canada, living in canada, victoria b.c.

Things I Actually Enjoy Aboot Canada

No one in my town says “aboot” but I love saying it and typing it and I just felt like it needed to be in my title. I’m sure there are some Canadians around that say aboot, so this one is for them. And Ross Murray because he’s won’t shut up aboot it already.

I’ve now resided in Victoria, B.C. for over two years which has enabled me to accurately judge the people, places, and things surrounding me. It turns out that the more I live in one place, the more I end up liking it. I now have a strange and dare I say, loving relationship with my little neck of Canada. Here’s why:

It’s Beautiful. I have trouble saying that because I don’t like calling things beautiful unless it’s my own reflection. These are the jokes, people. But Canada has really upped the ante. I live by the mountains and the ocean (the ocean is unswimmable (not a word) throughout the entire year, so that’s a major drawback, but at least there’s water to look at) and they make a pretty good combo. There are a lot of trees left here (mainly because Canada is still extremely uninhabited) and a lot of cute wildlife. And no roadkill! Where I come from there is roadkill everywhere! There are literally deer everywhere here and yet none of them are “sleeping” on the roadside. Bravo, Canada!emerald_lake_yoho_national_park_british_columbia_canada

The People are Friendly. At first I didn’t think this was true. I thought that they were the same as Americans and that they were just making up the whole “friendly, nice Canadians” business to lure in unsuspecting tourists. But no, they’re friendly and kind to each other. And they’ve accepted me into their country, almost. If only I could get legal status, then I would really be livin’ the life.

Their Money. It’s colorful, bits of it are clear, and they got rid of the penny. These people know what they’re doing. Greenbacks are all fine and dandy, but we need to rid ourselves of the penny once and for all. I’m “sorey” to say but we need to follow Canada’s lead on this one.currency

Their Willingness to Laugh. A lot of the Canadians that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting have been super cheeseball. But I have to hand it to them–they’re ready to laugh at any time. They want to laugh! These are my people. I just have to spend some time refining their senses of humor. Not everyone is cheesy, but almost every single person.

They Have At Least One Dumb Politician. Yay! We’re not the only ones with embarrassing political figures! Rob Ford, we welcome you with open arms. As long as you stay in Toronto and keep embarrassing your countrymen.Toronto Mayor Rob Ford

Chapters/Indigo Bookstores. Man, I never thought I could love a bookstore so much. Like, I seriously have a love affair with this place. The outside is grungy, but the inside is magical. They sell books of course, but they also sell home goods, jewelry, bags, accessories, seasonal goods, candles, and of course, Starbucks. Barnes and Noble, TAKE NOTE.

Pubs. Canadians take their drinking rather seriously. But not seriously enough to sell alcohol in their grocery stores. Ever since moving here, I’ve been impressed with the amount of adorable pubs that this country has to offer. I don’t even drink, but I like to have a comfortable place to watch my friends drink. Not some smelly old bar.

Their History. Canada definitely knows how to make attractive legislative and Parliamentary buildings. The one in my town is pretty schweet. Other buildings around town lack updates, but it’s kind of cool to see that some of the structures in Victoria are still standing since their erection (tee hee) in the early 1900’s. Also, I think it’s adorbs that Canada didn’t gain it’s independence until 1982. And on top of that, I have to give them props for all that they’ve done for their First Nations (AKA Native Americans) communities. They take care of them and are reverent towards their history far more than Americans have ever been. But that’s not saying much.parliament-buildings

Tim Hortons. I used to think Dunkin’ Donuts was the best place to grab a sweet treat, but I have learned to love Tim Hortons and their cheap breakfast selection. Getting a bagel with cream cheese and a coffee is cheaper than my drink order at Starbucks. Tim Hortons has a special place in my heart now.

One last thing, go check out my 5×5 interview over at You’ve Been Hooked! The Hook is a Canadian fellow who has made my new life a little lot happier! He is extremely entertaining and stumbles into hilarious situations during his job as a bellman. Go take a look!

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canada

Doorknobs are Out

I haven’t blogged about how ridic Canada is for a long time. Which is kind of ridic of myself since my blog is called Lily in Canada. So misleading. I should just rename my blog Lily in Lush and get it over with. However, I finally have some great Canadian news.

Recently, Vancouver has made the executive decision to rid their city of doorknobs, taking into consideration those who are unable to…use doorknobs? When my husband alerted me of this news, I was curious as to why the city would make such an unnecessary choice. I mean, doorknobs are something that we’ve perhaps taken for granted, but I can’t see them offending anyone. He literally said, “They’re doing it for people who don’t have hands.”

