Happy Canada Day!

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Happy Canada Day! In honor of my first Canadian holiday, I thought I’d post some fun facts about my new country.

Canada Day is almost exactly like the 4th of July except completely opposite. When Americans are shooting off fireworks later this week to celebrate independence from Britain, Canadians are shooting off fireworks to celebrate their colonies uniting under British rule.

Heritage Minutes, or short clips about all things Canadian that used to air during commercial breaks, are a great way to learn more about Canadian history. In honor of today’s festivities, here’s one about a truly Canadian cocktail:

Clam cocktails aside, it’s easy to forget Canada is really a foreign country. However, a few things do stand out as making me feel like a fish out of water:

1) Obviously, different holidays. Canadian holidays generally sound fake: Family day? Civic day? Boxing Day? What? Oh, and Thanksgiving is in October.

2) Sometimes the language is a tad foreign:
Yes, they really do say aboot and eh? All the time.
Restrooms? Bathrooms? Nope. Washrooms.
Everything packaged is printed in English & French.
Oh, and the number of times I say sorry in a given day has quadrupled.

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3) Tim Hortons is the Dunkin Donuts equivalent, and Timbits are replacing Munchkins as my bite-sized fried dough of choice.

4) Money is just weird – no pennies at all, dollar & two dollar coins (called loonies and toonies), cash is plastic, and the complexities involved in playing with a chip credit card reduced a very exhausted me to an uncontrollable giggle fit in the drugstore.

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5) See one of these? Americans generally treat them as a gentle suggestion. Canadians actually stop. I don’t. Jaywalking is not something I’ll give up easily.

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6) One of my favorite minor differences? Cadbury & Kinder chocolate everywhere

7) Random, inexplicable blend of metric and imperial measurements – kilometers, inches, pounds, Celsius? I’m confused constantly.

8) Hockey.

For more minor but silly differences between the US and Canada, check out whatsdifferentincanada.tumblr.com

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