living in canada, Stores

Extreme Makeover: Canada

So I think Canada finally looked in the mirror and said, “Wow we’re like, a super gross country. Let’s fix ourselves!” I knew it would be baby steps after I heard the news about the Canadian introduction of Target, but never in my wildest dreams could I imagine that Canada would take their country’s makeover to the next level. Friends and family, may I have the pleasure of being the first to announce that Nordstrom is coming to Canada!

I heard the news when I was volunteering, and I thought I was going to faint. My supervisor asked me if I’d ever been to Nordstrom. That’s like asking me if I’ve ever breathed air. I told him it was only my favorite store in the world, duh. And our conversation pretty much ended after that.

It’s like God keeps answering all of my really important shopping prayers. I’m so blessed. There’s just one problem. I don’t have any money. And in order to even look at a Nordstrom parking lot you have to have some dough. I might be exaggerating a bit.

The sad thing is, I’ve almost gotten used to not spending money here. I never buy clothes for myself anymore. I never have the urge to. See what happens when you move to Canada? It changes you.

Maybe the new introduction of Nordies will light a fire within me to shop more. Even though the closest one to me will be in Vancouver. So basically I’ll have to take a ferry or plane to get there. How rude. Clearly they didn’t have my best interests in mind. Actually, I don’t think they had anyone’s interests in mind since there will only be 4 locations in all of Canada (Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, and Vancouver).

Canadian Nordstrom Pros: More shopping for me, more street cred for Canada, I will feel a sense of normalcy in Canada, and thousands of new jobs for Canadians.

Canadian Nordstrom Cons: Canadians working in Nordstrom and ruining everything, no actual Nordstrom close to where I live, I have no money so nothing even matters.


Canadian Monopoly


Last night I went over to my friend’s house (I’m making friends!) and we sat around thinking of things to do. We tossed around a couple ideas but we eventually settled on Monopoly. Is there really anything better to do on Friday nights? Only yes.

I’ve always liked the game of Monopoly. In my junior year of college we taught my brother to play Monopoly (who goes through life not knowing the beauty of Monops?). We probably played around 50 times that semester. More often then not I would quit playing because my brother would make deals with everyone else except me. Rude. I’m not sure if most people make deals when they play, but I’m pretty sure its considered cheating. For example, he would say, “I’ll give you Vermont Avenue if you let me stay on your property for free and give me St. James Place.”

The Monopoly game that my friend had was a Canadian version. It was so scary. First of all, it came with fake credit cards, most likely to prevent cheating, which sucks because cheating is awesome. But it also prevents math, which I applaud. You just type everything into an electronic box-no messing around with Monopoly money/Canadian money. However, the use of credit cards means that the amount of money used is realistic. You start off with 6 million! It just gets depressing after that.

All of the spots were places in Canada. Some were normal, like Toronto. Some were not, like Medicine Hat. They should re-name that city “Kill Me Now.”

The community chest cards were the best though. One of them said, “You won a contest by making the best maple syrup! Collect 500 k.” If there’s a real contest that gives out 500,000 for making the best maple syrup, I know what my new life goal is. Brb making syrup.


Canada’s Wonderland

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any creepier here, I had to overhear talk about “Canada’s Wonderland”. CANADA’S WONDERLAND. I guess this is some sort of theme park/cruel joke. When I imagine a Canadian Wonderland, I think of acres of ice skating, rivers of maple syrup, and a petting zoo with polar bears. Not a greasy, carnie*-filled parking lot with rides called Behemoth and Mighty Canadian Minebuster.

The park is located in outer Toronto and apparently Walt Disney considered this as a location for one of his parks but he decided the climate would limit how long the park could stay open. As soon as Walt sobered up, he obviously realized that no one would cross the boarder to go to that park. Plus, at that point (1972), Canadians were still referred to as Yetis and Sasquatches.

That being said, Canada’s Wonderland has had far less ride-related deaths (none) than say, Six Flags.  You can see the rust on the rides at Six Flags. Also, you might still be able to see some hairs that were caught in the gears when that one girl got scalped on the Giant Drop. That might just be a rumor, but it has successfully deterred me from visiting the park for years/ever.

*Carnies are carnival workers. They are foul smelling, usually missing teeth, and can look through your soul. Think about that next time you go on a ride–do you really want to trust this person with your life?

Animals, Food

Shark fin ban in Toronto

Shark fin soup: making soup 10 times scarier.

Guess what? If you guessed that Toronto is banning the use of shark fin, you’re pretty clever. To me, and people who like sharks, this is great news. Poor little sharks being killed for just their fin? Wrong. I like to use an American Indian method to validate any animal slaughters: If the killer uses the ENTIRE animal, I think that’s more appeasing than taking only what you want. But don’t get me wrong, there is no excuse for animal cruelty and none for hunting or excessive slaughter.

I think its great that Canada wants to have healthy oceans and a strong shark population. It’s also for their benefit–I assume not too many people are ordering the very expensive shark fin soup every night. 1 pound of shark fins costs about $600. So unless you have tons of money at your disposal and have expensive taste buds, I doubt shark fin is in your order.

Apparently Claudia Li, founder of the Shark Truth Campaign is trying to push Vancouver into following Toronto’s lead. I guess Mayor Gregor Robinson is being super annoying about it. He said:

When there was a ban for other types of animal products like [insert: gross parts of animals] what we did see in Vancouver was growth in the black market. We don’t want to see that happen with shark fin.

Okay, first of all Mr. McGregor (can I call you that?), don’t pretend that Vancouver is cool and has a black market. Secondly, more than 300 people attended a meeting in the Chinese community to think of alternative to shark fin soup. So I guess it’s safe to assume that you don’t know what you’re talking aboot.

canada, Exercise

Marathoning Part Deux

Fauja, just chillin after running for 8 and a half hours.

Toronto recently held their Goodlife Fitness Marathon on October 16th. What makes this race interesting (and sickening) is that Fauja Singh, a 100 year old man ran the race and finished.

Apparently the race took him 8 hours, 22 minutes, and 16 seconds to finish (which is a really awful time) so I guess that makes it more believable. But still, aren’t people bed-ridden after they hit 97? Not sure what the cut-off age is, but I’m almost positive it’s before 100.

Mr. Singh, as I like to call him, came in 3,850th place. He beat 5 people. Who are the 5 people that he beat and why were they allowed to race? I thought you actually had to be a decent runner to qualify for marathons. This gives me hope.

Mr. Singh described his feeling of finishing the race like “getting married again”. Ummm what? I don’t believe running a marathon has EVER been described like that. But if that’s how you feel…we’ll just nod our heads and smile.