Living Canadian with Miho Suzuki

Miho Suzuki in a photo by Wendy Dallian

 

It's late afternoon on a Monday night and we're lounging in the display section of the West Vancouver Home Depot, trying out a fabulous new set of garden furniture. The friendly staff don't seem to mind. An unusual location to conduct an interview, but it's storming outside and the Starbucks next door is filled to capacity.

 

Curious about visitors, tourists, and temporary residents, and their time in Canada, I've asked Tokyo's Miho Suzuki to join me and give some insight into her personal experience.

 

 

WD: Perhaps we can start by you telling us a little bit about yourself.

 

MS: My name is Miho Suzuki and I am a Japanese language exchange teacher from Tokyo, Japan. I've been here almost three years.

 

WD: What made you decide to come to Vancouver?

 

MS: My school in Japan made that decision for me. It was part of my school exchange program. The contract was for two years but I extended it. I didn't think two years was enough to learn about the Canadian teaching system.

 

WD: What was your first impression of Canada?

 

MS: Actually, I hated it here (laughs). I settled in West Vancouver and within the first five days of living here my apartment was broken into. They stole everything. They never took anything old. They took everything new. My computer and camera etc.

 

WD: That's awful!

 

MS: (laughs) yes.

 

WD: How did you find adjusting to Canadian culture?

 

MS: I took it easy and tried not to be in a rush. I relaxed so I could see what was going on around here. I wanted to take things slowly.

 

WD: What is your impression now. Have things changed for you?

 

MS: Vancouver is a very interesting place. I can touch and feel a lot of countries' cultures directly. I don't need to go to those countries. It's a little bit different but I can feel those countries' cultures here.

 

WD: What is your most positive impression of Canada since you've been here?

 

MS: People are friendly and they are non-judgemental. They accept my personality and background without putting up walls.

 

WD: What would you tell someone who wanted to come to Canada?

 

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