I am not American!

It so surprising to me that in a country like Iceland where the standard of living is high and the people are both well-traveled and educated, they still confuse the United States with Canada. Most of the people I have met so far have confessed to thinking that there are actually no differences between the US and Canada and are shocked to find out that:

We use the metric system
We have don’t have a president
We have universal health care
We aren’t snowed-under most of the year
In contrast to the USA, we use UK spelling

I actually find this ignorance to be quite insulting, considering that I know the difference between Greenland and Iceland, so perhaps the education we receive in Canada is something we should be proud of.

Which reminds me, a couple of days ago a cabbie in New York wanted to know if he could run away to Canada with me to live together forever. He said he’d do all the driving (he’d be pulled over so fast and thrown into jail speeding during rush hour), anyway, he offered to do the driving and since I hate driving, I thought that was a nice gesture. However, when I explained that it would take us at least a week to drive to Vancouver, he didn’t believe me because he was quite sure that the Canada he knew was just a few hours north of New York. I don’t think I ever managed to convince him that it was a lot bigger than that.

No photos until I get home — I had to repack in Toronto because I couldn’t lift my suitcase — I had to buy a new and smaller one — but, I left my connector cable for my camera in Kate’s room…OMG, I’ve taken some amazing shots…

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3 Comments

Filed under Iceland 2008

3 responses to “I am not American!

  1. Jill Browne

    Hi Julie!

    Here are two names to drop to assist you in making Canada more meaningful to your Icelandic comrades.

    1. Gimli, Manitoba is a proudly Icelandic community in Canada. Not the only one, but a notable one. http://www.gimlicommunityweb.com/

    2. Stephan Stephansson http://www.abheritage.ca/pasttopresent/settlement/aa_Stephan_Stephansson.html lived much of his life, including years of writing poetry in the Icelandic language, in Markerville, Alberta (roughly, between Calgary & Edmonton). His house is now an Alberta historic site. Staff there describe Stephansson as the Shakespeare of Iceland.

    I think one of the less obvious reasons for Icelandic people to confuse Canada and the US – on top of all the modern media influences – is that many of the Icelandic people who did settle in Canada came here via the US. Thus, family members who actually set down roots here in Canada were thought of back home as having gone to the US or “America”.

    Best wishes for a great time in Iceland. It looks ideal and wonderful, even with the wind.

  2. james

    i talked to some english people a couple months ago who didnt know where canada was…

  3. maggie

    Hi Jules, I have “special ordered” Gunnar Gunarsson’s book, Guest- The One-eyed, from the Dunbar library. Apparently when one cannot locate it but can locate the authoer’s name, it might be in another system,ie: medical library, special studies,etc. It will be intersting to see if it can be found. Jen, Nick, Pete and I are going to the airport tonight around 7PM to meet James. I have made him some yummy cookies. Enjioying the pics. Love Maggie/ mom

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