada: Culture Shock

If you are a beer-lover, I’m sure that you already have thought about this.  The beer is one of the most representative things in a country. It’s part of the culture, everybody is so proud about his own beer (even if they don’t like it). If you are in a group with people of different countries, try to start a conversation about which country make the best beer. The friendship will disappear very fast.

Moose Head, one of the most famous Canadian beers!

I had a lot of very deeply conversations about this topic. Everybody is agree with me about one fact: Canadian beer is stronger than in other countries. Somebody told me that the Spanish beer tastes too soft. I said “no way, are you crazy?!” But after three months in Vancouver, I tried a Spanish beer the other day and oh my god! It’s taste like water for me (I hope anybody from Spain will read this, or I will have to ask for political asylum in Canada).

The smell is so different to. During my first weeks I was wondering all the time why the pubs had this strange smell, like some kind of clean product. Then I realized that it was the beer.  Now I like that smell, and it’s one of the most representative things in Canada for me.

Other thing that surprised me was the different things that they put in the beers. It’s very common to find beers mixed with honey or fruits (mango, strawberry…) the other day I discovered one fantastic brand: Seedspitter, made with watermelon! At the beginning you can think “oh… this is not form me” but it’s pretty good! And the label is amazing.

Other thing that really surprised me… the designs of the bottles and labels… they are so cool and modern. In my opinion, you can see that Canada is a young country in this kind of things.

Bottle Rock, looks like a pop, but it’s beer

So what do you think? It’s Canadian beer better that in your country? Which brand do you prefer? Leave us a comment about this controversial topic.

Okole maluna! (Cheers in Hawaiian).

Clara.

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 9N9-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

INTERNeX Canada: Spanish stereotypes part II

Hey guys!

How is your weekend going? I hope you’re doing well and you are having a lot of fun!

As you remember last week I wrote a few things about Spain, and I explained a few stereotypes. I talked about Flamenco and bullfighting, so I still have a few tings to tell you guys.

Fiesta españaLet´s start with the “fiesta”: Well, we like to party a lot, but not everybody in Spain likes to party…And what I experienced is that Europeans in general like to party like us. So I don´t  find us totally different..Maybe the only thing is that we usually go out later and of course we come back home during the morning (For example is normal to go out around 12pm or 1am…and come back at 7am or 8am)

Another interesting thing about fiestas is that almost every city, town or village has its own fiesta at least once a year.

antonio banderasDark hair and dark eyes:  It´s not the first time I read something like “Spaniards  have dark eyes, long eyelashes and wavy dark hair, therefore they are very magnetic and sexy”. Well, we have to think that not everybody looks like Antonio Banderas or Penélope Cruz. And of course, not everybody has dark eyes or hair, because there are also blonde people and so people with green or blue eyes too.

Lazy and untidy people: I think that’s the worst stereotype ever for us.  I know a lot of people in Spain who are obsessed with cleanliness.There are lazy people everywhere, but Spaniards work hard like everybody does, and in Europe Spanish workers are really welcome.

This is my particular vision, and probably maybe you don´t agree. So don´t hesitate on comment, giving your opinion or asking whatever you want to know.

Have a nice Sunday everybody.

Best,

Mercedes

INTERNeX International Exchange
Suite 200 – 211 Columbia Street
Vancouver BC -V6A 2R5-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Phone: +1 (604) 662 8149
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

INTERNeX Canada: Culture Shock

Maybe you are going to going out? Partying and clubbing, are maybe one of the best options to see the differences between the countries and cultural issues. So, to say goodbye to the weekend: guide to survive in a Canadian Disco!

1) The schedule: the discos open at 10:00 more o less… until 2:00 or 3:00 pm. So, you have to keep in mind that all starts earlier. This schedule has a huge advantage… you can do a lot of things the following day!

2) Come back home: the busses stop running at 12:30 or 1:30. You can take the night bus, but the schedules are different. And be careful! If you are going to Downtown, Granville Street is closed for the cars and the buses… so the routes can change…

3) The prices: depends on your city of origin, tickets can be expensive for you… but there are some tricks. Sometimes you can get flyers for getting in for free. Other option is go to a Pub-Club Night. But don’t worry about it, in INTERNeX we know the best and cheapest places to go!

