Thursday, January 31, 2013

Calgary vs. Edmonton or our visit to Edmonton

Edmonton left in our hearts very good memories. We first landed in Edmonton. So, Edmonton has some kind of native feeling for us. 

Taking into account that most of our friends living in Canada settled in Edmonton, we decided to celebrate new year there. I called to friends and noticed that they are missing us as we do. So, I rented an apartment for 3 days(much cheaper than hotel), took a day off from my job and we headed to Edmonton on December 30, 2012. Visit to Edmonton was very interesting for me. I was trying to analyze whether we did right decision by moving to Calgary. And I wanted to compare this two cities once again. After living 7 months in Calgary our feeling returning to Edmonton was important. 

First time I tried to compare Edmonton and Calgary in my this post. But now I feel that I have something to add! In order to be more clear I will try to separate my comparison into two categories subjective an objective: 

Most of objective facts I already mentioned here. And I still believe that they are correct and do not want to repeat. In addition I can say that during our trip we felt that Edmonton is more mature city. There is no too much construction there, which results in less trucks on the roads. Less construction does not mean that the city is not developing, it is already done! Roads, neighborhoods are silent and clear.

By visiting our friends we noticed that we lost a lot by moving to Calgary. My kids were so happy... Most of our friends has kid(s) at the same age as mine are. Therefore, my son was so waiting meeting with his "Musu Qaqa" (actually his name is Huseyn and he is my friend-Farhad's son; "qaqa" means bro). During our visits we never felt that we are guest there. My mom-in-law who is visiting us these days (I am going to have a separate post on this) also confirmed that in Edmonton we had more friendly community than in Calgary. There some exceptions of course, but overall she is right. 

And my spouses question when we were driving back some kind of surprised me. She asked "may be we need to move back...?"...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Andrea Bocelli or Italian culture which affected my childhood

I cannot imagine my childhood without Italian movies and songs. Adriano Celentano was so famous in USSR. Most of his movies are translated into Russian which made them accessible for us. And Toto Cutugno's songs were usual for us. Then I started working at the factory producing Italian cheese. And my first meeting with Italians and their culture, food happened there. I steel believe that things made in Italy are made with love and quality. "Made in Italy" is sigh of quality for me! I am so excited with Italians that I was shocked when I noticed that no one knows Celentano in Edmonton, AB... that is called cultural difference or cultural shock.

I am sure where it comes from, but I cannot avoid listening Ave Maria when I hear it... It is strange, because it was not famous in Azerbaijan nor in my family. However, when I hear Ave Maria I loose my control and focus only on this song. And of course Italian tenors are best singers of Ave Maria. Andrea Bocelli is one of them. He is very talented person. Actually he is a lawyer and he is blind, but his voice astonishes me. So, enjoy, as I do!!!

RIM unveiled Blackberry Q10 & Z10 and new operating system BB10

Today RIM announced several news. First of all RIM renamed to Blackberry. And they have unveiled new phones and operating system BB10. Below is the video from the event:

Being honest the guy introducing the new phones and the system was awful. As I am aware this phones and the system is their last chance to stay in the business. With such introduction I do not believe that Blackberry will be able to gain market share. When Apple prepares brilliant show to introduce its most unsuccessful phone, iphone 5 and operating system, IOS 6 and sells millions of this devices, I am not optimistic that BB will have success with such poor event. Actually, I believe that they are too late with this introduction. But anyway I would like to see success of Blackberry as a member of Canadian society...

