So, I think I’ve been to Canada three times before in my life, because in the 1970s half of my family decided to emigrate there. My mother took my brother and I on a six week East to West Coast roadtrip visiting various folks and cities and lakes in the 1980s. I remember quite a bit of it and I loved it then. Then my brother and I travelled on our own to Vancouver Island, age 13 and 11. That’s pretty cool and I do believe we returned to the UK telling all our friends we were now Canadian. And then I took a trip there again with my mother in 1998. So, it’s been a while! A visit was overdue!
I find the relationship between Canada and the USA fascinating. So close, and yet so different. I mentioned to a Canadian the differences in Canadian and American sensibilities, culture and personalities that I had encountered so far on day two of my trip there this last week, and he replied: ‘I should hope there are differences between Canadians and Americans; we define ourselves by these differences.’
So, here goes: Why I love Canada (note: long list of generalisations to follow!).
I love that no one undertakes on the highway!
I love their politeness.
I love their silent inner peace.
I love their engagement.
I love their countryside.
I love their massive lakes.
I love that French is a big part of the culture (where we were) and that they admired my poor A level attempts. But I messed up the USA to Canada declaration form by attempting to fill in the French side rather than the English side and no one seemed to know where la boulangerie was 😉 .
I love the way they love poutine and yet I think of it as similar to a Friday night post-drinking munchie (it’s gravy, chips and cheese curd).
I love their softness in the way they speak.
I love their cultural cities. I love that Ottawa reminded me of Geneva.
I love their hippy towns and their festivals. I love that you can walk to places!
I love the cottaging culture (we explained that back in the UK ‘cottaging’ has a totally different meaning – see British definition of Cottaging! here if you dare!).
I love that they love Beaver Tails, and we thought for one moment they actually meant real fried beaver tails, which I was momentarily shocked at. But no, it’s a sugar pastry thing!
There is a lot to love in beautiful Canada.
And, yes, it is different from the USA. When we arrived back to DC I felt a slight manicness appear again in my life. DC or the way I live my life, who knows?
Merci beaucoup for the visit, O Canada!
So what does cottaging in Canada mean?
It’s innocently heading to your weekend cottage! 🙂
Sent from my iPhone
I lost it at “cottaging”.
Canada is wonderful. We used to visit Quebec when we lived in Massachusetts because it was just a 6-hour drive. The Boffin is fluent in French while mine is passable. Every so often we needed to drive across a border into a foreign speaking land to feel like we were actually traveling. I am sure you understand.
And the great thing about Wisconsin is that it borders Canada and you can get the poutine. Since I now live minutes away from WI, if I don’t feel like going there, I can easily get the curd to make the poutine. Life is good.
Ummm, Wisconsin doesn’t border Canada. You must be confusing it with Minnesota or Michigan.
I thought there was an island on Lake Superior. Isn’t there? Am I mixing up my geography?
You are right, Lulu. I am mixing up my geography. I thought there was an island in the middle of Lake Superior that was split. Thank you for the correction. Wisconsin still sells poutine thought.
We had to sort our visas out when we arrived in USA, we had to leave the country to do it. As we’d already been to London the nearest option was to pop up to the American Embassy in Toronto. Unfortunately we were only there for a couple of days but after reading your blog must def. add Canada to my Bucket List!
We visited some truly fabulous areas 🙂