Because I am a Canadian from Canada, eh, many of you may not have heard of my country, aka America Junior.
There you go... it's an inferiority complex... it's what we get when we are in Japan and someone calls us an American. Aaaaaarrrrgggghhhh!
And that's okay, what with the world's maps changing so often it's hard to get a grip on just where Canada is on a world map. (That was sarcasm). (So was me mentioning that it was sarcasm). (And that and this sentence, too).
If you look at the map up above, that's what Canada looks like. It sits on the neck of the United States of America, sometimes referred to as The Evil Satan, though I like it just fine.
For you Japanese girls and women, Anne of Green Gables, a wonderful story I will never read, takes place on a farm on Prince Edward Island.
For you Japanese boys who want to know about salmon... we have Atlantic salmon (near where Anne lives) and we have Pacific over on the left coast.
Yes... Canada does have polar bears, but no, it's rare to see them - except on our two-dollar coins, and if you ask me today, it's rare, because I only have 14 cents until payday on Thursday.
It does not snow all the time in Canada. Some places it snows more than others, though... here in Toronto, we have four seasons: Spring/Construction; Summer/Parades/Bikeathons; Autumn/Construction and Winter. Each is three months long.
We do not all live in igloos. We do not all have dog sleds. Some people do who live in the far reaches of the north - but only during the winter.
We have cable.. the internet... cell phones (though I do not and do not wish one).
Some idiot neighbor is shooting fireworks right now. It was 14C on Monday. It was 4C on Tuesday. Snowflakes did blow last week, butall melted before hitting the ground.
Just so you all know, Canada is made up of 10 provinces and three territories:
Provinces: Newfoundland and Labrador; Prince Edward Island; Nova Scotia; New Brunswick; Quebec; Ontario; Manitoba; Saskatchewan; Alberta; and British Columbia.
Territories: Yukon; Northwest; and Nunavut.
Ottawa is a city located in Ontario. It is the capital of Canada, but it is NOT the capital of Ontario. The capital of Ontario is Toronto, where some blogger who may have heard about lives. Why Toronto was the capital of Ontario and not Canada even though it's by far the largest city in the country confused me as a child. There are reasons, but that's not important here. I did study a lot of history, and political science in university before graduating and doing journalism.
Toronto is the largest city in Canada, and also has some of the most expensive property values in the world. It also has longer traffic jams than Los Angeles, as we recently found out we spend an extra 10 minutes longer in our commute than those whining Californians. Grow a pair, hippie.
Except for Quebec, the main language spoken in the other provinces is English. In Quebec, the most-often hard language is French. Here's a hint... most people in Quebec do speak English... but they want to hear you at least try to speak French first before speaking English. French women are hot. At least the ones who have danced for me at the strip club were.
Okay... maybe I should rephrase the language thing, a bit... we're not sure what language the people in Newfoundland (Newfies) speak, but you might hear the words gra-thundaring-jazus come from their cod lips every few moments. I love the east coasters because they are warm, inviting and have a great sense of humor... when they aren't drunk. I'm not sure when that is.
There are no such things as Eskimo in Canada. They are called Inuit (In-you-it). Okay... we actually have a football team called the Edmonton Eskimos, which is about as offensive as the Washington Redskins... of course... we also used to have two football teams in our nine-team professional football league (CFL) called the Roughriders... actually, they were spelled differently: Saskatchewan Roughriders and Ottawa Rough Riders. Ottawa's team folded recently, but I'm sure it will be back soon.
The official sport of Canada is Lacrosse in the summer and Ice Hockey in the winter. This was recently changed in 1994, as lacrosse was the sport... even though few people played it. But that's okay... how many people play in Japan play the national sport of Sumo? Zero women... especially if they happen to have their period at the time of a tournament... something about sullying the purity of the ring, I hear.
Not everybody loves hockey... in fact the majority do not. I do, however.
We Canadians get a lot of US television stations and thus probably know more about the U.S of A., than they know about us... and that's cool... we like being mysterious.
My family did emigrate to Canada from England (I was born there). My parents were born in India. We are all Canadians. None of us have an accent, though many immigrants do, and that's cool.
Canada, unlike Japan, is a complete melting pot. We have people from all over the world living here. Just today, I talked to people at work from Wales, London, China, Jamaica, Estonia, Italy, Canada, Holland, Serbia, Croatia and Germany. And mostly no one cares. There are always a few racists in a democracy.
Religion? You name it, it's here. And... mostly, no one cares. There are always a few idiots in a democracy.
Medicine... we pay a small amount, but generally, the government covers it and necessary operations.
Gas was at $1.25 a liter today... though it has been as high as $1.34 and as low as $1.14 in the past month alone.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. I'm not saying Canada is the best country in the world, but it is a good place. I've never been robbed, seen a gun or seen a high-speed car chase or drug deal go down. This happens, but the average person doesn't see it.
Now... compare all of this to Japan... which is why you are here... it's quite a bit different, but the people are pretty much the same... at least in ideology.
We want to be happy, safe, have a roof over our head, food, share a laugh, a job, to be able to afford the things we need and or want. Just people, man.
And... now the reason for this blog... my Estonian friend gave me the following map... to better help you appreciate Canada - where so many of you Japanese like to spend your vacations - Vancouver is NOT Canada... it's just a small, hyper expensive city that thinks it's better than Toronto, but it's not because despite temperate temperatures, and little snow, we demand snow, not rain during the winter. Sucks... anyhow... here's a map to better explain what Canada is like:
PS: For our American cousins (Other than that Mr. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?) (What? Too soon?) Canadians really do not say 'eh' a lot, nor do we actually say "oot and aboot".
PPS: While some Canadians certainly DO have an accent, the majority of us possess
what is known as a neutral English accent... meaning when you learn English from us, any native English speaker will be able to understand you. Unlike the Newfies, Australians, New Zelanders, and Brits... and why do so many English not speak English? I frew the hammer away. You mean 'threw'... so say the 'th' sound. You don't call it 'Fressday'! You say 'Thursday'.
PPPS: Just kidding about the hate-on there... I like all the countries mentioned and have slept with many of your women. No kidding.