What are some things not to do in Canada?
When I saw this question, I knew that, having lived in Canada my entire life, I had to answer it. Although, aside from the obvious ‘don’t be racist/sexist there’s only a few things that you really shouldn’t do.
Do not search out the wildlife
I live in Alberta, where my family likes to joke that Banff and Canmore are basically our backyards since we go there so often. There’s this misconception about the National Parks that we see being made again and again. Non-Canadian tourists coming to Banff or Canmore love to ask where they can go to see a bear/moose/deer/various large forest animal. They’re serious. I will say it again. Do not search out the wildlife. For goodness sakes, even the Canadian Geese have the tendency to try and take a bite out of you if you get too close, I’ve been nipped at by a baby squirrel in Lake Louise. If you want to see a moose, go to the zoo. There have been multiple times when I see some tourists trying to get closer to a moose or a deer (thankfully no one tries this with the bears) in order to get their perfect selfie. If you’re that desperate to share a photo of you and some huge animal, photoshop yourself into one. My Oma and Opa had relatives visiting from Germany who asked where they could see a moose, and my Oma just laughed at them. Later, they went to the zoo.
We are not Antarctica.
Once, someone honestly said to my mom that she didn’t think it got hot enough in Alberta to warrant air conditioning. Yes, Canadians love to brag about the winters that they have survived, I myself will talk about my ‘negative’ adventures. Though seriously, please stop acting as though the smallest bit of sunshine must be the end of the world here, we’ve heard it all before. When you make a comment like this it makes you seem ignorant and a little uneducated.
This here centres on my least favourite thing people comment on, it makes me see the colour red every time I hear about it and I will go the extra metre in order to defend it. Every fibre in my being compels me to jump to Canada’s defence in the name of our honour.
These different spellings are a part of our heritage, in fact they’re strongly tied into our french heritage giving us a daily reminder of Canada’s past. When you insult the way words are spelled here, even if you’re just saying that it’s ‘weird’, you’re insulting Canada’s heritage. When you insist on continually ‘correcting’ Canadians on how to spell, you’re coming off as an insufferable and obstinate jerk who has too much patriotism to respect other countries. Doing this once or twice as an honest mistake is fine, correcting spelling is a knee-jerk reaction for me and I honestly get it, it’s when it’s deliberately done that it starts to become insulting.
Don’t assume that we’re just like the USA
Comments like ‘Oh you’re just like USA, right?’ or ‘Wait, this isn’t part of America?’ or ‘Who’s your president’ have started making me laugh. If you want a laugh too, I suggest that you check out Rick Mercer’s series “Talking to Americans”. Canada is extremely different from America, right down to how our votes are counted. In fact, I have found that this attitude comes directly from American visitors themselves who expect their visit up North to be just like their own country. They seem to love complaining about how we don’t have this or that, and that’s not how they do it down in America, well guess what? That’s because this isn’t America. And no, we do not accept your currency here.
Now that I’ve started, I’ve realized that I could continue this list, but I’m going to stop here. If you’re thinking of coming to Canada, just remember to always be polite so that if you make a mistake, or accidentally insult someone, people will be more forgiving. Enjoy your trip, eh?