This question was posed to me a few weeks ago after I mentioned my pending application for Permanent Residency in Canada. A defector?! Having not abandoned or betrayed my country, I prefer to think of myself as an ex-pat. Most days, I’m an American living in Canada. But sometimes I include myself in, “We Canadians…”. But when cultures clash in the Rana household, I have been known to say, “Well, I’m AMERICAN, So…!”.
Ok. So I have a bit of an identity problem.
And the first week of July brings my identity crisis to a whole new level.
July 1: Canada Day
July 4: American Independence Day
So. Close. Together.
I love America. But I am glad that I don’t live there. I love Canada. But I’m glad I am not 100% Canadian. And so this is my attempt to hono(u)r and poke fun of my two (nearly) favorite countries.
You had me at “poutine”. No matter where I have traveled or lived within Canada, I feel like I’m in a small town; everyone seems to know everyone. I love the chic yet rebellious flair of Montreal, the laissez-faire coffee culture of Vancouver and I’m learning to love the go Go GO! of Toronto. You have taught me to love hockey, the proper spelling of “colour” and the meaning of “double double”. I will be honest though, the first time I saw a donut at Tim Horton’s I thought it was a mini-donut. Thank you for healhty portion sizes and teaching me how to be polite.
1. ‘Sneakers’: Most non-Americans don’t wear sneakers, and certainly don’t call them that.
2. Volume: The loudest people in restaurants are often from the USA. I’m sorry, Americans, but I have only helped to further the stereotype overseas of Americans being loud.
3. Eating while walking: I’m guilty of this as much as the next guy; why sit down when you can eat a hamburger, text and take pictures of the Colosseum?
4. Tee-shirts, baseball hats and shorts: Luckily, I missed this trend.
5. Awkward and culturally inappropriate comments: I don’t even think this requires explanation. Guilty. As. Charged.
6. Smiles: Luke and I noticed while traveling that the default face of most non-Americans is not a smile. For all our flaws, Americans are quick to smile: in pictures, while walking down the street, when meeting strangers…
I am, (gulp), proud to be American. There. I said it.
And finally, it wouldn’t be a tribute to America without a mention of food. Props to my sister for pointing out this amazing and must try recipe: American Flag Cake.
Happy Fourth of Canada Day, y’all!