Guia para viajar para o Canadá Posted by Adir on Feb 26, 2013 in Intermediário
Hoje o post vem do professor Jackson Bagatoli, de Rio do Sul. Ele foi para o Canadá no final do ano e gentilmente veio compartilhar a experiência dele conosco, in English!
Planning well in advance is always the right thing to do. You have to have in mind that you need a passport, a visa, money and probably some sort of health care plan. The passport took me 2 weeks, but waiting time varies quite a bit.
For the visa I gathered everything that somehow linked me to Brazil: mainly college enrolment and job documentation. My Canadian friends sent me invitation letters which might have been of some help.
Money wise, I got a Visa TravelMoney card which is rechargeable, you put dollars into it while you are yet to travel. ALWAYS bring some cash, though! Enough to survive for at least five business days, as my card simply didn’t work in Canada, it was physically damaged for some reason. I got the new (and hopefully functional) card after four business days.
I spent only nine bucks on a taxi cab in my entire 28-day trip. I’m not the conventional type of tourist, that’s for sure. You can go anywhere you want having clear directions, street names, bus stops and maybe a compass as they seem to love words like: North, south, west and east, even for everyday usage. Or just a phone with built-in GPS navigation will do the trick.
From city to city I went for ride sharing/covoiturage. Travel cheap and meet amazing alternative people. You can book a ride on safe websites like Amigoexpress.com or you can be wilder and talk directly to people offering rides on Craigslist.org, the latter worked for me.
From Quebec City to Halifax, though, there were no rides being offered. It usually works better for considerably short distances. At least that way I got to see breathtaking scenery in a 17-hour train ride.
It’s awesome to be able to go sightseeing, to go to places, to be in an extremely different environment. But you can get the most out of your trip by meeting the locals! They are doubtlessly the best tour guides one can ever get. So, to me, CouchSurfing seemed like it could be the perfect culture exchange + accommodation combo, and turns out it really was.
I had only wonderful experiences on CouchSurfing so far, I met only highly interesting people who had a lot to share. Plus I didn’t spend a single buck on accommodation (except for when I got stranded in an airport for two days). But bear in mind that things can always go wrong, for those moments you always want to have a backup plan, like Hostels, Bed&Breakfast options or even hotel phone numbers in your pocket.
Despite my skinniness, I eat a lot! And Canada is a multiethnic wonder, I got to try so many different dishes. From the very traditional Beaver tail in Ottawa and Poutine in Montreal to fish chowder and huge lobsters cooked alive in Yarmouth.
Canadian breakfast includes tasty and greasy bacon stripes, pancakes, omelet and occasionally crispy hash browns which I love. The one thing I’m not particularly comfortable with is their sweet and salty combination, they proudly love their maple syrup and might pour some of it even onto bacon. Once I ordered a turkey sandwich and it had maple syrup AND sweet relish inside, it tasted way better than I thought it would, though. I love Canadian food, that’s for sure.
Canada is a bilingual country, but most Canadians are not. Getting around in Toronto, Ottawa and eastern maritime cities was a no-brainer. Getting around in Montreal and Quebec City though was a bit more challenging due to the language barrier. I love that, don’t get me wrong!
People in touristic spots or stores will speak English, or some English. Sometimes I had to ask for directions in the streets and I came across a few people who couldn’t speak any English. Interesting, eh??!! Okay, some Canadians do say EH in the end of sentences just like Americans would say HUH. And the way some people pronounce “about” and “out” is slightly different, not extremely different.
About the author
Jackson Bagatoli is a 20-year-old guy who has just returned from his Canadian adventure. He works as an English teacher both at Yázigi and SESC, located in Rio do Sul/SC. He started learning and loving English when he was 15 years old, learned most of it in immersive online environment.