Canada for the Holidays (because they won’t let me live there)

In the wake of the U.S. election, I’ve been thinking about Canada, the compassionate, progressive northern neighboring country only a three hour drive away. For a few days I considered moving north for the next four years until I logged onto their immigration site and using the Canadian Immigration Points Calculator, discovered I wasn’t qualified to obtain a work permit. It turns out I’m too old (over age 47 = zero points on the calculator) and my last ten years of employment isn’t listed on National Occupation Classification list of Skills 0, A or B. Canada’s progressive values apparently don’t include encouraging union organizers to come rabble rouse. Zero points on the calculator again.

And so I’m reduced to admiring my northern neighbor from my southern vantage point making an occasional foray past its borders to pretend I live there. One of my favorite Canadian cities is Vancouver and one of my favorite haunts there is Granville Island, particularly over the December holiday season. If you’re lucky enough to visit then you can also take in the outdoor German Christmas Market and support indigenous tourism, both subjects of previous blog posts.



Granville Island was a former industrial manufacturing center. Today it’s home to more than 275 businesses including theatre venues, galleries, brewpubs, shops and restaurants. What remains of its industrial history has embraced the thriving Granville arts community.


I like arriving to Granville Island by Aquabus, the city’s maritime transportation system with multiple waterfront docks. Commuting by Aquabus gives you a bonus – a waterfront tour of Vancouver.

My first stop is always the Granville Island Public Market, a farmers market of permanent retailers and over 100 day vendors selling artisan foods and handmade crafts.




Sri Lanka Warning Signs

You’ve likely seen them in your travels. Those warning signs literally translated from the country’s native language into awkward English. I’m always glad to see them (particularly when it involves my safety).  I discovered these travelling in Sri Lanka: