Friday, November 13, 2009's like another country

Hello American Comrades! Woo has crossed the border, invaded the hordes of the north, landed in the land of flannel - and whatever other stereotype one could drop in this sentence. That's right, I am in the friendly confines of Toronto. Here to present at a conference and investigate these peoples I've heard so much about and whose couch I threatened to sleep on at various points during the 8 years of the Bush administration.

Now here's the problem. I have alot to say about Canada. It fascinates me. Canadians fascinate me. The accent, so like our own yet not, distracts the bejesus out of me. I have to sit on a panel and entertain questions about microfinance, with all the "aboots", and "oots", and the other stuff. I'm at the hotel tapas bar and the "aboots" are flying through the air. I don't even know what's politically correct to make fun of or talk about. I feel like I should have been given a manual on what to say and not say in the presence of our more civil north american brethren.

They look like us. You could almost swear you were in Chicago. But, instead of the lighthearted fear of random crime, there's this heavy feeling of niceness, civility, and safety looming over the city. It's actually downright threatening in an innocuous kind of way. I feel like I could possibly even relax. Walk naked down Bloor Street and not be given a howdy-do. One more martini, and we'll see.

I've traveled to Syria, Angola, East Timor and Ethiopia, yet I am befuddled by the slightly different, but not really, culture of Canada.

Aww. They just brought me mayonnaise with my frites. Would they freak if I asked for ketchup? Where's my American to Canadian manual!!!???

Until tomorrow, I'm going to bed to the sweet soothing sounds of Canadian cable.

Below, some of my favorite Canadian men.

1 comment:

Amy Kennedy said...

Hello Shelby-
I recommend the book "How to be a Canadian" by Will and Ian Ferguson. Very helpful and funny. Chapter 4- entitled "Learning the Language" could do you a world of good...