Canadians are an oft misinterpreted bunch. Plenty of people think we cuddle up to polar bears in igloos at night and in 2008, Australia even listed Canada as dangerous to visit.
The land down under’s travel advisory website suggested Aussies “exercise caution” when travelling to the great, white, avalanche-infested abyss known as Canada.
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade lists snow, terrorism, ice and forest fires that can burst forth “at any time” as some of our many grave dangers.
Chile, Latvia and South Korea are all listed as being safer to visit than Canada.
This reminds me of an email a co-worker forwarded to our editorial team recently. These queries were made in light of the upcoming Vancouver 2010 Winter Games, and while the answers are sarcastic, the questions are very much real!
Q: I have never seen it warm on Canadian TV, so how do the plants grow? (England)
A. We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around and watch them die.
Q: Will I be able to see polar bears in the street? (USA)
A: Depends on how much you’ve been drinking.
Q: I want to walk from Vancouver to Toronto – can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden)
A: Sure, it’s only four thousand miles, take lots of water.
Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in Canada? (Sweden)
A: So it’s true what they say about Swedes.
Q: Are there any ATM’s (cash machines) in Canada? Can you send me a list of them in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton and Halifax? (England)
A: What, did your last slave die?
Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Canada? (USA)
A: A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe. Ca-na-da is that big country to your north… oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Calgary. Come naked.
Q: Which direction is north in Canada? (USA)
A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we’ll send the rest of the directions.
Q: Can I bring cutlery into Canada? (England)
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.
Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys’ Choir schedule? (USA)
A: Aus-t ri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is…oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Vancouver and in Calgary, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.
Q: Do you have perfume in Canada? (Germany)
A: No, WE don’t stink.
Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Where can I sell it in Canada? (USA)
A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.
Q: Can you tell me the regions in British Columbia where the female population is smaller than the male population? (Italy)
A: Yes, gay nightclubs.
Q: Do you celebrate Thanksgiving in Canada? (USA)
A: Only at Thanksgiving.
Q: Are there supermarkets in Toronto and is milk available all year round? (Germany)
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gathers. Milk is illegal.
Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Canada, but I forget its name. It’s a kind of big horse with horns. (USA)
A: It’s called a moose. They are tall and very violent, eating the brains of anyone walking close to them. You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.
Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)
A: Yes, but you will have to learn it first.