10 Clues I Became Canadian

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +
Canadian Bear Bought In Winnipeg

Canadian Bear Bought In Winnipeg

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!


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. this is a great post, it gave me an idea to do something for myself about mexican-american type nationality and what not…if i get some free time
    .-= sir jorge´s last blog ..Blue Like Jazz =-.

  2. Here in Asia shopping malls and shops are open till 10pm, some hypermarket giants like Tesco opens till 1am! And during major festivities like Chinese New Year or the Muslim Eid, some departmental stores go 36 hrs non-stop! I’ve even tried going there with my parents at 3 or 4am in the morning! Crazy, aint it? 😛 So shopping at night is actually ingrained in the local culture.
    .-= kyh´s last blog ..A day at aunt’s =-.

  3. Milk comes in bags? And maple syrup on yogurt? I think I would want to try that. And yes, I have never heard of the Canadian cigarettes that you mentioned. I do not smoke, but still, I see cigarettes in stores, so I have an idea of what the brands are, but I haven’t seen the ones you mentioned.

    Oh, and there’s no mail delivery on Saturday (but in Sunday there is, at least that’s the implication)? And yes, one thing I like about being in North America is the late opening hours. I cannot imagine how I would schedule my life if I would be in Europe, with the short opening times.
    .-= Linguist-in-Waiting´s last blog ..Losing Hope =-.

  4. @beaverboosh – I’m a Camel girl but I really can’t find them here.

    @sir jorge – Please, do so and let me know! I’d be curious to read you take on that.

    @kyh – I find China is a night culture too, especially for things around food. I used to go to restaurants after clubbing in Beijing, at 4 in the morning! A lot of places are open 24/7 in Canada, but it’s extremely rare in France. Pharmacies, maybe… in Paris.

    @RennyBA’s Terella – You almost have an expat view of Norway, because you explain your country so well!

    @Bluefish – I can, if you are interested! I didn’t want to put too much pressure on people, since I tagged last week. Let me know, and I add your name to a list at the bottom of the post.

    @Seb – Canadian beer is what, then? 😆

    @Khengsiong – True, there are many way to call it… and it’s a somewhat touchy subject.

    @Sidney – I wouldn’t: life is more fun when multicultural!

    @Linguist-in-Waiting – I go crazy in Europe because all shops seem to close at the same time, and nothing is open in Sunday, not even convenience stores!

    There is no mail delivery on WE basically, which surprised me because in France, we get mail on Saturday as well. Not Sunday though.

  5. How interesting Zhu and yes, I suppose a period of residing there you do embrace its culture and lifestyle. Now I know why French women looked so stylish & elegant all the time 😉 I am very ‘auntish’ most of the time heheheh….

  6. This was cool and informative and entertaining and now you make me want to add maple syrup to my yogurt and apologize for it!

    Seriously, I speak Spanglish all the time, so I get it when you mix English and French in the same sentence. That part was cool to read.

    Wow, I can’t believe there’s a no-scent rule! Amazing.
    .-= Scarlet´s last blog ..warhol and cuba =-.

  7. haha. i can hear you now: i’m sorry my eyelashes have stuck together. blink blink.
    but look what a better person you are. shoveling snow is good for one’s soul.

    Ten reasons i live in california: weather x10.
    One reason i wished i lived in canada: health care coverage.
    .-= Seraphine´s last blog ..Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge =-.

  8. I have been to Europe, Australia and US and there is a cultural difference among these. Europe is much more formal in many ways.

    And I agree with you on make-up and shopping thing. Sundays should be open for shopping. 🙂

  9. @Bluefish – Done, you are tagged!

    @shionge – After a while, you definitely change. But it’s cool!

    @Scarlet – Spanglish is so cool, I love hearing it! And yes, maple syrup is so much better than plain sugar 😉

    @Seraphine – Shoveling snow is also good for my butt I think, and for my legs. Or so I’ve heard.

    @Nisha – Yes, Europe is more formal, bound by older rules I guess. North America is all about efficiency.

  10. Haha, I love it! It’s true, our lives really do revolve around the weather, don’t they! And you are so gracious in your comments about the way we dress and eat. Very sweet of you. 🙂

  11. My favorite is the one about watching the weather and caring about the forecast. Must be a North American thing? I remember getting so frustrated in France when the weather was just “cloudy in Paris, sunny in Nice” No detailed radar, no long term forecasting. In Minnesota, watching, talking about, and reporting on the weather is a sport!
    .-= Tanya´s last blog ..La Nuit Blanche =-.

Leave A Reply