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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Toto, We’re not in Kansas Anymore…

Part 2 of 3

I began my list within minutes of landing in Canada. The list of differences between America and Canada. This list is not a complete list by any stretch of the imagination. But it includes things I noticed while visiting my relatives up north. And it may be a helpful list for anyone visiting Canada. Seriously, I should email this list to the Vancouver Chamber of Commerce. This should be handed out on the airplane, along with Customs forms.

 How You Know You Are in Canada:

1.      The airport in Vancouver has Totem Poles, a seven-foot tall stuffed Black Bear, maple sugar everything and lots of smoked salmon for sale.


2.      Airport signs are in English, French and Chinese.


3.      In Canada, it’s a washroom, not a bathroom or restroom.


4.      In Canada, words like center are spelled centre.


5.      They call parking lots “car parks.”


6.      “Eh?”


7.      Seaplanes.


8.      Geese on the roadside.


9.      Kilometers, not miles.


10.   Fire hall, not fire station.


11.   Minutes outside of the airport I saw a young man carrying a hockey stick.


12.   At my dad’s cousin’s place I saw an old hockey stick holding up a tomato vine.


13.   Tim Horton’s doughnut stores. Very Canadian.


14.   Blackberries growing by the side of the road, and those of us with the US passports are the only one picking them!


P.S.  Let’s revisit #3 on the list above: “washroom.”  Am I the only one who doesn’t like it when someone refers to this room as “the toilet?” I run the risk of sounding prissy but I suppose I like the slightly more genteel version, like “bathroom.” Yes, we all know there is a toilet in there, but calling the whole room “the toilet” just sounds crass. The Canadians may have settled on the most accurate name with “washroom.”  After all, when you use the bathroom you don’t always take a bath. Nor do you rest in the restroom. Not that I’m picky about words or anything. Not me. I just like accuracy.

Except, of course, when I’m exaggerating for effect…


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