1. Canada is really cold. Like abnormally cold. Like what the hell, how am I supposed to function here cold. When I come home to visit during the winter break, my first thought as the plane begins its descent is “What a beautiful country, blanketed in white. So peaceful. I love this place.”

Then I get off the plane and my thoughts change to what the f*!#, it is so cold that my eyes are watering and the tears are freezing and now my eyelashes are frozen together and I’m blind. This never seemed weird to me as a child. Suffering through several weeks (months) of -30 degree celsius, with the odd (frequent) -40 or -45 degree week tossed in seemed completely normal. Obviously one would play hockey outside for hours in this weather. Every child needs to become severely frost-bitten at some point in his/her life. Otherwise, what is living?

2. Cab drivers are much nicer in Canada than in the US. In Canada they don’t drive me in circles when I don’t know where I’m going or yell at me when I turn their radio on and off for the entire trip. Why are they so ornery in the US? Are people mean to them? Did they forget to eat breakfast? Are their shoes too tight? I shall start giving them hugs and bringing them instant oatmeal and see if the situation improves.

3. I talk about Canada a lot. Canada and myself. It’s a wonder I’m ever single, really.

4. Carmen Sandiego was a criminal. I spent my entire childhood thinking she was on the good guy’s side. Wasn’t Carmen Sandiego just some awesome world explorer and you needed to find her so that you could try to emulate her? As it turns out, she was not. I blame Carmen Sandiego for all of my flaws. I’ve had the wrong role model.

5. I think that threety is a better word than thirty and that whoever invented english has done us all a great disservice.

6. Alcohol is not served on flights between Canada and the U.S. I always assumed it was because it’s an international flight but I never tested this hypothesis. That’s because I’m not a big drinker. After my morning shot of tequila, I usually don’t drink again until noon and after that, just one glass of wine per hour. So I can typically handle a short flight with just the flask of whiskey I snuck on board.

This trip, I decided  to treat myself to free airplane alcohol as I flew from Edmonton to Minneapolis. “A bottle of your finest Patron!” I said. The flight attendant informed me that there is only one type of Patron, that they don’t give out bottles of tequila on planes, and that alcohol is not free. What? Is this because United States of Americans call Minnesota the “Canada” of the United States, making this flight domestic in nature?

7. I dislike it when people call Minnesota the Canada of the US. All of Canada can not be represented by a single state. In fact it can’t be represented by any collection of states. That’s because it’s a different country and, therefore, is not the same as the United States. People just make this comparison because Minnesota is “cold” and apparently people talk funny. Do they have a giant, used-to-be-secret-but-not-anymore syrup reserve? Do they celebrate the existence of giant buck-toothed rodents? Maple leaves? The Queen? Do they have a one-dollar coin called the loonie, and when a two-dollar coin was invented, did they cleverly call it “the toonie”?  Why don’t you let Minnesota do Minnesota and Canada will be Canada.

Somehow I’ve circled back to talking about Canada. Ah well, c’est la vie.*


* I can say this because Canada has two official languages, a feature Minnesota lacks.