And here is Blackberry Q10:

And Blackberry Z10:

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Elmar Aghayev - Person who believes in bright future of Azerbaijan

One of the main reasons pushed me to leave Azerbaijan is lack of believe in bright near future there. I lost my believe in tomorrow, which made me unhappy. It is very personal. Some of my friends asked me not to run away from problems and just fight against it, others told me that there is no issue at all just my mind created them. There was guys who shared my view, too. But today I am going to write down about a guy who is braver and more flexible than me. He believes that by trying everything can be changed. His name is Elmar Aghayev. His my cousin, elder son of my only and lovely uncle. Almost a month ago he left Ernst&Young and joined to Sumgait Chemical Industrial Park Ltd ("SCIP"). SCIP is governmental company and should assist in building the infrastructure for business activity and manufacture of chemical products. Oil-chemistry will be the priority of the new park. Why he is brave? Because he is very successful from high school to E&Y and decided to change his life for hope. He was a winner of Math Olympiads at high school, holder of presidential scholarship at university. He had a chance to study in the UK, where he was accepted by University of Liverpool. But he decided to be part of the processes turning in Azerbaijan. At E&Y within short period he became Senior Consultant and was able to handle complex projects. But he left for less compensation package for more junior position to help in developing manufacturing industry in Azerbaijan. Actually he is responsible for attracting foreign investment for the project. The guy believes in future! Amazing person who in ruins of the government still has hope. He is not one of the corrupted officers. Actually he remembers me Don-Quixot. 

May be he is right, may be he is too brave, may be he is crazy like Don-Quixot. But in any case he tries.

Below is a video prepared as a summary of visit Slovenian business delegation to Azerbaijan. And Elmar is talking starting from 8:48. He is young, which makes him to by uncertain in front of camera. But he is brave enough to believe in uncertain future. God bless him in his way!

Canada Over the Edge or Discovering Canada by TV

I love the nature! Mountains, forests, falls, rivers, lakes, seas, oceans are very interesting areas for me. And Canada has lots of things to offer. One of the my favorite TV programs - "Canada Over the Edge" can tell you where such beauties are located in Canada. New season of the documentary film "Canada Over the Edge" starts in EQHD TV channel on January 27, 2013. By watching this TV program I am planning where to visit in Canada. My goal is traveling trough Canada from coast to coast!

Have fun and enjoy by watching this documentary:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Barack Obama 2013 Inauguration Speech or Art of Public Speaking

I started interesting with public speaking when I used to be manager at Ernst&Young. And after making research I noticed that most talented people involved in public speaking train politicians. And timing of my researches matched with first campaign of Obama. So, I started listening his speeches and I liked him. Below is his speech from 2013 Inauguration Ceremony. I cannot comment his politic views, but I love his speeches! Very clear and well structured.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Canadian Health Services or My First Serious Injury in Canada

As you already understood my post is not going to be about good news. Last Thursday I fell and broke my rib. It happened in front of my house. It was late evening and I did not notice icy pedestrian path. I found myself in the ground after first step. Actually, I fell very successful))). Was able to land on my body only. Head and arms are OK. First hour I just felt uncomfortable, but after I started having pain, which still lasts. Thanks to Adil, who drove me to the closest emergency at South Health Campus. Actually, I was not so optimistic visiting them. They just opened and waiting at emergency was not acceptable for me. But I was pleasantly surprised. They even did not let me to register, they were so quick! Within very short period they did ultra-sound test, x-ray and then passed me "good news". I have broken my rib. It was very painful, so they injected my analgesic. And after an hour they I left the emergency. Now I am taking analgesic medicine. It is very hard to breath deeply, laugh, and climb stairs. But the most exiting part of this process was medical service at South Health Campus. So, my conclusion is that we have very good and quick medical service when it is actually emergency situation. If you are not going to die, so you can wait! I understand, accept and support such logic.

Take care do not get such injures like I did!

