Wednesday, June 11, 2008
When I was an exchange student at Glasgow University, way back in 2000 and way before students had the internet in dorm rooms (R.I.P. Maclay Hall), I had a daily ritual of waking up, making a cup of tea, and stumbling down to the common room - in my pajamas of course - to read the papers that were delivered every morning. I was curious and eager to know what was happening back home in Canada.
However, I quickly learned that once outside of Canada, no one really gives a shit about it? Which isn't to say that this world view of Canada is fair - it's not - it's just reality and what makes us Canadians so damn humble, I suppose.
After a while, I pretty much gave up any hope of ever seeing any Canadian news in UK newspapers. Instead, I would go to the Canadian Muffin Company, once located at 73 St. Vincent Street (now closed!!!) and read their weekly/ monthly Canadian news pamphlet.
Can I even tell you Glaswegians how surreal it was to wander around Glasgow, and then stumbling onto some cafe specialising in giant "Canadian muffins", which also had a huge Canadian flag hanging in the joint? Well, it was totally bizarre and somewhat endearing; also confusing because as much as I, and other Canadians, love muffins I thought we loved doughnuts more?
[Interesting side fact: Per capita, Canadians consume the most doughnuts in the world, and Canada also has the most doughnut stores per capita. How are we not the fattest nation in the world then? Apparently, Naura is the fattest - with America in at Number 9 and Canada at 35!]
So, you can imagine my delight whenever Canada or something Canadian makes the news. Although no news is good news, I take a perverse delight whenever we manage to make a headline. And apparently Canada is leading the way in two aspects:
The standard of living and milk.
I read in the news today that Vancouver has been named the world's best place to live, according to a survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Apparently Canadian cities scored well - with Toronto at number 9 - as did Austria and Switzerland.
I also had a wee chuckle this morning when I saw that the British supermarket, Sainsbury's, would be adopting the "revolutionary" milk bag. Sorry, dudes, but milk has been sold in bags in Canada for about six decades now. Nothing revolutionary about that - in fact, when I first moved here, I was perplexed to find that milk DOESN'T come in bags over here. So foreign!
Canada is one of the best countries to live in and this is obviously due to our revolutionary milk in bags scheme. So why are you dragging your feet, Britain?!