Wednesday, October 7, 2009

October news.........

The leaves are falling, the leaves are falling!! Everywhere you look.......dead leaves on the ground...looks great but now that we have been here a year, I know what a pain it is to rake it all up. By law, you have to keep your lawn clean and presentable looking at all times...which is a good thing...but requires work! Luckily I have two kids that can do it, and earn an allowance at the same time!

A friend of ours is having a bad experience with one of the telephone companies here in Toronto. He had rented an office space in June and when he asked for a phone connection...he got it three months later in September. But guess what? He got billed for the three months that he didn't have the phone. After a number of phone calls to their complaints department, the problem is still not solved and they keep telling him that according to their 'records' he has been their customer since June. What do you do??

Interestingly, he had first approached another company...but that phone company told him that since he was the first person in that office building/mall to ask for their connection, could he kindly pay $10,000 for the main cable and the work that they would have to do to get the cable into the building- so that they could give him a connection!! Yes, this is Canada for you!!

With the change of weather in Canada, lots of places have closed and will re-open only in May or June. If you are planning to visit Canada anytime now, take a look at various websites to make sure that the attractions that you want to see are open. The Niagara Falls boat ride closes before Winter and so do the theme parks.

This weekend is the long weekend off for Thanksgiving. With Monday off too, many Canadians will be spending the weekend with family. Making turkey dinners and a time of spending quality time with close family members. The roads will be crowded with people driving to different destinations, and unfortunately the weather report says it is going to be a very wet weekend :(
Lets hope that they are wrong!!

Some readers have asked me about the recession and what the situation is like here in Canada. Well, looking around, I can't really see an improvement. The unemployment rate is reaching 10%, which is really high. Mostly automobile factory workers, car showrooms and associated dealers that have had to close. The only two companies that are doing well right now are,
McDonalds and Walmart.

At McDonalds you can get a burger, drink and french fries for 5 to 6 dollars. Very often we have coupons that come in the mail for McDonald meals for half the price. So that works out to a pretty good deal.

Walmart..interestingly, many Canadian shoppers would shop only in the upperend stores like Zellers and The Bay before the recession. But with the loss of jobs and many families suddenly on one income instead of two.....Walmart has new shoppers!! People who shop at Walmart for the first time, are shocked with the price differences and continue to shop there even after their financial situations are back on track. So their profits continue to go up............

What else? School has been great so far. My son had his open house last week and we got to meet with all his subject teachers. They are learning about the eco-systems in science, grammar in english, data management in Math and learning how to play the snare drum for the school orchestra. He is in grade 7. My daughter is learning about the different Biomes for science class, Graphs in Math and Story writing for English. She is in grade 4. They get a little homework every day. Reading assignments and projects may be once a week, and spelling tests and surprise quizzes and tests anytime.

Went to the post box today to check for mail, (every street corner has all the post boxes for the houses on that street), and found someone had stuck an ad on the side of the boxes. Two Indian ladies who are not working have advertised that they have started a baby and child day care service for working mothers. Our friend has his child in daycare and pays $20 a day. The babysitter does not provide food, so our friend packs a little bag with some food in the morning. Some of the professional services charge about $800 to $1000 a month.

In case you want to know how much something costs, please write to me and I'll get you the information. My email id is on the top of the homepage.


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