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New ReligionApril 21, 2006

I remembered something funny that happened in Canada. You know how bad my memory is (or do you? I don't remember if I've mentioned it. It is. Ask Ryan, she knows), so I'm glad I remembered it.

For the honeymoon, we flew to Vancouver. It was my first trip to Canada, and I was excited to stand on new foreign ground. Then we went to Seattle for the weekend. Then we went back.

So we're-entering Canada in our rental car. There are two cars in front of us -- one at the customs booth, and the other car in front of me is stopped at the red line. Lala's idly flipping through my passport, looking at stamps.

She says, "You've BEEN to Canada before! In April of 2001!"

"I have?" I am astonished at this news.

At that moment, the guy in front of me rolls forward towards the booth, and I'm so busy thinking about this new development in my past, that I treat it as if it's a stoplight, and start to follow him right on up to the booth OVER the red line without stopping. I have no idea why Lala is flapping her arms and screaming, "Stop! Stop! Stop!" but I do, and later I'm very glad I did. We love our Canadians, and we don't want to piss them off.

(The forgotten trip was just a long layover, but it was there, and I'd been to Canada, and I'd forgotten. Erg.)

Also: I'm trying to be more Canadian. It's my new religion. Yesterday, I stopped my car to let someone back out of a driveway, and later I waved and smiled a pedestrian across a non-ped crossing. If everyone were more Canadian, it would be a better world.


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Phew! I was afraid you were going to say that working out is your new religion, and then I'd feel bad about my own lapsed exercise practice.

That's great, ay? There's something very satisfying aboot being nicer to people in general, ay? Karma will bring it right back to ya!

i let people go by all of the time. who knew i was already canadian!

I was stunned to find that everyone knows how to merge in BC! That alone makes me want to move there :)

First of all, great happiness to you and Lala on your marriage! You were a beautiful couple! I giggled when you mentioned driving more like a Canadian. Although we are not in Canada, I am originally from Chicago, land of the crazy driver. At stop signs, it's all about "I flicked the brake pedal so get out of my way at this stop sign, I'm going first!" Here in beautiful West Michigan, when we come to a stop sign, everyone waits for everyone else and finally someone will wave the other person on. Aren't we a funny people on this here earth??

I love Canada. The Boyfriend actually owns a decent chunk of farmland on PEI that has been in the family for generations. I keep trying to convince him to move up there and raise sheep, but he doesn't seem to be buying it...yet!

I heard on NPR this morning that Canada ranks #3 for middle aged (40-49) couples being s*exually satifised. The US placed #5. That's another reason to be Canadian, eh?

maybe that's why maine-folk are so nice - it's the canadian-ness leaking over the border :) runs out completely by the time you get to massachusetts. it's like a foreign land of crankiness here.

We were in Vancouver last June and I thought it was strange when all you did was walk past a Canadian on the street and they'd say "Oh, sorey" and move out of your way. But imagine my surprise when I was at a salad bar, paused and contemplating the veggies, and the woman next to me, who was scooping olives on to her plate assumed I was waiting on her and handed me the spoon before she was finished and said "Oh, sorey. Did you want some olives?"

In this country, it's not uncommon to be pushed out of the way at a salad bar. Hmmmm...

Re: Lori's previous comment and speaking for the greater-than-middle-aged Canadian, I'm thinking "We are #1." Snort.

Oh ya, so I was reading The Beaver (Canada's History Magazine) the other night and thought of you. In an article about another infamous trial, the author mentioned a murder that happened in 1862 in what was then called Canada West. A young man had been stabbed to death in a liquor fight and the not-guilty verdict disgusted the Chief Justice. A local reporter penned "If every man is to be permitted to take the life of his neighbour with impunity in defence of a bottle of whiskey, we might as well reside in California as well as in Canada."

The rest of the article would leave you with a less pristine opinion of us so I won't be giving you a subcription as a wedding gift. Happy you enjoyed Canada. AGAIN. Snorts encore. Grace

Corrected quote: "If every man is to be permitted to take the life of his neighbour with impunity in defence of a bottle of whiskey, we might as well reside in California as in Canada."

Bad typist, bad typist.

What a nice thing to say, thanks from a Canadian.

