To any of you Canadian’s out there my bad for the typical Canada joke that I know you all hate. Having educated myself by watching a documentary called ‘being Canadian’ on the plane, I’d like to think I’m a bit more knowledgable about the folks of Canada than at least your average American. Canada is my first and longest stop, I start in Vancouver for a week then road trip (with Sam and Bev who are joining me Sunday) over to Calgary via Banff, so the Rockies essentially (and wherever else we fancy). After that I’ve got a couple more weeks yet unplanned and fly out the second week in July. Apparently that means I’m here for Canada day in the 1st July, (completely unknown to me until I watched said documentary) so wherever I am as long as it’s Canada that should be great.
Ohhh Caanadaaa… How I am so looking forward to visiting you. Listening to Buble as I came out of the airport with the sun shining it’s a good place to be. I’m expecting super friendly people, breathtaking scenery, incredible wildlife and more maple syrup than you can shake a stick at. Unfortunately a lot of these ideas and stereotypes about Canada have come from watching too much ‘how I met you mother’, so I vow to find out how many of these are really true. Are Canadians really that friendly, polite and awesome? Will I see a bear crossing the road? Mounties, are they a common thing and will one of them let me nab a cheesy touristy selfie? Is this country as beautiful as everyone says it is? Do Canadian people actually say ‘eh’ at the end of sentences and ‘oot’ instead of ‘out’? Donuts… I seem to remember Canadians loving donuts? Finally last but in absolutely and equivocally no means least, will I bump into my favourite Canadian already mentioned, the absolute legend Mr Michael Buble?
Because this is my first day and I haven’t actually done that much yet other than sit on a plane eating miniature bags of pretzels and looking out of the window at the Rockies, I thought I would fill you in on some fun facts about Canada I’ve learnt already:
– somewhere outside of Quebec Canada have stockpiled 5 years reserve of maple syrup, obviously just in case world war three means we can’t get hold of all that mapley syrupy goodness.
– Some surprising celebs that are Canadian going from obvious to less so: Justin Bieber, Jim Carey, Cobie Smulders (she’s actually Canadian in real life too, who knew), Seth Rogan, Mike Myers, the Warner Brothers, Michael J Fox, our favourite awkward Dad from American Pie, and also the actor who played the original Captain Kirk…
– A lot of passport/border control officers I have experienced tend to be pretty deadpan and act like they want to kill you. However my unique experience here apart from a big bunch of Korean tourists acting very strangely in the queue, was my completely deadpan border control guy who decided to make a joke asking why I wasn’t dropping by Syria on my world tour. Canadian humour or a bored guy? We shall see…
– I spotted there’s a lot of logs floating about in organised formations in rivers, this still remains an un-exciting mystery to me
– oh and the sky train is basically like the tube, I was slightly disappointed it wasn’t higher in the sky
So it’s lunch time in Canada as I am writing this, sat in an Irish bar opposite my hostel to get some wifi, instead of ice hockey punch ups there are re-runs of Wayne Rooney’s Everton days on the telly and I have the first pint of my trip in hand (it’s a Guiness, in an Irish bar it would be rude not to). It still hasn’t quite sunk in that I’m actually now here doing this trip and away for 6 months strangely enough… This first week I’m completely on my own for pretty much the first time travelling in this style, so let’s see how many weird and wonderful people I can meet along the way