Well I am back from a much needed diversion. I wouldn’t call it a holiday nor a vacation, but it was a fabulous diversion. I spent 5 fun filled glorious days in Southern California. Most of it at Disneyland with one hour of it watching Genetic Offspring’s concert ensemble play amazing numbers in Disneyland. IN DISNEYLAND PEOPLE!!! They came in second in the competition and will not get to go to Carnegie Hall in New York, but they had a great time anyway. Quite frankly, so did I!
Yes I have been to Disneyland a bazillion times, and yes I see something new every time I go. But this time I noticed cultural differences. Many people may not think there is a large difference between Americans and Canadians, but I think there really is. Of course I think there is a North American Culture as well, but I am talking about the distinct difference between Canucks and Yanks. For the record, I love Americans. Not every Canadian can say that. I think Americans can be their own worst enemy and the media doesn’t help the situation, but I have met and got to know many Americans and can say, your hockey knowledge sucks as a collective society but I really like you in spite of that.
Getting back to the culture aspect, it is defined as – The arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively.
Given that definition, I will lump food into the “other manifestations” because food can be a large part of culture. I think it is time for an Edmonton Tourist top 11 list.
The Edmonton Tourist’s Top 11 Cool Cultural Things About America
- I learned that Americans are okay with with clogged arteries but high blood pressure is not okay. Restaurants do not use salt. Weird, but good. I often find food too salty. I find it hilarious that every thing was loaded with fats, oils, mayonnaise, cheese – can I just say Americans have perfected melty cheese! Fats make food taste good. Sadly …it was too good.
- California has the best fresh fruit I have ever tasted. DAMN a California Orange is so freaking awesome! Being able to pick fruit off a tree is mind blowing to me. I would consider moving to California for this reason alone.
- American Birds are not scary. Again, weird… We all know how scared I get from birds. They terrify me. Remember the story of the baby bird who hopped up to me and wanted to peck my eye out? Well in America, particularly Disneyland, birds make dresses and sing with English words – so they are not scary. This is awesome. I need to keep that in mind when the Swallows fly up here from Capistrano. They are American bird seamstresses…not Hitchcock killer birds. There is a big difference. I may now be over my fear of birds.
- Getting lost in America means you see cool things. In Canada it means you stop at a hockey rink or curling quonsit to ask for directions. In America you get lost and find the Jim Henson Company! This was the coolest find! It use to be the Charlie Chaplin Studios. Parts of the Muppet Movie was filmed here and I was in heaven. Some of the most creative people in the world were able to market their talents to showcase their fabulousness right in California. That was cool for me.
- Media has done a bang up job of self promoting their talents. We saw street signs like Sunset Blvd, Hollywood Blvd, or Vine. There were buildings I recognized like Capitol Records, Staples Center, Mann’s Chinese Theatre and In and Out Burger. I recognized brands and labels that are available only in America, that was cool for me. Growing up across the border and then seeing some of this stuff was awesome!
- American Candy has more variety. I ate M&Ms chocolate covered pretzels for the first time… I would move there just for those.
- The United States has their own Folk music! This is cool – except it has too much Banjo. Just say no to the Banjo people!
- You can actually see people get arrested! I felt like I was on an episode of COPS! This would have thrilled my brother, he should have come.
- Food labels are in English only. I am halfway to being french bilingual because of cereal boxes. I also cannot understand cab drivers in the States either. Some cultural aspects are unilateral, except French isn’t part of their culture.
- There are no mosquitos in LA. This is worth the price of admission. People can walk around without OFF or leave the window open and only worry about birds and rats… okay – I can handle a few mosquitos over birds and rats.
- The best thing about the cross-cutlural differences? I have NEVER been to California and seen or felt rain. Yet all the plants grow as if by magic. Intellectually I understand they use up the Colorado River water and buy water from Canada… but no rain and only sunshine is AWESOME for vacations! Heat and sunshine! 31C on Sunday…10C tomorrow here in Edmonton.
I’m packing my bags and immigrating.
I am DONE with Canadian weather. I can live with all that American stuff. I understand the language, they have hockey teams (GO RANGERS!), I could live on California fruit and M&M pretzles. Diet coke comes in tomato juice cans and food comes on handy sticks so your fingers don’t get messy. I am IN! I am starting the job hunt pronto.
- I have become THAT Mom (ragrobyn.wordpress.com)
- Tribute to Disneyland’s “secret restroom” (boingboing.net)
- Adventures in Anaheim California – From Muzeo to Disneyland (anaheimadventures.net)