__________ Comes to Canada

I mentioned this in an earlier post, but I have an Internet friend coming to visit. On December 27th. That is soon, folks. I’m sure you’re all just brimming with excitement. Or you’re entirely weirded out that an Internet friend is coming to visit me. Guess what? I AM TOO. It’s entirely weird. We are both well aware of its weirdness. Yet, it’s not weird. We know each other and now we’re just getting around to hanging out. It happens when you write and connect with people who are far away. You are friends who have never met.

Yeah, still totally weird.

Jessica Buttram posted a picture that represents this weird phenomenon quite nicely:


My guest (who shall remain nameless and faceless for now) and I have not yet discussed this initial greeting, but I am certain it will be AWKWARD. In fact, I almost hope it is because it’ll provide us both with great blogging material. Yes, my guest does blog. Yes, there is a link to said blog on my sidebar. No, I will not tell you who it is yet. This person is not Canadian, which provides me an opportunity to show off the great white North (that is sadly rather brown and barren at the moment).

I have devised a list of uniquely Canadian and/or Waterlooian (that’s not actually a thing) activities and experiences:

Things to eat/drink:

  • Tim Hortons coffee (I will not be partaking in this adventure….ew)
  • Timmy Ho’s donut
  • A box of Smarties (these are M&M type candies in Canada)
  • Real Maple syrup (Look out, Aunt Jemima) and Maple Sugar candy
  • Apple Butter (made famous by the tiny town in which I do community theater. They have a whole FESTIVAL dedicated to this stuff, that’s how good it is)
  • Poutine (cheese curds and gravy on fries)
  • White vinegar on fries (I’ve discovered that this is VERY Canadian. You use vinegar to clean. We put it on fried stuff. Because it only makes sense?)
  • A Mennonite-type meal in a Mennonite-type home (ie, cooked by my mother at our house)

Things to do and see:

  • The St. Jacob’s Farmers Market (conveniently located two minutes from my house)
  • Get to know “Good Hands Sandi” (the owner of an exceptionally cheesy B&B)
  • Mennonites. Horse and buggies. Bonnets. Suspenders.
  • Talk in Mennonite accents.
  • Niagara Falls
  • Balls Falls (mainly for the photo opp. Wait. Let’s be honest. ONLY for the photo opp)
  • Toronto (CN Tower, of course)
  • Write a rap song
  • Kitchener Rangers game (nothing more Canadian than going to watch teenagers play hockey on a Friday night)
  • Five pin bowling (even though I hate bowling)
  • Waterloo Park (they have a turbo cheesy light display that seems to get cheesier with each passing year)
  • Attempt to explain why and how exactly King Street and Weber Street intersect in five different places.
  • Pronounce “Weber” properly.
  • Watch an episode of George Strombolopolous Tonight
  • Sing the alphabet pronouncing the “Z” as “Zed”, thus making it not rhyme (and very Canadian)
  • Wander the aisles of Canadian Tire

This list is not person-specific (except for maybe the rap song). If you visited me here in the land of Canucks, you too would get to experience many of the items on this list (I guess we could write a rap song if you REALLY wanted to). I know, you’re jealous. Mennonites ARE great.

Do you know of any other uniquely Canadian or Kitchener-Waterloo based activities that I could subject my guest to?

On an unrelated note, does anyone know how to run background checks on strangers?

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25 thoughts on “__________ Comes to Canada

  1. you covered all the ideas I had :) and I went to Waterloo park last night with my nieces. Best free entertainment ever.

    just so you know the swan light display that I always thought one of the better ones was now ruin for me when my son asked why one is sniffing the others butt. May it now be ruined for you too :)

  2. I love St. Jacob’s. Be sure to pick up some summer sausage at the farmer’s market. Slice it thick and throw it on the barbecue – awesome!
    I’d add outdoor skating to that list.
    Ooh, and Coffee Crisp too!

  3. take a picture under a moose crossing sign or stick red noses on deer crossing signs to make them rudolph’s (maybe thats more of a northern thing though…)

    eat ketchup chips! totally canadian!! and have a couple of canadian beers too ;)

  4. I actually did meet a net friend of the female gender once, and we had a conversation regarding greeting. It was not a long conversation, but we established that she was welcome to a hug when we met at the airport, but she would have to initiate, because it is proper Southern manners for a gentleman of similar age not to hug a woman he’s not met before unless she has been the first to initiate or otherwise approve one. Keeps her from having to awkwardly push him away if she doesn’t want one.

    There is actually an exception to that rule, which does permit side hugs to be initiated by a gentleman of sufficiently paternal aspect (fancy way of saying old men who are not creepy) towards a younger female. Particularly friendly Baptist churches can also be a bit of a hug free-for-all at meet and greet time. But the general rule applies.

  5. You might need to drop Smarties off the list, as they’re American with factories in New Jersey and Canada. (said the Smarties-aleck)

    Apparently you could replace this with a Coffee Crisp chocolate bar, which was invented in Canada and not much available in the States, or with Dare Maple Leaf Cookies. According to AskMen Canada, clearly an authority on such matters*, you aren’t Canadian if you didn’t eat Dare Maple Leaf Cookies as a child. :>

    * The second most iconic Canadian food according to them is Thrills, the gum that tastes like soap, so draw your own conclusions.

  6. Hockey Night in Canada or better yet a Junior Hockey Championship game – I know you can watch them elsewhere in the world – but I think we’re unique in our insanity when it comes to the sport. And I think a hug is fair method of greeting.

  7. World Juniour Hockey game @ Moose Winooski’s in the bar (the ultimate in Canadiana with decent food) and followed up by watching Anne of Green Gables (all four parts and none of the silly pre and post episodes made that are clearly off book).

  8. Also, for awkward introductions, I think the best/most awkward way is just to say what you are going to do. For example:

    (walking up to each others, arms at awkward levels momentary pause) Blurt out: “I’m going to hug you now!” or “How about a hand shake” and then some version of an awkward name, like “Buddo” or “Bucko” (anything that ends in -o)

    Bryant and I shook hands after our first date. It was perfect awkwardness that is the best anticdote ever.

  9. Just now reading this. So glad it happened. So hoping it was super awkward. So can’t wait for Friday, which is when I find out…

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