Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Do I Look Like I'm From Winnipeg?

"Are you Canadian?"

I've been asked that three times so far.  Aussies have a hard time distinguishing between American and Canadian accents.  I imagine most people would, so it's not their fault.  But, they always ask "Are you Canadian?"  Not once have I been asked "Are you American?"  I did have a taxi driver ask me if I was British.  But he was old.  And a bit confused.  And my teeth are actually quite nice, thank you very much.  Pish.

Canada's population is about 34 million, compared to a US population of around 308 million.  That means that there are roughly 9 times more Americans than Canadians.  It is easier for Canadians to travel to Australia than it is for Americans, visa wise at least, but I imagine the few extra hours on the plane would deter a few more Canadians.  Therefore, I expect a proportionate 9:1 ratio of American to Canadian tourists visiting the land down under.

So why do they keep asking me if I'm Canadian?

It's because Canadians get a little offended to be confused for an American.  Rightfully so I guess.  But Americans don't seem to mind being confused for a Canadian.  Unless the Americans in question are from Mississippi, Arkansas, or one of the other crappy states in the middle.  Those Americans, though, don't travel too much because (1) they think America is just tops and don't feel like seeing any other country (2) the great public school systems in those states probably taught them that Australia is on Mars or (3) they couldn't get enough vacation time off from the Piggly Wiggly.

So what do I say when I'm asked "Are you Canadian?"

"No, but I wish I was."  I'll take the universal healthcare and gay rights.  Bring it on.

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