Well, hello there. My name is Angella and I. Am. Canadian.
Maybe I should greet you in my native tongue.
Loralee guest posted for me in February while I ditched my kids sent my kids to visit their grandparents so that my Honey and I could spend a week laying on the beach in Mexico. Without kids. It was awful. Really.
Loralee’s post chronicled why she wants to make babies with Canada. Thinking about the great Canadian/American divide, I reflected on the differences between the two countries.
As a child growing up in Canada, I knew a whole lot about the US of A. Most of the television shows and commercials we watched were all from America. We did not watch much Canadian TV because, well, it sucked. We were so inundated with everything American, I felt like we were the same as those south of the border, with only minor differences. This is not the case.
The first reality check was when we went to Disneyland when I was in grade nine. We met some other kids by the pool at our hotel and when we told them that we were Canadian, they had all sorts of questions for us. “
Do your policeman really ride on horses?” (NO. Except for parades.)
“Have you ever heard of Nintendo?” (DUDE. I could kick your arse at Mario Bros.)
Do you guys live in an igloo?” (Oh, of course. We eat whale meat as a snack. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?)
I thought that we had just met some kids who may or may have not been hit with a Stupid Stick when they were born, and figured I should not take it too personally.
Fast forward to college, where we had American students who liked to wear t-shirts from In-N-Out Burger. I asked them, “What the heck is In-N-Out?” To which they replied, “What the heck is Tim Hortons?” Touche.
These folks were not ignorant about Canadian life, but had opened my eyes to the fact that there were different restaurants, chain stores, and maybe even culture ideals between the two countries. T
The majority of my blogging friends are American. I love them immensely (Including Loralee, obviously). I joined Twitter almost a year ago and have realized more and more the differences between our two countries. Americans have Target. I LOVE Target! They also have B&H Photo. I LOVE B&H photo! Neither chain is here in Canada and I weep over this daily. I kept hearing a lot of twitters about something called Trader Joe’s. I finally peeped up and asked what it was. It sounds AWESOME.
I was feeling like there was a whole lot of fun that Canada was missing out on! We had nothing to offer but great comedians, white tundra, and vast open spaces.
One night someone (I forget who. I have three kids. Memory is, um, a distant memory.) tweeted about eating Smarties. Most of my American friends had never even heard of Smarties. Well, what are called Smarties in the States are called Rockets here in Canada. Totally different candy. Our Smarties are chocolate with a candy coating. Like M&M’s, but a hundred times better.
After pursuing this further, it turns out that us Canadians have amazing treatss that Americans clamour for! Aero bars! Coffee Crisp! Purdy’s Hedgegogs! Ketchup Chips! I did a little giveaway and the response was overwhelming. It made me feel like Canada might actually have something to contribute to those south of the border. Like the little engine that could (eat chocolate).
I would love to hear:
a) Something else truly American that I am missing out on, but should check out while at BlogHer in July (See you there?) and
b) Something else you may or may not like about Canada. We’re the people North of you. Look up. Look waaayyy up.
*Rick Mercer (Canadian comedian) did a series on interviews he did with Americans about Canada. Apparently those California kids I met were not the only ones who did not know anything about us neighbours to the North. Here is one which includes a question answered by George W. Bush. The series is funny, I think, because it just proves that us Canadians don’t really rank as high in the States as we think we do.