Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Glorious and Free

It's Canada Day today, the only other holiday in the roster that floats around the week, depending on when it falls. This year, it falls on a Wednesday, which is usually a working day for me, and therefore is a bonus day-off that I get paid for, and that makes me very happy.

My parents moved here when I was very little, and except for about 3 weeks every year in about late February, early March, I am profoundly grateful that they chose Canada to emigrate to. They chose very well.

Some of the things I like about Canada are:
  • Canadians, as a whole, are very polite. If a Canadian bumps into a door jamb, he or she will apologize.
  • Niagara Falls. I LOVE going to Niagara Falls, it is such a cool place. The Falls themselves are pretty impressive, but the mist and the noise and the power of all that water is truly thrilling. And the touristy bit of the town is fabulous, unapologetically cheesy and entirely entertaining.
  • CBC radio. We are incredibly blessed with a spectacular public radio network. That has no advertising.
  • The Canadian political system usually makes sure that no politician can get too comfortable in office. If we want, we can toss them out and have another election.
  • This is a very safe place. The other night we forgot to close the front door, let alone lock it. My purse, the keys to the van and the van were all there in the morning.
  • Same-sex marriage is legal here. And nobody makes much of a fuss about it. Also, in Ontario, women are allowed to go topless in public without getting arrested. Not that it happens, mind you, but it's legal.
  • Universal health care. My babies were born, my mother was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer and my husband went to the emergency room with kidney stones. And we all walked out of the hospital without owing one cent.
  • Whole milk here is called "homogonized" milk, sold as "homo" milk, which makes me giggle every time I see it.
  • We can take stability, peace and security for granted. I can criticize my government, I don't have to pay bribes to any police force and go to whatever church I take into my head to attend, without being thrown in jail. Considering what I hear going on in other places in the world, this is something other people can only dream of.
  • The Great Lakes. I've only been to three of them, but they are spectacular.
  • I can buy lemongrass, masa harina, fiddleheads, jerk sauce and piccalilli all at my local grocery store.
  • The Canadian Post office has an address for Santa Claus (Santa Claus, North Pole, Canada, H0H 0H0) that they advertise, and they answer every letter that they get.
  • Butter Tarts. Sort of like a bitty pecan pie but without the pecans. Heavenly.

Happy Birthday, Canada!

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