There are two things that stood out right way upon…
Excuse me, sorry to interrupt your political programming. But now that Donald Trump is the President of the United States, I thought you might like some information about living in Canada.
A poll showed that 1 in 4 Americans said they’d consider a move to Canada if Trump were to become President. Apparently, many of you feel there is not enough room in your country for you, President The Donald and his Hair.
While you’re likely to feel at home in Canada pretty quickly (bring a sweater), there are some things you should know before making the move.
Photo by Scott Simpson from Flickr
That politeness thing – – it’s not just a stereotype. In most regions of Canada, if one person bumps into another, it’s customary for both people to say sorry. It may seem odd to apologize if you are the ‘bumpee’, but, barring grievous injury, that’s generally the practice.
It can take some time to get used to saying sorry for no particular reason. It helps to think of it as a conversation starter, as in, “Sorry, is this seat taken?”
Canada’s colourful currency has been likened to monopoly money. Bills in one and two dollar denominations have been phased out, as have pennies. Instead, we have a two dollar coin called a “toonie”, a one dollar coin called a “loonie”, and the price at the cash register gets rounded off to the nearest nickel. (A nickel for your thoughts?)
Sounds a little wacky? Just remember, Canadians aren’t laughing. That’s because of the low value of our currency as against the U.S. dollar. This works out well for Americans, of course, but you might be saying sorry if you seem a little too happy about it.
‘Aboot’ the Language, Eh
With the exception of regional dialects, Canadians don’t think they speak with an accent, eh.
The real difference, however, is that Canada has two official languages: English and French. This means that the information on all signs and in safety demonstrations has to be repeated in the other language. You may want to have a snack on hand when you get on a plane.
By the way, just in case you find yourself in a situation which does not call for politeness, you should know that swearing is different in French. Hurling epithets about sexual and bodily functions will have no impact. No, here the swearing is about the church or items in it, such as a chalice. When you think about it, it seems a little strange either way. If in doubt, just say sorry.
Canada’s National Animal
In America, the eagle is symbolic because of its majestic beauty and strength. In Canada, our symbol is a buck-toothed rodent.
The beaver played an important role in our nation-building because the lucrative trade in its pelt helped to fund expansion across the country. The beaver is so revered, its likeness is on one side of our nickel. There’s even a deep-fried pastry known as a ‘beaver tail’, and this year, the Calgary Stampede will be introducing a new confection called beaver balls.
So, if you hear Canadians talking enthusiastically about the beaver, chances are they’re talking about our national symbol, and not a Sharon Stone movie. You don’t want to get the two mixed-up.
Sports in Canada
Everyone knows that Canadians are fanatics about hockey, our national winter sport.
It’s our version of football that you might find confusing. In Canadian football, the field is bigger, as is our football. There are three downs instead of four, and teams get one point for missing a field goal if the ball goes through the end zone. Known as a “rouge”, it’s our way of saying, “Sorry you missed, but that’s some leg on you!”. It’s really quite entertaining.
Canada is Sexy
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Donald Trump have one thing in common – – there’s a lot of talk about their hair. But for Trudeau, it’s all positive. His hair was so popular during the recent election campaign, it had its own (unofficial) Twitter account.
Canada is Bliss
Since this blog is about blissful travel experiences, I’d be remiss if I didn’t address whether you can find bliss in Canada.
Well, I may be biased, but just look at it.
Not only that, there’s documentation that it’s a happy place to live. This year, Canada was ranked sixth in the World Happiness Report (the U.S. was 13th).
And the key thing to remember: We’re really sorry for what you’re going through.
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