Best visual ever. I immediately pictured groups of people who happened to have both hands severed at the wrists. I understand loosing one hand, but loosing two seems unlikely. The Vancouver Sun claims that they’re replacing the knobs with lever handles to make it easier for seniors and people with disabilities. Canadians are always being so damn thoughtful. In the states we would just say “Oh, you can’t open doors? Well that’ll teach you to not have hands.”alice-with-doorknob-3

Lever handles make it a little easier for the hand-less folk, but not by much. I propose that Vancouver changes all of their doors to saloon-style or just get rid of doors entirely. Life would be way easier if everyone could just stroll through open holes in the wall. It might bring up a problem with theft, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Saloon doors would make everyone feel like a star when they enter a room. How could you not have fun with those? You could also pretend to hold one open for a frienemy and then let it accidentally swing back and hit them in the face. Not sure why this plan hasn’t been carried out considering it’s almost the year 2014 and we’re still using archaic doorknobs.

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canada, Feelings

Barbies from Around the World…And Canada

Barbies are a symbol of perfection. Something that every little girl wants to grow up to be, and nothing that they will ever look like in a million years. The Barbie company (Is it Mattel? Do I care?) has many collections where they feature different clothes for Barbies, but they never give them different faces. What’s up with that? They change her skin color, but never her facial features. Can’t one have a lazy eye, or super flared nostrils or something? The reason we gave our Barbies bad haircuts was to balance out their beauty. You can’t have a good body, nice clothes, a solid career, a pretty face, AND perfect hair. Impossible.11462575_gal

For some reason, the people at Mattel think they know what women around the world look like. Their Dolls of the World collection highlights the cultural differences of women around the world. The dolls are dressed in costumes that showcase each nation’s traditional garb. This collection has been ongoing since the late 80’s. They come out with maybe one or two new national Barbies a year. (I kind of made that up. I have no idea what I’m talking about.)

Some examples of these beautiful creatures are:

Scotland Barbie. She looks like a typical lass. As you can tell, she can rock a ton of plaid. It’s kind of depressing that the makers chose to give her an oboe/clarinet/lame instrument instead of bagpipes. Also, she depicts the accurate amount of makeup that Scottish girls wear.N4973-L

Spanish Barbie. This lovely lady is dressed in the beautiful clothes of a flamenco dancer/Satan. Her narrowed eyebrows show how women from Spain look when they judge other foreign women.L9583-L

Philippines Barbie. Philippines Barbie is rare because she comes with her own passport and luggage. Probably because she wants to get out of the Philippines. X8423-L

Dutch Barbie. It’s nice that Mattel decided to go with wooden shoes (klompen) and hairbrush accessories instead of a reefer like modern day Dutch girls. As a child, she would’ve been my Barbie of choice because I was partial to Aryan looking dolls. Sorry I’m not sorry.11104-L

Greek Barbie. This is kind of misleading since there’s a picture of ancient Greek pottery on the front, you would think they would stick with that theme and dress Barbie in a toga. I have no idea what she’s wearing, but it looks like something Moroccan Barbie should be wearing. Also, this Barbie can’t be Greek since she doesn’t have a mustache.2997-L

Finally, through my searches I found Canadian Barbie. Since Canada has no rich history, they simply decided to dress her in a Mountie uniform and call it a day. I don’t know how many Canadian girls can relate to being a park ranger, oh wait, yes I do. None. Also, could they not give Canadian Barbie red hair AND a red uniform? So clashy. They should’ve made her a fur trapper and trader. Or Avril Lavigne. X8422-L

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canada, Stores, victoria b.c.

Movin’ On Up

Ever since I moved here, Canada has really tried to step up their game for me. They’ve added H&M, Forever 21 (not that I shop there, it’s just comforting to know it’s around), and in Spring 2013 Target will finally arrive. How has Canada survived this whole time without Target, you ask? Well, they haven’t. No one takes them seriously as a country, but maybe with Target on the horizon, things will start to improve.Target-loves-Canada

My little slice of Canada is slightly behind the times. Toronto’s Target is already open for business. And they also have rumors of getting a Nordstrom soon. Lucky bastards.

The first Target to open in Canada was the Guelph, Ontario location. The first customers to make purchases were two scruffy guys. They made a mockery of Target by purchasing things that no one would need to buy: a Michael Bolton CD and a Tarzan DVD. Yes, you read correctly.

Don’t get me wrong, Target is the place where bad purchases are born and where money vanishes from your account. I’ve walked into Target for a notebook and come out with shoes, a board game, gummy bears, 5 lb weights, and nail polish only to realize that I never got my notebook. So trust me, I KNOW.

These guys have made headlines: “Target’s first two customers shop ironically.” They probably thought they were being hilarious. This is super embarrassing for Canada. Do you see how cheesy people are here? I can’t deal. I for one, will treat my Target location with the respect it deserves.

At least I’ll be safe here if the US gets nuked. Bonus. Oh and I don’t  have to deal with pennies anymore. Silver lining.

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Animals, canada

Luna, The Whale.

I watched an amazing movie last weekend called The Whale. It’s a true story that takes place right of the coast of Vancouver Island (that’s where I live!) in Nootka Sound. The story is narrated by my lover Ryan Reynolds because he comes from the land up north and knows the story of Luna the whale well.

