I know that I’m still a little bit French, but as time went by, I also adapted to my new home.
I officially became Canadian this summer and I have been living in this country for a little while now. I changed. I’m now a mix of two cultures, more even if you consider all the little quirks we picked up here and there while traveling.
Like many in Canada, I embrace the North American way of life while keeping some of my culture. Cultural integration, not assimilation.
Here is the list of ten clues that show my increasingly Canadian side.
PS: the bear wasn’t harmed in shooting this picture.
Weather Forecast: I watch the Weather Channel and actually care about the forecast. I even dress accordingly. In Canada, the weather is an important matter and can make a huge difference in your day. Weather changes are often brutal, from extremely hot to extremely cold, from mini-tornadoes to snow storm.
Casual Appearance: back in France, the first thing I used to do in the morning was to put on make-up. Only after that I would get up, pack my bag and go to school. I find Canadian women much less picky about looks. We dress warmly because it’s the only way to survive during the winter. It doesn’t mean that we look ugly, but let’s face it, cute little dresses and designer shoes are not gonna help. At work, a lot of places are now scent-free, so forget about perfume. My skin is so dry in the winter that putting on make-up is a chore. and I’m afraid that if I wear mascara during the coldest months, my eyelashes will stuck together.
Grocery Shopping: if I want wine, I go the LCBO, if I want beer, I head to the Beer Store. Anyway, I know that booze isn’t sold in supermarkets. I know that milk comes in bags, I use maple syrup to sweeten my yogurt and pecan pies are one of my favorite delicacy. And I can’t remember the last time I bought a baguette — oh, let me think… yep, must have been on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.
Credit Cards: like a true North American, I have credit cards. It started with one, and then the bank gave me another one. I have some crazy high limits on both of them even though I barely use them and my annual salary isn’t great. I pay my balance every month so that makes me a bad customer I guess. I don’t have debts and don’t want to create any.
Canadianism Knowledge: I celebrate July 1st and know that our Thanksgiving is before the American Thanksgiving. I know who Terry Fox, Pierre-Elliott Trudeau and Wayne Gretzky are. And I know better than mentioning the 1995 referendum to a die-hard Quebec separatist.
Apologizing: I have been told that Canadians apologize a lot, and I’m really sorry about that. Eh. I’m so Canadian that I lost my French bitchiness: when I go back to France, people jump the queue in front of me and I apologize about that. I even caught myself saying sorry to someone who had stepped on my foot in the subway in Paris.Canadians are used to this kind of over-politeness but French think I’m weird and not assertive enough.
Cigarettes: I smoke Canadian brands unless my friends are nice enough to bring me cartons of American cigarettes when traveling. Not Native brands though. American cigarettes can’t be find easily here and they don’t taste the same. So I’m stuck with a whole range of weird, absolutely unknown local brands such as DuMaurier and Players.
English and French: I can speak both at the same time. Like “I take a decision about going to the dépanneur now or later”, or “j’vais driver downtown anywé”. And people understand perfectly. Sometimes, it’s actually the only way to be understood by people.
Hockey: although I’m not the biggest fan around, I have been to a few hockey games, have cheered for a team, I know the rules and the lingo. Considering hockey is a sport that most Europeans (not including Scandinavia) don’t know, it is definitely a proof of my canadianization.
Daily Life: I know that there is no mail delivery on Saturday. I’m comfortable going shopping well past 7:00 pm because shops are open, unlike in France. Hell, I even shop on Sundays! Pharmacies are open 24/7 and they even sell food and drinks. There are hundreds of TV channel to choose from, not just five… but the number of commercial is proportionally higher and more annoying. I can turn right at the red light when driving and I can shovel snow if need. I know life in Canada!
For this meme, I tag Bluefish, our new Canadian expat in Denmark!