Since a high number of Americans have difficulty even finding such exotic foreign countries as Hawaii on a map, I thought I would take this opportunity to enlighten my blog readership (of three people) with a couple of quick, little known facts about our friends.
Canada Facts that are Little Known by the General American Populace!!
(I love bold letters and exclamation marks)
- The name “Canada” comes from the Iroquoian word “Kanata,’ which means “village.”
- Contrary to popular belief, Canada does have ketchup. It’s not used as liberally as it is here, but they do have it. Most likely out of courtesy for travelers taking a holiday.
- Canada is the second largest country in the world, even larger than the US. Much of this is very, very cold.
- While effectively Canada makes its own laws and so forth, it is not technically an independent country. It’s technically a dominion of Great Britain, and the head of state is Queen Elizabeth II. Do not mention this to a Canadian, though, as it is not polite conversation and will draw you into a long argument where you will most likely end up just kind of looking like a dick.
- Canadian beer is relatively strong and typically quite delicious.
- The most popular sport in Canada by far is Hockey, which is the official national past time despite the fact that “Hockey Town” is a nickname for Detroit, Michigan. Many Canadians are resentful of this fact, and will mention it anytime the Detroit hockey team loses despite the fact that the Stanley Cup finals this year were played between two American cities.
- Canada is home to a large population of French speakers (Quebecois) who, though of French descent, are typically despised by the French people from France. Kind of like people from Louisiana except their food isn’t so hot OH GOD MY MOUTH IS BURNING HOT!
- Their legal age for drinking alcohol is lower than ours. This has often been misconstrued by Detroit area teenagers and twenty year olds as an excuse to go to Windsor and act like asses. If you are a Detroit area teenager or twenty-year old then do the right thing, which is to just have your older friends buy you booze.
- Canada does, in fact, have an air force.
A quick note on Canadians themselves: If you ever have the chance to engage a Canadian in substantive conversation, you will find them on the whole polite and friendly. I quite like them as a group, have been to Canada several times, and have been fortunate enough to have many Canadian friends. They’re good people.
Occasionally though you might run across a Canadian who wants to discuss politics, regardless of the amount of times that you assure them you have no hand in actually constructing foreign policy, or that you have no influence in regards to shaping the American heath care system, and that you don’t really know anything about Nicaragua, or that you didn’t vote for Bush or that outside of one vote every four years you have no power to run the country so why the hell are you shouting at me about things over which I have no control? JUST LEAVE ME ALONE AND LET ME ENJOY MY BEER! Christ!
Try to avoid these conversations as much as possible as they are on the whole unpleasant and pretty much nothing you can say will make you not look like a dick.
Your best course of action is to smile, be polite and friendly back, and try not to refer to their currency as “Monopoly Money.”