All Orca whales travel in pods. It’s true, ask them. The Whale, however is a story about an orca that gets separated from it’s pod at the age of two years old. In the movie they compare Luna’s situation to a child that’s meandering around a store, turns around and realizes that their family is no where in sight. Luna was all alone.

He would call into the night looking for his family. When no one answered his calls, he did the next best thing. He made friends. But not just any friends. Human friends. Luna hung around the passing boats, looking for attention. Lots of people gave him attention, too. It’s pretty hard to resist playing with an orca whale.

The Fisheries and Oceans Department was upset about Luna hanging around boats and people. It was dangerous for both sides involved. I don’t know about you, but I would’ve risked getting arrested and dove in the frigid water to play with Luna. Way too tempting!

Luna was teaching people that orcas were not killers by heart. He helped people recognize that whales needed interaction–he was lonely, he wanted to play and have fun! One lady in the film said that Luna would look you right in the eye as if he was saying, “I see you.”

The story of Luna is awesome. I’m jealous that I wasn’t living here during Luna’s reign. I would fully suggest looking up this movie and giving it a watch. Even if it’s only to hear Ryan Reynolds tell you a story.

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canada, Food

Sweet Thievery

I had to make sure I gave myself the proper amount of time to catch my breath before writing this post. You see, I’ve been laughing ever since I heard the report–there was a maple syrup heist in Quebec last Saturday. Canadians all around me asked if I heard the news. I guess we have different definitions of what news is.

So apparently some robbers stole a couple of barrels of syrup. I say “a couple” because the executive director of the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers (how would you like that to be your title?) said, “We don’t know yet how much is missing – we do know it is significant.” I wonder how they figured that one out. Looks like they’ve got some top Canadian sleuths on the case.

The best part of the whole story is that Quebec’s police force believes that the stolen syrup is going to be sold on the black market. Do you really think people are going to risk imprisonment  to buy maple syrup? Are people craving it that badly?

The executive director promises that there will be no shortage of maple syrup, so we shouldn’t worry. I guess people didn’t take into consideration that the US has their own supply of Vermont maple syrup. Maybe Canada was scared that they would have to start depending on the states for their own famous export. If that happened, Canada would probably be forced to change the emblem on their flag from a maple leaf to a beaver or something. So embarrassing. Let’s cross our fingers that Canada doesn’t have to go down that road.

I’m just gonna to stick to Aunt Jemima to be safe.

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canada, Food, living in canada, Vacation

That One Time I Went Camping

I did a very Canadian thing on the weekend. I went camping. If there’s one thing that I learned, it’s that Canadians are into camping. Paul and I went to buy a tent at Wal*Mart and they were all sold out. SOLD OUT OF TENTS. Wal*Mart isn’t allowed to be sold out of anything.

We went to an actual camping store and bought a two-man tent. And when I say a two man tent, I mean that both men have to be extremely small to fit comfortably inside the tent. There wasn’t too much walking (or sitting) room available. But it was cute. Good thing I don’t mind being really close to Paul.

If camping consisted of sitting in those chairs all day, I would be an awesome camper.

We set up our campsite and then we decided to go swimming in Englishman River. When I pictured Englishman river, I thought it would be a gentle, welcoming body of water–like an Englishman I guess. Well, I’m sure it was gentle and welcoming, but it was frigid as well. Like, if it was one degree colder, it would’ve been frozen. Paul swam in it like some kind of Canadian weirdo. I went up to my knees. And the minute that I announced, “I’m only going up to my knees” I slipped on a rock and my whole body went under. Very funny, God.

After that excitement, we went back to our site and had hotdogs and smores. Whenever I think about smores, I have to quote The Sandlot. “First, you take the graham…” Such a perfect scene.

Once we finished stuffing our faces, we played cards. Hearts in particular. For all you Hearts aficionados, there were four of us playing. Paul’s younger cousins were with us. They were decked out with all the finest camping equipment that we didn’t have. They brought the cards and the chairs. So without them, it would’ve been pretty boring. Shout out to Chantal because she told me that she reads my blog and thinks I’m super funny. Can you blame her? Look, you’re famous now! Shout out to Tristan because he was really good at wielding a hatchet and told me I was good at pumping up air mattresses. Even though I got lazy and stopped before it was finished.

Later on we went on a walk to see the waterfall. The actual name of the place we went was called Englishman River Falls. I should have known there would be a waterfall involved, but I have trouble putting two and two together. Actually, I have trouble putting any combination of numbers together.

We found the waterfall. I was taken aback. It was so grand and waterfall-y. Anyone would’ve surely died if they jumped off the top. Pictures cannot do it justice. But here’s some anyway:

The very tip top of the waterfall.

At night we told ghost stories and talked about scary movies. And I ended up eating an entire chocolate bar for no apparent reason. After that, I had the worst sleep of my life. But it was worth it because I had such a great time.

And apparently we’re doing all of it again next weekend….

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