P.S. The funniest part is analgesic medicine they gave me. It actually works like drugs do. I am flying in cloud after taking it. So, it is also "funny" braking your rib!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Issues faced immigrants or good point from my old friend

Today morning read a post on my friend's blog who lives in Sydney, Australia. He moved there to continue his education and stayed there. His name Aydin Salimov and we used to work together at Ernst&Young. I remember how I was happy when heard that he decided to move out from Azerbaijan. He did it before me, which caused some kind of envy feelings for me. )))

So, in his post he describes a situation where I am in now. When you are starting limiting yourself in some kind of circle, which makes your adaptation very difficult. Aydin suggests to COMMUNICATE in order to have a chance to be part of the society where you live. Very interesting post for me and I believe that it may be helpful for other newcomers. Below is the text of his post named "Acute Ego or A Migrant's Adaptation":

More often than not, the migrants I have met dream of moving back to where they came from. A part of this stems from the nostalgic feelings about childhood, family and friends left behind, etc. But another – bigger – part comes from the alienation (or self-alienation) within the new location and new society. But believe me, it does not take too much to bypass this monster and make your way to a happy new life. Here are some suggestions for you.
First, let me say a couple of words on why alienation is a killer. There are people who think that living on solo is normal, since “it is not the place and society that they grew up in”. Others say “I am a loner by personality anyway”, and try to go on. Third category limits themselves to a circle of migrants like themselves. Tho a step ahead of the others, these fellows are running on a knife edge, too. And then, there are ones who consider the locals to be of a lower intellectual capability and would not want to decrement to their level.
In whatever category you are, believe me, you are massively risking your “migration career”. If you don’t believe me, ask the ones who moved back.
From my experience and observation, the key to a successful life in a new society, new country, new continent is COMMUNICATION. It comes ahead of finding a source of income, place to live in, a good school for the kids and a thousand other things that are considered to be vital. As a matter of fact, a good communication can help settle all of the mentioned, with much less stress. And it will ensure a long and happy migrant life.
Now, the question is where/with whom to communicate. I will give you some ideas below.
1. A student, or anyone who has anything to do with a university. You are the luckiest one. These days unis concentrate more on making the lives for the students easier, rather than academic excellence. If you are not in at least one university society, then… Well, you better be. Whatever your interest is, there are clubs and societies for you. At least, do some sports, or go for “social sports” on the weekends. Drop in your student union’s office at least once a week to keep a track of the developments. And read on :)
2. Clubbing/Pubbing. Pick one depending on your age. Drop by for a drink. That drink does not need to be alcoholic, mind you. Take a night out once or twice a week, instead of sitting on Facebook or Skype, or watching another TV show. Believe me, there is a plenty of people there who are in exactly the same situation as you. Just talk to anyone and everyone about anything and everything, and you will have a much better day the next day!
3. Get a job. Not minding the pay, find a sales or customer service type of job. It will benefit you much more than another buck an hour. A retail shop or a fast-food place would work perfect for a start. Your education level or work experience could be far above this kind of places, but, again, you are not there to make a career. You are there to kick-start a whole new life. And it is the best to start everything from foundations.
4. Religion. If you are religious at all, pay a visit to the local church/masjid/etc. You could introduce yourself to the organizers there, who meet tens of people like yourself and can easily guide you in the best direction for you. You could also join their activities, meet people, socialize, and again, communicate.
5. If you resist that none of the above is applicable to you, then, at least, join a book club. Or a charity/volunteering club. Or a local sports club. Or alcoholics group, or drug addicts group. Or pick up a bike and join the bikers club, for God’s sake!
Whatever you decide to do, make sure you go out there and COMMUNICATE! Leave your ego and complexes behind, you don’t want them to ruin that beautiful life full of sunshine that is lying ahead of you! You don’t need to make sense all the time, just cheer up! And talk
 The original of the post is here.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The art of pick-pocketing: Apollo Robins

As a guy who grew up in a big city like Baku, I faced with pick-pocketing. 2 guys stolen my cell phone when I was 20. So, when I read an article about Apollo Robins I was astonished. This guy is a "professionalpickpocket. He is best known pickpocket in the world. But what makes him different? He is smart enough and he started making money on his abilities, but not by stealing. He made a show! He earns money by showing people how he is "professional" pickpocket... Smart enough! Why to risk by stealing when people pays you to watch how you steal?! 
Adam Green, a journalist at The New Yorker prepared an interview with Robin and published it. Below is a video, Apollo demonstrates some of his tricks and techniques, using Green as his victim: