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How to Piss Off a Canadian

December 29th, 2011

Rick Perry knows how:

“Every barrel of oil that comes out of those sands in Canada is a barrel of oil that we don’t have to buy from a foreign source,” Mr. Perry said in Clarinda, earning a loud round of enthusiastic applause.

One has to wonder exactly how many people in that crowd of supporters actually noticed the error.

One thing that you find out from being around Canadians (as I have here in Japan, where the working holiday visa has drawn a disproportionate number) is that they don’t particularly enjoy it when Canada is naturally assumed to be a “part” of the United States. If you want to really annoy a Canadian, ask them if Canada became a state before or after Hawaii. One interesting by-product of the resulting conversation is that you will learn how many and which Hollywood stars are actually Canadians.

  1. Tim Kane
    December 30th, 2011 at 00:06 | #1

    80% of the native English langauge teachers at my University in Korea were Canadians. I can tell you that they don’t really like Americans.

    There’s a bit of irony here. In Law School we had large contingent of students from Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China. The Koreans are boisterous, but they actively engaged in interacting with Americans in a variety of ways, and also with other nationalities, including the Chinese, Taiwanese and Japanese.

    The Japanese were, very polite, but very clanish within their own nationality. We were told that within Japanese society itself, Japanese Lawyers were more independent minded and detached than the typical Japanese – the way the law profession in Japan is set up, with very small law firms encourages this. So the Japanese were intensely interactive within their own community, but stand offish but very cordial and polite interacting outside their community.

    Japanese were very understandable, coming from a crowded little island country and knowing what I know about their history.

    The big surprise was the Canadians. They are, in effect, very nearly the same as the Japanese. Very polite, very clanish, and very defensive in regard to interacting with me, the only American. I found the few English on our staff much more engaging, proactively interactive with me than the Canadians. In the four years I was there, I never got to teach anything more than Freshman English. Meanwhile my office mate, who arrived a year later than I, (younger, newer, only a B.A., etc…) was, right from the beginning teaching a variety of classes, including easy seminars. Non of that was ever offered to me.

    The irony, is that the English come from a crowded Island nation like the Japanese, so so much for environmental/Geographical deteriminism. The Canadians come from a huge country with lots of immigrants. My office mate spoke fluent Spanish – yet their behavior seemed quite similar to the Japanese. This behavior, in Korea, was noted in Lonely Planet by the author of their Korean book on his experiences in a Canadian bar. I will note, that the Canadians seemed maybe more cordial to the English, but te clanishness is unmistakable. I should also note, that some Canadians were more interactive, always polite and cordial and they did provide me help quite often, but often was at arms length.

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