Category Archives: canada

On this page:
  • More about credit cards
  • Wonderful day at the science centre
  • Rest of my day
  • Red Flag Deals: Great articles
  • Soaked!
  • Tried poutine

More about credit cards

Chargecards.ca has the goods on credit cards in Canada. Check out the list of student-friendly credit cards for no-fee low-minimum-income no-credit-history-needed deals.

If you’re an international student, though, searching for a credit
card is a frustrating experience. Under “Perfect for students!” and
“Low interest rate!” signs, you’ll find “Must be a Canadian resident.”
It isn’t entirely fair how the Canadian government gets to consider
you a resident for tax purposes but you don’t get any of the resident
perks, but that’s life.

Don’t give up, though! Some banks are at least aware of the predicament of international students.
Calling up the International Student Centre yielded this quick tip:

Apply for the TD Canada Trust card at the Bay and Bloor branch (77 Bay Street, a short walk from campus). Don’t forget to bring:

  • passport
  • study permit
  • confirmation of address: rental agreement, phone bill, etc.
  • proof of enrollment: status letter, etc.
  • deposit (at least CAD 1000)

This still leaves me stranded because I’m not actually officially
enrolled yet, but hey, at least other people can use the tip.

As long as you use a credit card responsibly, it’s a great way to
build credit history. It’s a heck of a lot more convenient than
cash—in fact, a little too convenient sometimes. Take care of that
shiny new piece of plastic!

コンピュータがこの会社に導入されつつあります。 Computers are being introduced into this company.

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Wonderful day at the science centre

I had a great time exploring the Ontario Science Centre with Calum Tsang, sysad of the Interactive Media Lab. He had a lot of fun pointing out all the Amigas powering the hands-on exhibits, and I had a lot of fun teasing him about being a geek. ;)

It was absolutely wonderful. My dad knows how much I love hands-on
science, having had to take me to the Science Centrum in Manila more
times than should be appropriate for a grade school kid. (Hi dad!)

I _love_ discovery places like that. I love playing around with the
exhibits. I learned that I have, err, the gripping power of a 10- to
13-year-old. And that I can jump lightly. And that sound waves do
interesting things in long tubes. And that they’ve got this really
cool marble drop. And rollercoasters are tons of fun; a lot of science
goes into their design!

Ooooh. I also got to see an authentic Jacquard’s Loom. People who
actually paid attention in operating systems class or introductory
computing class (especially the ones I taught! ;) ) will probably go
“Ooooh” too. A real, actual Jacquard’s Loom, the only one left in
Canada. Nifty.

The Matter exhibition was under renovation. Waah. And we were too
early for the Extreme Science show. But hey, more reason to come back
next time, right?

Anyway, that _totally_ rocked. =)

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Rest of my day

I actually woke up early today: 7:30. (Okay, 7:35, really. And 7:40.
Yeah, 7:40.) I had a quick bowl of oatmeal, heaping far more sugar on
it than is probably nutritionally advisable. And then I waited for
people to come online. Waah! Look! I was up on a Saturday morning! And
people were missing!

Naturally, people started coming online maybe twenty, ten minutes
before I had to leave. Still, it was really nice being able to briefly
chat with Dominique and my mom. =)

Then I was off to the Science Centre (see blog post before this one),
and then to a whole day of fun. =) Calum was really nice. Over salmon
sashimi and California maki, we chatted about Japan. He’s planning to
go there in September, so I told him about things he must not miss:
okonomiyaki, street food, that nifty deep-fry place Dave Brown told me
about, rush hour in the train system, the hordes of photographers in
Meiji Temple on major festivals… He told me hilarious stories about
lay-off season at Nortel. Heh. Crazy.

Then he showed me what suburbian entertainment is like: basically,
shopping at big box stores like Sam’s Club and Future Shop. ;) I told
him that we had warehouse supermarkets in the Philippines too
(Pricesmart, Shopwise), but yeah, Sam’s Club is _way_ bigger than
Pricesmart. Mom would have a lot of fun going through that place. =)

He showed me Lake Ontario, too, bemoaning his lack of a real camera
that day. I told him about Papa shooting stock shots while on
vacation, Kathy’s instinctive protection of camera equipment when she
slipped… See, I grew up around photographers. ;) I might not know
all the jargon, but I can relate.

Lake Ontario is pretty! And it has geese! =) Nifty…

We topped a fun day off with soft-serve ice cream. (I told him about
the time I did Linux support for ice cream, and Peppy and I ate ice
cream until the world turned funny colors… ;) ) It was great!

Much better than trekking around and figuring things out on my own. =)
Excellent day!

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Red Flag Deals: Great articles

Check out Red Flag Deals for great promos in Toronto.
The articles are also immensely useful.

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Soaked!

I thought I had escaped typhoons and bad weather. Turns out Toronto’s
got them too. Without the ever-so-convenient jeepneys that ply
Manila’s streets, I had to walk that soggy distance home. Good thing
I’d brought a large plastic bag for my lunch and my binder. The bag
kept my binder mostly dry. My computer was also safe and sound. Water
leaked through my rain cloak, though, and my clothes were slightly
damp by the end of the trip. Still, I couldn’t help but feel happy

As soon as I got home, I dropped my clothes in the laundry, combed my
hair, and settled into a warm, fuzzy, pink bathrobe. Hooray for
bathrobes!

I found out that the rain cloak I _so_ love using isn’t rated for
typhoons. Should I get an umbrella as well? A foldable umbrella would
fit into my black-and-orange bag, but I’m not sure how sturdy it could
be. A full umbrella would be too inconvenient for me, so I guess I’ll
have to find a decent foldable umbrella. Someone sent me a link to
lifetime-guaranteed umbrellas before. I should check them out.

My black stretch pants turned out to be a little too long, and they
got stretched even further by the weight of the rain and the stress of
being stepped on every so often. I am going to have to buy another,
sturdier pair of stretch pants. This pair will not do. As I have given
up on them, I may as well try hemming them to match my length. If I
mess up, I wouldn’t have lost much. If I manage to sew it, I’ll have
gained a new skill! (Thanks again to St. Scholastica’s College!)

The sun has just come out. Maybe I should’ve just waited for the rain
to end. Hmph.

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Tried poutine

Poutine is this strange glop of french fries, gravy, and cheese curds.
It’s okay, I guess, although I like my fries a bit drier. =) Thanks to
Calum for insisting I try it. Apparently, it’s one of those Canadian
things.

It’s a lot more palatable than dinuguan or balut, for sure.