19 July 2011

True North

I recently took a brief excursion to Canada. Of all the places I travel, I always feel quite comfortable in British Columbia, probably because it's not a rural country place or in the South.

On one of the evenings I was sitting alone in a steam room at the hotel when one boy popped his head in the door. "Um. Hello," he said awkwardly, as he came in followed by a crew of other boys, ranging from 6 to 16. After intermittent conversation with each other, the room was silent. One of them greeted me in an attempted obnoxious fashion, "Hi."
"Hi there."
"What's your name?"
I responded.
"Are you a traveler?"
I figured maybe I should pretend I'm student roaming around, and I responded so.
"Where are you from?"
"You don't look fat like an American. Not that you're fat or anything, or Americans are fat. or.."
"No I understand. I have these premonitions of Canadians as well. Do you put maple syrup on everything?"

And we continued from there.
They told me about the polar bears they had to ride to school from their igloos, and admitted they joked that Americans live in McDonald's restaurants, all while purposefully concluding their sentences with something that sounds like the first letter of the alphabet. I'm not sure.

One of the more intelligent ones explained that Canada's right-wing is not as right as America's, which is why homosexual marriage is legal there. I was at least glad they approved of Obama, while showing contempt for his predecessor.

I was getting tired of acting like a foreign journalist talking to children in an underprivileged country, so I excused myself. A younger Canuck quipped back, "Come back and we can ice fish at my igloo eh?"

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