I have spent a lot of time the last few years in Ontario. I have a contract teaching AutoCAD to a regiment of Canadian soldiers. I always enjoy my stays in Canada. It is so similar to the States, but in some ways, so different. Here are some observations that I have made about Canada and Canadians.
I love teaching here, because my classes are usually all men, and we can talk about hockey. Or maybe I should say “aboot” hockey. The folks here are so knowledgeable about the game, and they know all of the Red Wings. Even if they hate the Wings, they always at least pretend to respect them. I have been in Canada for the last two NHL trade deadlines. It is always entertaining discussing trade rumors and how the playoffs will shape up. I really enjoy the Canadian perspective. Also, they all agree with me that the southern US franchises were a bad idea and should move back north.
Two Words: Tim Horton’s. There is no US equivalent. Tim Horton’s is simply more than a coffee shop. It is a way of life that is cherished by Canadians. Every day I come in to teach, every student (I am not exaggerating) has a cup of Tim Horton’s coffee with him. Then we all rrrrrroll up the rim to see if we won any prizes. Too cool. Also, Tim Horton’s blows away Dunkin Donuts or any other US Donut shop. Why? They serve you on real china plates, and serve you good coffee with real 10% milkfat cream in real china mugs. It makes a huge difference. It is just a cool place. They do a booming business.
I found the political commentary on TV to be remarkable. They tend to focus more on facts and data than grandstanding. It is refreshing, as the talk shows don’t turn into “who can shout the loudest” matches. I learned a ton about the US union standoff by listening to Canadians discuss it. The conversation was even handed and civil. I am used to MSNBC and Fox News, where such clarity is impossible. The opposing side must be made to look ridiculous or evil, or both. This is a very poor way to run a democracy with a free press.
Hockey references are everywhere. I really like this. My Dad’s parents were both from Canada, and I have a strong love for hockey. Anyway, this is a rehash of my earlier point.
Canada’s chocolate is better. Their beer is better. They have all these cool British insignias on their uniforms. The Mounties. Swiss Chalet. Canadian Tire. Loonies. Twonies. Don Cherry. Hockey Night in Canada. Very pretty money with prose about (what else) hockey on the $5.00 bill. Kingston is a great town. Sigange in both English and French. Poutine. Vinegar on the table for French Fries. Milk in a bag. Bachman Turner Overweight (kidding). Pictures of the Queen everywhere. I know we were naughty in the revolution, but hey, I still kind of have a thing about the British Monarchy. I REALLY like Pride and Prejudice and the King’s Speech. Don’t be hatin’, yo.
My American readers, we have a great neighbor (neighbour) to the North. Be grateful. It could be North Korea…….