Thoughts of January

January in Canada!  Well, it will be different than anytime in Benin.

So, what do you do in Ottawa?  Well, you can skate the canal when it freezes.  There’s plenty of curling and an NHL hockey team.

And Baseball!

The Ottawa Fat Cats play in something called the Intercounty Baseball League (IBL) which theycall “Canada’s premier men’s baseball league”.  I guess that doesn’t count the Blue Jays.

Best I can tell, they play a 36 game season from May to July (no jokes about that being the only time it’s warm enough to play baseball in Canada — I’ve been to Fenway and Wrigley–and Coors Field), and maybe playoffs after that.  Right now the Fat Cats are 8 games out of first, but that’s only because I’m not there to root them on.,  It’ll be different next year!

For those who follow this blog to learn a bit about the Foreign Service, here’s something.  In a few places (very few) around the world instead of finding you housing, you get to find your own.  Ottawa is one of those places.  So, I’ll be deciding “center city or suburbs?”, “apartment or house?”, “rent or buy?”.  The Embassy is downtown, not near much free parking, so there’s a good chance “access to mass transit” will be high on my list.  Of course, it all has to fit under the Living Quarters Allowance (LQA) cap (well, really it doesn’t, but anything over the cap comes out of my salary).  My decision also has to be checked out by the General Services Officer and Regional Security Officer before I sign anything.

Plans right now are to make a scouting trip while I’m on Home Leave between posts.  We’ll see how it goes.



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