Oh Canada – Flawed but Fun


Isabelle Samudio, Entertainment Editor

At the tailend of summer, my family decided to pack up and settle in for an eight-hour drive to the lovely country of Canada. This was it – my final trip with my entire family – and to Montreal? I was absolutely ecstatic.

However, I had concerns. Not that my love for Canada has diminished – how could it ever? No – I was concerned for there’s been a brutal running trend whenever we travel to Canada. The authorities always seem to have a target on my family. Every time, and I mean every time, some Canadian policeman has stopped us or had a stick up unmentionable places.

If it’s not police, or uptight concierges, or rude store owners, it’s unfortunate situations. And do I have some stories.

Rain falls at the most inopportune times – this past vacation, we brought our dog to Old Montreal the one day it rained in sheets. We huddled into an alcove of a building, drawing straws to see who’d go get the car with one of our two umbrellas – for four people and one spoiled dog. It was more treacherous because that person would have to carry the dog – he’s gotten quite rotund in his old age of nine. He’s also especially fluffy. And in our short-sleeved shirts – as we were expecting a sunny day – his stinky, soggy personal fur coat will be gross to hold for long periods of time.

One time my brother dropped his phone off the roof of a two story historical building. It was salvageable – ‘til the semi rolled on top of it.
At least he got a new phone out of it.

The most shocking revelation, or more accurately, development, is the attitudes of the people. They were all so rude. You all know the stereotype that Canadians are nicer Americans, or are always polite and saying “sorry!” (or, as the french say, “désolé!”). Well, that’s been officially debunked. The drivers were worse than Manhattan ones – both in ability and attitude. I couldn’t believe the absolute anger radiating off every driver – it emboldened my father to constantly jay walk AND go when the little red hand was blinking. Sometimes I would stay on the curb with my mother and brother and murmur a condescending “I want to see him get run over.”

I may be biased, but the only truly kind Canadians were the French ones! When I struggled to form sentences, and rattling off excuses, a sweet ice cream server said with a heavy accent, “It’s okay, I understand! I haven’t spoken English in over two months!”

Maybe because my mom can speak French fluently we were treated better in personal interactions.

But questions remain: do our American presence cause a negative backlash across this sweet nation? Do Americans just leave Canadians with a sour taste in their mouth? Who knows.

Perhaps now you may be wondering why I am still in love with this country. Please allow me to gush – there’s so much more to love than hate! Although it’s steadily declining, the French-speaking population makes it feel as if you’re in France, and so do the historical buildings. Canada is just that much older than us, so there’s so many cool sights to see. Like the cathedral with a thousand steps that people dedicate an afternoon to climb up on their knees in reverence. Or Old Montreal itself! I adore the atmosphere there, the tiny shoppes and tourist traps. The food. It’s a beautiful blend of French, American, and their own Canadian delicacies. I almost died of happiness biting into a crepe from a shop called the Creperie – the wait was long, but worth it.

Canada, like any country, has its flaws but is still a lovely place to visit.