Day 1 (4-Oct): Received "Information for Newcomers" and "Welcome to Canada" guides from the C.A.N.N. (Canadian Airport Newcomers Network) at the airport. The C.A.N.N. lady was very helpful and informative. She went through step-by-step what I needed to get done for the next few days and where/how to get help. PR card application completed by Immigration Officers at airport. Taxi to home. Unpacked luggage.
Day 2 (5-Oct): Bought groceries. Settled my SIN (Social Insurance Number) at a Service Canada Centre. The Service Canada officer gave me a "British Columbia Newcomers' Guide to Resources and Services". It has good information and a checklist of things to be done by newcomers. Obtained the Richmond Library card and a Canadian mobile phone.
Day 3 (6-Oct): Opened bank accounts and applied for credit card. Tagged the Vancouver Library registration to the Richmond Library card. Hung out with new friend HC, went to Oakridge and Metrotown.
Day 4 (7-Oct): Laundry and drying done. Bought Monthly FareCard for travel on all public transport. Sent out MSP (Medical Services Plan) application. Dinner and movie at Vancouver with another new friend SL and her Toronto friend. I suspect SL invited me because she wanted me to play gooseberry.
Day 5 (8-Oct): Jet lag finally hit... I am totally sleepy today. Thankfully no headache. Now that all the critical paperwork are completed, I allowed myself to rest for the day.
Think I'm settling down ok. Distances that looked long on Google Map are actually nearer in reality. E.g. A 20 min walk estimated by my landlord is actually only 10-15 min. Or maybe I walk very fast for a Canadian pace?
Still acclimatising to the cold. Nevertheless, I'm improving. Needed 5 layers on top (thermal top, long-sleeve T, cashmere sweater, thin padded coat, mid-thigh length down-padded coat) initially for a 14 degree Centigrade weather, but I'm ok with 3 to 4 layers now. Still 3 layers at bottom (thermal bottom, leggings, jeans/pants). Socks and long boots for footwear. Well, I have a good excuse. I have just arrived from Singapore, where the coldest temperature is around 24 degree Centigrade.
Richmond is very Asian. Chinese and Cantonese are commonly heard. Many shops have both large Chinese and smaller English labels. I think my non-English speaking parents will be so at home here, ha ha!
While I like the friendly and relaxed suburban feel of Richmond, I prefer the more cosmopolitan mix of Vancouver. However, people in Vancouver are more hurried and less friendly than Richmond (although still better than Singapore). Perhaps it's due to Vancouver being a city/downtown area. Maybe I will check out Burnaby in future.
6 months ago