The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Thursday, July 13, 2006

What difference do you REALLY notice between Canada and the U.S.A?

Comment on, hordes! Comment on!


Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

The last time I was in America my family was camping in New York State. We crossed the border and asked for a map at the first convience store. The cashier kept sending us to the cleaning supplies. We couldn't find it. So she came and pointed to a mop.

THEY CALL MOPS "MAPS". And they call maps "mayaps". This was five seconds across the border. It was so weird.

Also everything looked older. The road signs, etc... It felt like Mayberry or some other sitcom town. Just the shape of ordinary things like parking metres and stop lights. I was so disoriented. But it was really cool. Without exception everyone we met was nice.

Thu Jul 13, 09:27:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger J.A. McDougall said...

Amercians are very responsible in the are of hygiene. Toilet seat covers in every 'restroom', paper sleeves for drinking straws, and wet naps galore!

And they are so much more glamourous than us...actors, politicans, even business people. Everyone's dressed to the nines!

Thu Jul 13, 10:43:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger MelBell said...

Billboards and advertising on every piece of blank space available - I really noticed this in L.A.

Restaurant food is served on platters, not plates. The portions are enormous, everywhere.

All bars ask for ID at the door. I thought this only happened when they thought you might be underage, but apparently that's not the case - or at least it appears that everyone wanting to enter a bar at prime time has to show identification. This completely threw me.

At the gas stations, you don't just pump your gas and pay at the window. You must pay first and then go back and pump what you paid for.

It is impossible to get vinegar with your fries in the U.S.

Their money confuses me. I need all the different colours of Canadian currency to keep me sorted out.

Thu Jul 13, 10:47:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger J.A. McDougall said...

Oh Mel! You reminded me of something with your vinegar remark. Americans don't drink or sell (or often even know about) ginger ale!! It's the only pop I drink and it drives me nuts not being able to get it :)

Fri Jul 14, 12:35:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger MelBell said...

What? No ginger ale? Nah, that can't be true! I'm sure they've heard of Canada Dry. And Schweppes makes a version. Then again, its existence and its availability are two different things. :-)

Speaking of beverages, however, the wonderful Canadian cocktail, the Bloody Caesar, isn't going to be easily located anywhere there, I bet. Not that that should be a surprise. The concept of vodka mixed with tomato-CLAM juice does sound rather off-putting, even if it really is a gorgeous item when done up right!

Fri Jul 14, 09:31:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger FairyGodmotherCoach said...

Ginger ale is in grocery stores and bars (it is thought of as a mixer for drinks). Most eating establishments will look at you funny if you ask for it. They are used to selling Coke or Pepsi products.

Fri Jul 14, 02:26:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Lisa Hunter said...

This is fascinating to me, as an American who recently immigrated to Canada. The differences I've noticed:

1. Everyone assumes everyone can ice skate. I can't. At all. And skating is even on the money here.

2. No corn muffins anywhere to be found.

3. Who knew you could do so many things with maple syrup?

4. Canadian TV shows where the evil "American" nemesis talks with a thick Canadian accent: PRO-cess, PRO-gress, and especially TOE-ronto. In the States it's PRAH-cess, PRAH-gress, and the major city of Canada is pronounced as if it were an Italian city spelled Turano.

5. Oh, and that hockey thing...

Fri Jul 21, 11:29:00 pm GMT-4  

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