What I know about Canada (prelude)

     I’m heading to Vancouver, Canada next week. I’ve been to Canada only twice, both quick and memorable visits. Once I drove with friends from Seattle to Vancouver as a day trip and somehow I managed to get three tickets in six hours. I received two parking tickets in our first two stops and the cherry on top was a speeding ticket on my way back to the U.S. border. Kudos to the policeman who, after handing me the ticket, asked,
     “Do you have any intention to relocate to British Columbia in the next six months?”
     “No, Sir.”
     “Then you can ignore the ticket.”
     Wow! Suddenly I wanted to relocate to British Columbia.
     Another time I went to Toronto just to see a baseball game in old Exhibition Stadium as part of a trip driving around USA with my college roommate. The goal was to visit as many baseball games and stadiums as we could in less than a month. We strong-armed a reporter into writing a story about us in the school newspaper.
     We did this in an old VW Bug. Paranoid about keeping it roadworthy, we religiously changed the oil every 3000 miles. The first time we did this somewhere around London, Ontario, I dumped the pan of used oil into a dumpster (I know, I know) and I managed to throw away the bolt to the oil sump with it. I had to go through all the wet, putrid food mixed in with the black oil until I found it, but we had to get to Chicago quickly for the next game and without a chance to shower I was a smelly mess.

     So I don’t know much about Canada. It’s embarrassing. I’ve been to Europe at least 15 times. I’ve been to Southeast Asia at least 15 times. I’ve been to Canada a total of about 36 hours. Worse, I’ve stopped asking Canadians where in Canada they are from because they all seem to be from Vancouver or Toronto.
     The first thing I want to do in Canada—the first thing I love to do when visiting any new place—is go to the supermarket and see what they sell. The supermarket says everything about a country. In Vancouver I am going to be bummed out if I don’t see at least 25 varieties of maple syrup and pancake mixes EACH. I expect to see mainstream products with names like Ted’s Backcountry Maple Syrup and Aunt Millie’s Gooseberry Pancake Mix.
     Oh, the last thing I know about Canada: I’m not supposed to say the word “eskimo”. Apparently it is like saying “negro”.

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What I know about Canada (prelude) — 7 Comments

  1. I forgot to tell you. Check out Urban Fare. Its the ‘nuck version of Whole Foods. There’s 2 right downtown. Kind of pricey, but good!

  2. I loved visiting the ‘Bulk Barn’ stores in Canada, huge self serve isles of anything and everything: sweets, chocolate, flour, dried lentils, dog biscuits.. anything!! Also liked in the normal supermarket there was a coffee grinder in the tea and coffee section and you could choose and grind your own beans guaranteeing freshness. Very ‘neat’ as my north American friends say 🙂

  3. 98% of those maple syrup products come from Quebec. But goeducks and ginseng are from BC! And amazing ice wines : )

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