Friday, January 30, 2009

Canada, EH?

"With the 2010 Olympic Winter Games coming to Canada, people from around the world are starting to prepare to visit our fine country. Naturally, they want to know what they're getting themselves into if they have never visited Canada before. Here are some REAL questions that were posted on the International Tourism website:
1. I have never seen it warm on Canadian TV, so how do the plants grow? (England) (Oh my goodness. Canada is one of the largest exporters of grains in the world, grown from a plant. If we can't grow it outside we grow it inside. Get it? A Hydroponic House or Hot House. Duh. How do you do it England?)
2. Will I be able to see Polar Bears in the street? (USA) (Seriously. We are your neighbours. We see polar bears in the streets as often as you do.)
3. I want to walk from Vancouver to Toronto - can I follow the Railroad tracks? (Sweden) (Thats a cross country trek, and it would take about the same amount of time if you wanted to walk from the edge of France to the edge of Germany and back. So, months to walk, If you have that kind of time. You could take a plane or even the train)
4. Is it safe to run around in the bushes in Canada? (Sweden) (hahahahahah! Is it safe to wear my yodelling wear in Sweden?)
5. Are there any ATM's in Canada? Can you send me a list of them in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton & Halifax? (England) (That would probably entail hundreds of thousands of ATM locations. )
6. Can you give me some information on Hippo racing in Canada? (USA) (We don't have Hippos. I suggest trying that in Africa. However we do have a selection of beaver, polar bear, and sled dog racing....[please note sarcasm])
7. Which direction is North in Canada? (USA) (What a dolt question. Why don't you pull the compass out of your ignorant butt and use it? Its the same way in any other place in the world. Derr.)
8. Can I bring cutlery into Canada? (England) (Go right ahead, Since we use our fingers to eat with, us primitives. You may wanna bring toilet paper too, we don't have that either)
9. Do you have perfume in Canada? (Germany) (No.. We just smell naturally great. We don't use deodorant either, we like to be all natural. Ahem. Spritz spritz of my Dolce & Gabbana perfume. Do the Nazis still rule Germany?)
10. I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Where can I sell it in Canada? (USA) (Yes.. we are just that stupid. Why not try to sell as bags of our own shit?)
11. Can you tell me the regions in British Columbia where the female population is smaller that the male population? (Italy) (Oooh, looks like we have a European jiggelo, us Canadian women are totally incapable of resisting your charms. We have no brains to decode cheeseballs... Although, unless you are gay or a woman, I dont understand why you would want men to outnumber women)
12. Do you celebrate Thanksgiving in Canada? (USA) (Umm.. yes a whole month earlier than Americans though.. Like, duh, do you)
13. Are there supermarkets in Toronto and is milk available all year round? (Germany) (We have tenfold the amount of farms and animals in Canada than in Europe. seriously? Yes of course we do!)
14. I have a question about a famous animal in Canada, but I forget it's name. It's a kind of big horse with horns. (USA) (its called a moose?)
15. Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA) (We speak two languages, French and English, and I would confidently say that the vast majority of the population can speak English... Does everyone in the USA speak idiot. Obviously not.)

I pondered this a little while, mulling it over in my mind as I drank Molsen Canadian beer, further analyzing it as I drowned my flapjacks in a pint of maple syrup.

As I pulled on my toque and made my way out of my igloo to my polar bear, Jack, I pondered why anyone could possibly believe any of these stereotypes.
Okay, okay.
I am exaggerating, I didn't do any of that, except maybe the maple syrup part.
But that part about the horse with horns, I laughed out loud for a day.

A publication from pretty much sums up what a stereotypical Canadian would be like:

"Canadians would definitely live in igloos, wear funny hats and eat blubber if the stereotypes were true. They would all wear toques, use PeltPal instead of PayPal and their only store would be The Hudson's Bay Trading Post. Canadians would be born knowing how to play hockey already and would have access to snow-covered ski hills all year round. Everybody would surely know Bill from Toronto if all stereotypes about Canada were true. All law enforcement officers would look like Mounties. Canadians would all wear lumberjack shirts and would be able to drive from the Rockies to Niagara Falls in one day. Electricity and water would be a dream to many people, to buy anything modern a Canadian would have to go to the USA on a voyageur canoe across the Great Lakes... Oh and of course if all Canadian stereotypes were truth, Canadians would end all their sentences (most of them in French) in 'eh'."

To correct a few common misconceptions:

We have four full seasons, ranging in temperature that is definitely above freezing. We do NOT live in an eternal winter world.
We do NOT all play hockey, some of us might just prefer soccer or even football. Heaven forbid we enjoy other sports and have other skills!
We are not perfect law-abiding people. Shit goes down here too, and it can get pretty bad.
We RARELY end our sentences with the word 'eh', Most people I know only do when 'foreign' (non-Canadian) are around, just for kicks. (hey we enjoy getting some laughs)
We Do NOT constantly consume blubber, flapjacks, maple syrup, or bacon.
We Do NOT wear lumberjack plaid shirts, or dress up like mounties or 'Eskimos' (proper term is Inuits).
We Do NOT have a President. We have a Prime Minister. And no it is not Wayne Gretzky.
THE IGLOO ISSUE: I would say less than an eighth of a percent of Canada's population live in this primitive snow-based dwelling. We live in houses just like yours, with electricity and running water to boot!

Can anyone else throw some ridiculous Canadian (or other) stereotypes at me?

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