Yay for you! I'm a Canadian myself, living in the US... we could use a few more of us around :)


A coupla things:

1. I hate to break it to you, Rach, but I think the politeness is more of a "Northern" thing than a "Canadian" thing. Drivers in Seattle can sometimes be so polite that they create weird, never-before-seen configurations in the middle of the road, ultimately causing more accidents than they prevent. Seriously. You can study your driver's ed handbook all you want and pass your driver's license test with flying colors and you will still never be prepared for the strange things that happen here in the name of politeness toward your fellow man.

2. Yes, everyone, Rachael IS that forgetful. Case in point: I get an email from Janine telling me Rachael had invited her to join us for a jaunt to an LYS while Rachael and Lala were up here visiting. However, when I mentioned it to Rachael, she said, "Cool! Great idea!," which is when I reminded her she had invited Janine in the first place. "Oh."

I just got honked at for stopping at a stop sign, so I'm not sure I'm with Ryan on the northern thing...

Have you been to a larger city in Canada? LOL! It's the good weather in Vancouver that does it! Toronto is okay and there are friendly people here but I swear I'd never get a sorry if someone stepped on my toe! Okay, yes, most Canadians will stop, give you directions, say sorry but there are rude ones too...LOL However, I appreciate your saying nice things about Canadians but on the whole, yes, we are friendly country.

I am so flattered to hear you say that! As a Canadian we hear that said about us but when you ARE Canadian you don't understand it. I think you two should move up here, you would make delightful Canadians!

It's very flattering of you to say so, but it's mostly only true here in Vancouver. And that's 'cause we don't know the '70s are over and we're all, like, high, eh?


Yeah, best not to judge the rest of us by those hippies out in Vancouver. People in Ontario drive like jerks. Not nearly as jerky as American drivers, but. . .

I just realized that sounded kind of snarky. Sorry! Heh.

I thought I am Korean. But Am I Canadian??? ^^

I love you.

All righty! As soon as I finish this chorus of Kumbaya I'm going to get on my scooter and ride all the way to Ontario and kick that Jodi's ass. Or wait, ooh, is that another of those brownies? Ommmmm .....

ok, all together Canadians, let's hear it....awwwwwwwwwwww.....how sweet of you!!!
The politeness is "general" but there are rude ones everywhere, doesn't matter what passport they carry!!
Love that you love Canada, c'mon up and stay!!

Come to visit in Toronto and you can practice some more Canadian-ness.

And eat sushi.

Heh. You can tell that Christie is masquarading as a Canadian. Jodi? Are ya with me? Do you see her error?

Christie? Not to be rude, luvey, but we spell it "eh".

Oh, Rachael honey, look what you've started. I'm glad you have such a high opinion of us, and we certainly get on our high horse and act like everything you say about us is true (when we're comparing ourselves to Americans, of course) but I fear we'd sink in your regard somewhat if you ever visited Toronto. Not that there aren't some very nice people there. But a lot of the really awesome people from other parts of Canada wind up moving to Vancouver.

i have to disagree with jodi and janice - not all nice canadians are in the west. i haved lived all across this fabulous country, one coast to the other and everywhere in between, and i have to say most canadians are kind, generous and warm. i'm glad you've experienced that! (wait 'til you visit the maritimes!)

Montreal is the BEST Canadian city - just to let you know! So if you come back to Canada - you must visit here!

Let's clarify one thing, Vancouverites (and I use to be one so I know) know how to merge. If you are in Canada, and nostalgic for American style drivers… come to Calgary. I've lived here 15 years and if the people in Vancouver drove like the people in Calgary… no one would ever get anywhere!
Other than that I love Calgary. It's a bit redneck… but only a bit. Plus, we have really cute little dogs here too! And having traveled in many American and Canadian cities I love my country! There should be some sort of National version of "screeching you in" to make you an honourary Canadian.

Ha! I was just in Canada this weekend, too and I had a very similar feeling. Canadians are soooooooooo nice.

I need to send you a Canadian dictionary so you speak like us too. My favourite Canadian term:

double double: double cream, double sugar. (eg: "Medium coffee double double, please.")

Did you smoking lots of crack? Hode on...you went to BC...this explains it. Everyone in BC smokes pot and is stoned all the time.

Regards (from sunny Toronto)

Smile and wave you across the street? Toronto's not THAT Canadian.

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