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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I am so Canadian I smell of maple syrup!

I started to realize how Canadian I really was on a recent trip to Texas.
I was shopping in a large outdoor outlet mall and using a shopping cart. I go to the front door of a store that I want to enter and start looking for the handicap button and can’t find it. I start looking around like I lost something and a security guard took notice of me. He came over and said “Did you lose something?”
“No” I told him “I can’t find the handicap button. He looked at me with this dumb look on his face and asked “What’ that?”
“It’s the blue button you press that automatically opens the door and gives people in wheel chairs, with baby strollers or shopping carts easy entry.”
“That’s a great idea!” he smiles at me. “That would be really handy you should invent that.”
“It’s already been invented. It’s law that every public building has one.” Then I remembered. I am not in Canada.
“No, we have blue zone parking but I’ve never seen a blue button” he tells me.
“Oh, I am visiting from Canada and in Canada it’s law that all businesses have to have a blue zone button that automatically opens the door for those who need help.”
“Law?” he says. “How do you make that a law?”
Then I remember. This is the country that can’t ban automatic weapons because it infringes on their rights.
A few days later some friends and I were walking through a very touristy area of town. I was a little shocked to see how many dogs were wondering around without owners let alone, not on a leash. There would litterly be 2 -3 dogs walking through the area. The one dog I did see on a leash with his owner stopped a few feet in front of us and pooped on the sidewalk. Then the owner walked away. I said to my husband, “What? People don’t stoop and scoop here? Surely there’s a bi-law for that?” Apparently not. Maybe the First Amendment covers your dog’s right to poop where he wants too.
Then we’re sitting in a bar one night and my eyes began to water. Then I feel like I am breathing in smog. Then I realize that everyone around me is smoking cigarettes! It was gross. Then the smell hit me. By the time we got back to the hotel I had to take my clothes and put them in a laundry bag before putting them in the suitcase because the smell of smoke clung to them. As Canadians we are not used to breathing in second hand smoke anymore.
Then I realized “You are so Canadian!”
I know we are the country who believes everyone is entitled to health care, and we believe that two consenting adults should be allowed to marry no matter what they gender is and we like our beer a little stronger but man, are we ever light years ahead of our neighbors.
We take so many things for granted in this country. Little things like handicap buttons to help people open a door, picking up your dog poop and being able to sit in a restaurant or nightclub without getting cancer from second hand smoke.
Before I visit the States I always do a few tanning sessions so I don’t look so “Canadian” on the beach, but this time it’s wasn’t my pale skin that gave me away, it was my expectations that people treat other people with respect.
Maybe it’s the maple syrup in our veins that makes us so sweet and caring.
We are so lucky to live in this amazing country. We need to market ourselves more as “The greatest country in the world!”
Oh wait. That’s unCanadian to toot our own horn.
Well let’s just pat each other on the back and say “Way to go ah!”
Oh Canada, I am so proud to call you home.