I've gotten a lot of hits from a couple of Australian forums recently, and I really want to thank the people who both posted the link to my blog, and who said such nice things about it! I really appreciate it! :-) Just one thing I wanted to add: I'm Canadian, not American. Born and raised just outside of the beautiful city of Montreal, in the province of Quebec.
This led me to thinking, and mulling a few things over... Like the fact, outside of North America, it seems many people consider Canada and America to be practically synonymous (not saying this was the case on the Australian forum - it just made me think of other things I've seen). I don't know if that's an accurate view on my part, since I've only ever seen this online: I've never been overseas myself! But it does seem to be an idea out there...
Continuing in a similar vein, it's only in the last year and a half that I've done much real traveling in the States. Before that all I'd done was go on the occasional day trip into New York state, and go on a road trip to Florida when I was about 10 (something I have fairly foggy memories of...). I'd never really had any American friends before the last couple of years, either. Without traveling there, I suppose that's pretty logical! I should say at this point that whenever I go to a new place, I'm absolutely fascinated by finding the similarities and differences compared to my own home of Montreal. How are the buildings different? Do the people speak differently? What slang terms that I use are understood, and which ones aren't? I find these things, small as they may seem, to be really interesting. So I've been very interested as I've met so many Americans in recent times. The U.S. and Canada are so similar, yet so different! One thing that I've found slightly odd is how much of a wall many Americans seem to find the border. I don't know anyone in my area who hasn't been to the U.S., even if it's just for a shopping day-trip! Yet in the U.S., it's quite common to meet lots of people who have never been to Canada. And when talking about traveling, many of the Americans I've talked to don't seem to ever consider traveling to Canada! There definitely seem to be different ways of looking at North American travel depending which side of the border you're on. EDIT: Note that *most* (definitely no where near all, but most) of the American peeps I know live relatively close to the border. I understand quite well why Canada isn't a popular destination for those in the more Southern regions of the U.S. :-P
One other thing that I find interesting: I've been told I seem "very Canadian", and I have no clue what "Canadian" is to the people who have said that. Canada is a fucking BIG country. Winnipeg, Manitoba (and the people who come from there) has little resemblance to Montreal, Quebec, or the Northwest Territories, or any other random part of the country. I know what's generally considered to be "American" here (though I find that to come up with one view of what "American" is makes as little sense as coming up with one version of "Canadian"!), but I've yet to discover what being "really Canadian" is, so if someone can enlighten me, that would be great. ;-)
But anyway, I'm just rambling now, so I think I'll bring this post to a close before I can ramble any more. ;-) Oh, one more thing: for a while I've been planning on writing a post about my home Province of Quebec. Even compared to the incredible diversity found in Canada, Quebec is VERY different, and has a very interesting culture. So I want to share a bit of that, whatever I can get across in a few words on a computer screen, anyway, with as many people as I can... So hopefully I'll get that done soon. :-)
P.S. The pictures interspersed in this post are just shots from the last time I took my camera with me downtown...