July 24, 2014 by Katia
Earlier this month we celebrated Canada Day. We got out of our houses* ou-ed and eh-ed, said thank you and sorry to anyone who would listen and drank maple syrup while fighting off Grizzly bears who were apologizing for trying to steal a sip.
To relocate to Canada from the Middle East, I had to leave a comfortable tent behind, park my camel at the airport and board a transatlantic flight. In the seat next to me was a Russian WWII veteran. We chatted in Russian for a bit, but mainly drank vodka, then hit each other on the head with the bottle, hugged it out and plotted how to take over the world.
Prior to moving here, I was familiar with most of the stereotypes about Canada. Upon relocating, I realized that some of them were true.
Think I just witnessed my first street brawl in #Canada. It started with ‘excuse me’.
— IAMTHEMILK (@KatiaDBE) July 10, 2014
I created a Canada construction in my mind. A mini, Lego Land type skeletal representation of what it meant to be Canadian and then I started adding layers, continuously expanding and enhancing my model by making new discoveries. Granted, some of them were skewed and merely stemmed from the fact that, for the first time ever, I was away from the family that raised me, tackling life, immigration, parenting and adulthood on my own. Other discoveries, the trickier ones, were based on observing my surroundings and relying heavily on generalization. I still do that, seven years into Canada. Whenever a game is played on the playground at 5 Year Old’s school, I’ll usually assume that this is a game that children HERE play, almost never that this is simply a game that Alex or Cayden came up with. And what does here mean, anyway? Is it here Toronto, or Ontario or is it here in Canada or even North America? I never know for sure. Yet within the set of my experience-based limitations, I manage to make some observations, learn from them and if I’m very lucky, I may even better myself .
5 Year Old started recently referring to people as humans (and in the singular form: ‘human’ instead of person). With immigration comes another kind of discovery: humans be the same. Everywhere. Cross my heart. Check this out:
- People everywhere confide in their hairdresser.
- People everywhere complain about public transit and the weather.
- No matter the size of the country, it still (desperately and relentlessly) needs its ego stroked.
- People everywhere are curious about their neighbours although but will mask their curiosity in different ways.
- Teenagers are loud everywhere.
- While their backdrop scenery might be different, acts of kindness look and feel similar everywhere.
- Weathermen are universally prone to jokstery.
- Customs people everywhere aren’t.
And then there were a couple of really cool things I discovered about living here.
9. Like that if I happen to be downtown around mid September when the TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) takes place, I might bump into Jim Broadbent and Hillary Duff (true story) or end up chasing Scott Speedman down Front Street unbeknownst to him (-II-).
10. Did you know that they shoot a lot of shows here? Like Suits, Once Upon a Time and The Killing?
Bonus: Did you also know that you have us to thank for the universally notorious Caillou? You’re welcome.
I recently wrote a post for In The Powder Room about Kids shows that drive parents insane. It was cool to find out that a couple of shows I don’t find annoying, are actually Canadian-made. You can catch Team Umizoomi and Math Monster on Netflix, as well as the other shows mentioned above.
For more shows filmed in Canada, read this post. Are you surprised about any of them, because you totally thought they weren’t filmed in Canada?