October 20, 2004

Oh, Canada

I returned from Toronto last night, where I'd been since Saturday afternoon. It was all business-related, of course, which meant that the percentage of fun I actually had was pretty minimal. Still, having never been to Toronto before, I had some memorable moments.

First and foremost, our company party Saturday night was the most memorable, primarily because it took place in the Horizons Restaurant, located way up high in the CN Tower. There's something about being that high in the air that just makes you think "Gee, I'm really up high in the air."

In the observation deck of the CN Tower, you can walk over glass tiles, which some people do, and some people cower in the corner in tears unwilling to do so. I was fine when I simply walked over the glass tiles. No problem. It was when I stood over one of the transparent sheets and looked down for a few seconds that the survival instincts in me started getting all twitchy. It's funny, because your mind can brush everything away and be totally assured that it's safe, yet there's some primeval scream that yell "This isn't right! Step away from the glass!"

The Canadian currency, also, gave me no end of headaches, and not only because it's not worth as much as the US dollar. Canadian paper money looks like Monopoly money, plain and simple. I'm sure plenty of other people have made this connection, but COME ON!



I haven't seen that much color since I broke open my Crayola markers when I was 12.

But, it's the coins that took even more time to get used to. Here in the United States, we stubborn Americans simply refuse to adopt anything that even resembles a one dollar coin. We just won't have it. Oh, sure, we'll get the occasional one dollar coin in circulation once and awhile, and we'll be intrigued by it for awhile, but generally when we see stuff like this:


Or this:


Oh, but not those Canadians. They LOVE their metal currency. Not only do they have their beloved dollar coin (which, by the way, inspired the gold tint to the U.S.'s latest failed attempt at a dollar coin):


Those Canadians love their dollar coins so much, in fact, they went and started striking. . . wait for it. . . TWO DOLLAR COINS:


But, it gets even better. Thanks to the unexpected longevity of England's beloved queen mother, Elizabeth II, the Canadian government finally went and realized that the good queen doesn't quite look like this any more. So, they went and updated her profile. So, there she is, Elizabeth II, looking decidedly older and, strangely, sans crown. At this rate, when she does finally go to that great big throne room in the sky, Canada will update their currency to show her lying in a casket, followed a couple years later with the profile of a dessicated corpse. Hey, they have to stay current. This is CURREN-cy, after all.

Toronto itself offered a great overall experience. There was no end of things to do, and practically every restaurant offered the most tongue-drippingly wonderful foods imaginable, with an ethnic variety that left me on the street corner wondering just where the heck I should even begin considering eating. Should I do Indian? Italian? French? It was awesome. Seriously awesome.

But, politics, as it so often does, eventually reared its ugly head. While I was on the toilet, no less. I had slipped away from the conference expo floor so that I may relieve my bowels. Now, keep in mind, I don't normally get the majority of my public discourse from reading the etchings on toilet stall walls, but I just didn't have anything else to do between loaf pinches, so I started perusing my surroundings.

There, on the stall door, scribbled in pencil, was the following Hemingway-esque prose:

fuck you american business bastards! Down with USA imperialist queers. fuck you yankees. Go home bastards! Down with USA -- Viva Cuba.

Beyond that, however, I thought Canada ROCKED!

Posted by Ryan at October 20, 2004 12:40 PM

So does that mean Canadians are non-ipmerialistic queers. And the Viva Cuba thing, what the hell is up with THAT!

Posted by: Colfaxeng at October 20, 2004 06:39 PM

I think it had something to do with Cuban cigars, but I guess we'll never really know.

Posted by: Ryan at October 20, 2004 08:01 PM

Ryan, I am Canadian and I can categorically state that the message was aimed at ALL THE OTHER AMERICANS, not you. We love you.

Posted by: Derek at October 22, 2004 08:46 AM


Posted by: Ryan at October 22, 2004 09:10 AM

You know what I've found most Canadians really don't care for all that much? When drunk Americans call their money Monopoly money. But when you're slurring and blurring, it looks exactly like Monopoly money.

They also really don't like it when you repeatedly try to buy Park Place or Marvin Gardens. Though we thought it was pretty damned funny.

Posted by: Johnny Huh? at October 22, 2004 12:05 PM

I love Candaian money. I actuallly love Canada. I've been there two or three times now, and I fell in love with the land when I went to Algoquin park as a child.

As far as walking over glass; at Liberty Science Museum they have glass panels in the floor that you can walk over, but I always think of them as less secure than floor. I know, that is illogical. But it just feels less secure.

Besides, I always wear skirts or dresses.

Posted by: Rachel Ann at October 25, 2004 01:34 AM

Buddy, have you ever been to Europe? almost every country has colourful money. US currency is the only one I know of that all looks the same...(and feels like ass wipe might I add). I've heard the monopoly money crack too many times, I think you are ignorant and unable accept or appreciate anything that's unique. No wonder the US is such a melting pot.

Posted by: kasha at March 30, 2005 10:58 PM

Kasha, I'm sending out a chill pill your way, and a low interest rate loan so you can buy a sense of humor.

No, I haven't been to Europe. I lived in Japan for a year though, and visited China for a week. Because I poke fun at Canada's currency, I'm ignorant and unable to appreciate anything unique, eh? That's some fascinating logic there.

At any rate, thanks for reading! *smooch*

Posted by: Ryan at March 31, 2005 03:04 PM
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