4) Dancing: well, you have to know one thing. Here in Canada, the influence of the hip-hop culture is very strong. The same thing happens in USA. Here, they are crazy for rap music and the people in the discos use to dance like the Afro-American people. It’s strange for us, because in Spain we have a lot of hip-hop influences (in cinema, music…) but we adapted them to an “European style”. When I see the people dancing like that, it always reminds meof an incredible Rize film… a documentary about krumping and clowing, two different styles of street dancing. You have to see it! Maybe you can get some ideas!

Rize – Trailer
What do you think? Can you survive to a Canadian disco?
Cheers,
Clara.

INTERNeX International Exchange
Suite 200 – 211 Columbia Street
Vancouver BC -V6A 2R5-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Phone: +1 (604) 662 8149
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

INTERNeX Canada: About Spain and Spanish stereotypes.

Hey guys !

I know the weekend is almost over (yes…not funny), but I hope you had tons of fun!

Today I would like you to talk about a few Spanish stereotypes. Sometimes for me it’s kind of funny when people tell me things such as “but do you know how to dance flamenco?” or this kind of things.

When foreigners think about Spain they just think about “paella”, “siesta”, “bullfighting”, “fiesta” and “flamenco”. Right, isn’t it ??

But no my friends, Spain is not just this !! To understand better what I’m gonna explain to you, you have to know that in Spain we are divided into 17 Autonomous communities ( + 2 autonomous cities), and each community is just totally different to the next one.

Comunidades autonomasWe are a diverse country integrated by different contrasting regions that show varying social structures, as well as different languages (we have catalonian, basque and galician as official languages in their corresponding region). Furthermore we have different historical, political and cultural traditions.

So now that you know this, you will be able to understand that Flamenco is just a regional dance of the Andalucian Community for example. As I said before, each region has its own traditions and cultures, so all of them have different food, tradicional dances and clothes and so on.

About bullfighting, normally is more popular in the Southern part of the country. So if you go to the North, don’t expect to watch this kind of shows.

I want to keep a few things for the next time. So get ready because next week  I’m gonna talk about interesting things such as “fiesta”, the “latin lover stereotype (Banderas and Penelope Cruz..hahaha)”, “lazy and untidy people” and more interesting topics.

I hope you enjoyed reading this, and I hope to see you soon.

Best,

Mercedes

INTERNeX International Exchange
Suite 200 – 211 Columbia Street
Vancouver BC -V6A 2R5-
Web: 
http://www.internexcanada.com
Phone: +1 (604) 662 8149
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

INTERNeX Canada: Picture of the week

Hello! How is your Saturday going? If you went yesterday with us to Relish… I’m sure that you are in the bed right now.

And the picture of the week is… Mercedes! Normally is very difficult get a picture from Mercedes… So we have to exploit this opportunity! This photo was taken in Richmond Go-Kart, when Mercedes found her own Kart… cute, it isn’t? Mercedes said that she pretended to return to Spain in the car… so funny! We love u Mercedes!

Kisses,

Clara.

INTERNeX International Exchange

Suite 200 – 211 Columbia Street
Vancouver BC -V6A 2R5-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Phone: +1 (604) 662 8149
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

INTERNeX Canada: Culture Shock !

Hey guys,

How are u? I hope u’re doing well !! Today I’m gonna talk a little bit about my personal experience here in Vancouver.

Let’s talk about one thing that shocked me about Canada: Tipping!

tips For Canadians, it’s really natural to tip whenever they get some kind of service, and I don’t know why. Why do they tip whenever if maybe the service was not as good as it should have been?

In Spain for example, we don’t usually tip. I don’t mean we never do it, but we just tip when the service is really good. We don’t feel bad if we don’t tip and the service won’t get mad at you because you don’t do it! Simple, right? (Also if you’re a student it’s obvious you can’t afford tipping everywhere and everytime)

By the way, they usually tip between the 10-20% of the price. Isn’t that hard to believe?

I think that’s just their way to be: nice and kind people!

I don’t know if you agree with me or not, but I think it would be easier if the tip and the taxes are included in the final price, so I would’t have to use my calculator everytime I go out for dinner for example.

What do you think about this guys?

Best,

Mercedes

INTERNeX International Exchange
Suite 200 – 211 Columbia Street
Vancouver BC -V6A 2R5-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Phone: +1 (604) 662 8149
Email: pr@internexcanada.com