Saturday, May 06, 2006

Some Fun Canadian Stuff eh?

Many things - words, phrases, products, etc. that I have long thought to be common everywhere seem to be unique to Canada. Who knew? I thought some of these things were universal - like the term 'shit disturber'. Come to find out, when I asked some American family/friends that live in the States, they had no idea what it meant. (Shit disturber is someone who causes trouble, 'stirs the pot', etc.)
Just for fun, I thought every once and a while I would post some fun Canadian stuff and some intersting facts.

- All labels are in French and English. Whenever I pick up a food item and turn the package to the side to read the cooking instructions, ingredients, whatever, I always get the French side. It's some sort of Canadian Murphy's law I think. I wonder if French people always turn to the English side?

- There is no mail delivery on Saturday. I thought this was true everywhere. Apparently not.

- Our banks are open on Saturday. I thought this was also true everywhere. I was in Niagara Falls, NY and couldn't find an open bank anywhere on a Saturday.

- When I go to the dentist and need to have a cavity filled, he puts "freezing" in it. We don't very often call it Novocaine.

- Hudson's Bay Company, more commonly called The Bay, is the oldest company in North America, and possibly the world. It was incorporated in 1670. That's old!

- Restaurants serve vinegar with french fries. I'm not too keen on vinegar on my fries, but my Dad always eats them that way.

- I recently found out that chesterfield is a uniquely Canadian term. I say couch or sofa, but my mother still calls it a chesterfield.

- I tried to buy some Gravol in Las Vegas. The store clerk told me that I wanted dramamine. Just a side note...I don't know about dramamine, but Gravol makes me very sleepy. A lot of people I know use it as a sleep aid rather than for upset tummies.

- I carry a knapsack. Others carry backpacks.

- Poutine is very popular and very tasty. It originated in Quebec and is available almost everywhere. It's french fries, topped with cheese curds and covered with hot gravy. It's my sister's addiction. (I can only have it at home now made with vegetarian gravy).

- Canada's official summer sport is lacrosse. Our most popular sport is, of course, our official winter sport, hockey. We don't call it ice hockey. There is no need to clarify. Hockey is hockey. World news will sometimes take a back seat to hockey news, especially during the playoffs. Decade old rivalries are still going strong and many fans are loyal to a fault to their teams. Including me. 39 years since a cup win people! Go Leafs!


Shawn Powers said...

I love cultural differences, especially when we don't even know they are unique!

I was conversing with guy from the UK a few years back, and he informed me that he go really "pissed" the night before. For me, that would mean that he got really upset or angry -- but to him, it mean he got drunk out of his gourd.

Also, my folks call the couch a "Davenport" -- which is just as odd as a "Chesterfield", and I have no idea where the name originated!

Carrie™ said...

We use 'pissed' for being drunk and being angry. Usually it's the former. I didn't realize that you didn't in the US. Another one to add to the list. I have more, but am saving them for times when I have nothing to post about.