Colour me Canadian

This morning, I went to Tim Hortons as I do everyday. Being a creature of habit, I normally order a large green tea and a cranberry blueberry bran muffin. On this particular day, though, I decided to switch things up. I went for the large double double, along with a chocolate chip muffin (I was feeling dangerous). Driving up to the window where you pick up the goods, I noticed that the familiar Tim Hortons employee that handed over my morning calories everyday was working, yet again. I saw a look of recognition on his face and then he said, “No green tea today, eh? Oh, and keeping it real with a chocolate chip muffin. Nice.” Now, normally, being recognized at a food service establishment leads to feelings of shame and the urge to visit a gym. This time was different. It left me feeling super nationalistic.

Okay, I’ll say it. There is no place more Canadian than Tim Hortons. Sure, their sales in the U.S. are better than their Canadian sales right now. Whatever. The place was named after a hockey player! At any given time, a Tim Hortons will be filled with families, church buddies, friends, working stiffs, seniors…everybody. Sure, their selection of bagels, donuts, soup and meat-filled sandwiches are not particularly multicultural. Thing is, Canadians are, and in the last few days I have heard four different languages being spoken in my local Timmies (yes, I am there a lot…shush). Today I was admiring a lady’s beaded sari in the lineup at lunch (yes, I went there for breakfast AND lunch…shush). There’s no place where I feel more Canadian, and the fact that the perpetually working Tim Hortons man recognized me felt as nationalistic as singing the national anthem with Harper at an Olympic hockey game while making maple things.

That got me thinking about the things I’ll miss about this place I call home while I’m gone. Since I love lists, here are the things I’ll be dreaming about at night.

Tim Hortons

I think I explained this one but I’ll be honest. I’m just really going to miss old fashioned glazed donuts and double doubles. I’ll be getting my fill of curries but I’ll be missing that dairy and sweetened lard with a passion. Also, Roll Up the Rim! The constant excitement and let downs. The garbage bins overflowing with red cups. So Canadian.

Canadian radio

Maybe it’s just that class I took in first year that taught me about how radio unified our country alongside the railroad, but listening the radio always makes me feel so Canadian. Driving to work today, The Tragically Hip was playing. I can almost guarantee that the Hip will not be played on the radio in India or Kenya or Thailand or Australia or even Hawaii for that matter. The same goes for a bunch of other Canadian music. I’ll miss saying, “they’re from my town!” when Finger Eleven or Silverstein or another local band plays. I’ll miss the DJs at 102.1 The Edge and their dirty humour. I’ll miss radio.

Big deals, Canadian style

There are some moments in Canada when you just know the majority of citizens are watching the same thing you are, and it feels weird. Big hockey games, for example. Well, that might be the only example, but still. It’s a BIG DEAL and if you don’t watch it then you are NOT CANADIAN and will basically be deported. To a lesser degree, the same goes for rooting for Canadian stars in sports, music and the like. Mike Weir at The Masters. The Sheepdogs during the recent Rolling Stone contest. Justin Bieber at the Grammys? Maybe. It’s cool feeling like an entire country is hoping for the same thing, and that may be the same everywhere, but in Canada it’s like a quiet, polite hope. Until we lose, then all Hell breaks loose. Actually, sometimes we riot when we win too, so if it’s a BIG DEAL then anything could happen…Canadian style.

Feeling like an extra in a Molson commercial

Some companies profit off Canadian feelings of nationalism. Clearly, Molson Canadian fits the bill. Sometimes, if I’m holding a Molson Canadian at some sort of gathering when people are chatting and some Canadian band is playing in the background (or Song 2 by Blur), I totally feel like I’m playing a fun Canadian in a commercial. This feeling is exacerbated if I am wearing flannel. I’ll miss that feeling. Also, flannel.

Obviously, I’ll miss my family and my friends and my house and my cats way more than the things listed above, but only barely (kidding, parents! Love you!). I’ll also admit something else. I’m totally smuggling some Timbits through security. Rebellion, Canadian style.

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