Immigrant Faux Pas


You have seen it; you have done it; I have seen it; I have done it; you have someone mention it and I have mentioned it. Yes! You are right, the awkward things we all have been a part of knowingly and unknowingly. As immigrants or friends to immigrants we all have been at that awkward position when we do not know what is normal and what is not? I wish someone had told me about these, when I was a fresh immigrant in Canada. Read on:

  1. Kissing is normal here but staring is not.
  2. Women do feed their babies in a public place, it’s considered normal and acceptable.
  3. Sex is still a taboo.
  4. Even if you do not know anyone, you still have to dress up well; it does speak volumes about your personality.
  5. It is not normal to burp and not say ‘excuse me’.
  6. Please do not make an accent and roll your ‘rrrrrr’.Anyone can make out you are faking it.
  7. Yes, people do notice the color of your teeth.
  8. The ‘F’ and ‘S’ word is not tolerable.
  9. Retirement homes are not because children don’t care about their parents; it’s just a way of life at that age here.
  10. Staying healthy is not a choice but a necessity as there is no help; to each his own.
  11. In summers it’s not called ‘skimpily dressed’, it’s called ‘appropriately dressed’.
  12. It is rude to ask salary package (as against to it being completely normal In India).
  13. It is OK to be honked at and honk in a situation of careless driving.
  14. Phrase ‘Good for you’ is not impolite. There is no hidden meaning in it.
  15. Gifts are only for special occasions.
  16. Perfumes are a problem sometimes.
  17. You have to ask before trying to hold a baby or pat a pet.
  18. Keeping and marking a calendar is not a pretense but is a requirement.
  19. It is standard to ask for what you deserve.
  20. ‘Name dropping’ is not needed.

Above all:


Why does my work space work for me?


photo courtsey:               (Its not my room)

It’s a place that is my mecca. It’s where none can question me; I am the undisputed queen; my no-judgment zone; where I can talk to Bill Gates without getting nervous. My workspace is basically my HOT TUB.

The walls are painted in white with the dark wood table and bookshelf juxtaposed against each other. The books are numerous and not at all arranged according to their subject. They look like colorful cigarettes in a pack. I have a small and simple lamp. Beside it is a small glass vase with blue glittering sand and white tuberose flowers in it. My seat overlooks a window where I can see people and observe them in their busiest times and at their leisure moments too. I have a whiteboard against my table, which has stood the test of time, it is full of my beautiful photographs, cards and even tickets to my first movie with my husband. My stationary is all over the place with colors, pens, pencils everywhere. The newspapers and scrapbook of my favorite articles always open. Now most important the picture on a big white wall that sticks alone and keeps me going every day that says ‘This too shall pass’. So, I keep in mind that life is like flowing like a river. When happy moments haven’t stayed then why sad moments will and this will pass. I look at it and then return to my coffee mug that says ‘Put on your invisible crown’.

This is one place that works for me because it makes me come to life again. I love it. Why does your work space work for you?