Saturday, 18 June 2005

Oh Canadaaaaaaaa

Canada is a strange place. It's very American and yet not.

As soon as I arrived in Seattle one difference became glaringly obvious. Canada is not a scarry place.
At no time while in Canada did I feel scarred or aprhensive or on edge. Even when we eneded up walking along West Hastings in Vancouver late one night (it's basicly a street full of homeless heroin addicts who think nothing of shooting up in a doorway in full view of the street). I was disgusted and mortified that such a place could actuly exist out side of a movie and especialy in Canada which has such a nice clean wholesome image, but at no time did I feel afraid.

As soon as we got to Seattle there was a palpable tension in the air and you soon find your self on edge. The centre of Seattle is full of crazies and drug addicts and homeless people. But here you go the feeling that one of them could launch and unprovoked atack on you at any moment . I never had that feeling in Vancouver mainly becouse the homeless there are so polite "I'm sorry to bother you but I haven't eaten in 2 days, could you possibly spare a dollar ?" and if you tell them no they'll move on without fuss or comment.

The other major difference between Seattle and Vancouver was black people (I know I should be refering to them as African Americans and African Canadiands but I need to to simplify).
Vancouver has very few, that's a fact. When you come from North-West London where white poeple are the ethnic minority, something like this is glaringy obvious. Nemeisis who I was staying with, said she actulay finds herself staring at passing black people in the street becouse it's so rare to see one and it's comforting to be reasured she's not the only black person in the city.

The third really obvious difference was fat people. I hate to say it but America does have a lot of fat people. I'm not being rude - I'm stating facts. Canadians tend to have very active outdoor lifestyles. Americans not to. If I'm being brutaly honest I saw maybe 2 truely fat people my whole time in Canada and maybe 7 or 8 overweight people. Since coming to the US the numbers have gone up imesurably.

1 comment:

  1. It's funny you said that about there being a tension in the air in the US. When I visited Dublin in the Temple Bar area, I never felt threatened at all the whole time I'm walking around with my friends. I'm there with my camera in my hand, not worried the least bit about it getting swiped. Crazy, but in the States, I always double loop it with my hands so that if someone tries to snatch it, they're gonna get a rude awakening.