We’re ridiculously polite, but a tad crazy here in Canada. I mean, we have no cents whatsoever. It’s been like that for over five years now and you know what? When you really think about it, it does make sense because what can you buy with a cent? But then again, we have something called a loonie ($1 coin). And? As if that wasn’t enough? A few years later we invented the toonie ($2 coin). If that sounds Looney Tunes, it truly is! A Canadian marches on down to the bank today to exchange a loonie for an American dollar? He/she gets three measly US quarters back.
Doesn’t matter right now, though, eh? As well as testing my marriage to an American, President Trump’s steel tariffs and bashing of our PM has us not buying anything south of the border, right?
The rest of our money? The blue fives, purple tens, green twenties, red fifties? Well, what they lack in value they more than make up for in looks. Ah colour. Yes, colour, like favour, like neighbour. Here in Canada you can’t have any of these things without, well, u.
Heading into the Canada Day long weekend, the weather forecast in southwestern Ontario is predicted to be into the 30s with high humidity, making it feel more like 40-something . . . oops. Okay, I apologize. Back up a sec. For my American readers, these temps are in Celsius, so you don’t need to pack that head covering my husband B calls a “stocking cap”. Gosh. Three whole syllables! It’s just a “toque”. Pronounced like this: toohk. To convert temps to Fahrenheit, roughly double (to be precise, like B, multiply by 9/5) and add 32, so trust me, it’s going to be a hot one, into the 90s. All you’ll really need to pack is your gotch. Translation: underwear.
Anyone going on a road trip this weekend for Canada Day, or on into next week for Independence Day? Ready to while away the, ahem, kilometres? Besides rhyming with “while”, doesn’t “miles” sound so much less cumbersome? Kind of like “toque”? Why did we have to change it? And Americans crossing the border into Canada must be so confused when they see that first speed limit sign. They be thinking, Wow, Canadians like to go fast! 100?!Sorry, that translates to just 60 miles/hour. Oh, and take note of how we like to “re” things, like kilometre, centre, as opposed to “er”ing them, like in the US.
It’s going to be so hot this weekend, I may just hang out inside, in the A/C, on the chesterfield. Huh? Say what? Seriously! For years, my family went to all of that trouble – three whole syllables – to describe a sofa, a couch. I mean, chesterfield potato? It just doesn’t have the same ring.
When I throw on my runners? B’s mom wears her tennies. The first time she called them that? Well, they sounded so cute to me, I thought they must be candy pink and size five. When I Google “whippersnipper”, I just get told that a “whippersnapper” is a “term used for someone noisy and unimportant”. Whippersnipping is a noisy business, but most important for those hard-to-get-at-with-the-lawnmower areas of the lawn. B has me, so he doesn’t have to do such a thing, but if he did he’d most definitely weed-whack. He takes out the trash, I take out the garbage. And, being a good ol’ Canadian gal, I still drink rye and ginger, even though B’s mom pictures me scraping raw ginger into my drink and B tells me it’s not really rye because the percentage of rye is not over 51%, like the rye in America. To be precise, he tells me, it’s called “Canadian whisky”, like on the label. I just read an article at canadianwhisky.org and it closes by saying, “So is Canadian whisky really ‘rye’? You bet it is, and more recent US definitions notwithstanding, that’s the way it’s been for some 200 years now.”
Hmmm. Whatever you call it – parkade/parking garage, serviette/napkin, washroom/restroom, chesterfield potahto/couch potayto, pop/soda – I wish you the very best Canada Day and 4thof July. Free countries, both of them! Fireworks. What more could we ask for? If I’ve missed any glaring differences between our two awesome countries, please comment.