7.11.2004

why canada

Why Canada. National health insurance, legal gay marriage, no death penalty, full abortion rights, less crime, less poverty. Canada didn't support the invasion of Iraq, and they don't keep a huge military with which to bully the rest of the world. Religious fanatics do not control the government. It's not a socialist utopia, but it all adds up to a very different attitude about government, society and a nation's place in the world. In short, it's a country with values more similar to my own.

The US has moved so far to the right. It's not just the W Regime, even though they've made it so much worse. It's been going this way for almost 25 years. Relative to the norm in this country, I used to be a liberal. Now I'm a radical leftist - and I haven't changed at all!

Why Toronto. It's extremely diverse. There are jobs in our field. It's English-speaking. It's a big enough city that we won't be bored. It's close enough to NYC for friends and family to visit easily. It has baseball! And not just baseball - American League East baseball, so we could both see our teams on a regular basis (likely more than we do now).

Why now. I've been in the city more than 20 years; Allan has been here since 1987. We're at a good place to make a big change - financially, emotionally, all that.

I've been ready to leave New York for a while. The incessant homogenization is really getting me down: all the chain stores, theme restaurants, the Upper West Side looking like Chelsea looking like Park Slope. It's something I've been complaining about since the late 80s, and it's only gotten worse and worse. NYC has lost so much uniqueness, so much character; it feels too much like anyplace USA. I find it very sad. A friend called it soul-destroying, and that's precisely right.

And of course, priorities change. We used to run around the city a lot more, hearing music, going to theatre, lectures, art exhibits, all kinds of stuff. I still do all those things, but much, much less. Now I spend more time on the couch, watching movies or baseball, or at the computer.

I used to feel like NYC was the only place I could live - and it was, for a long time - but now it doesn't feel as essential to be here. A smaller city would be enough, as long as it was very diverse and had enough going on - or else I'd live in the middle of nowhere. We've been talking about moving for a while, but hadn't hit on just the right fit.

For a long time I've talked (and fantasized) about getting a place upstate, moving to a smaller apt in the city, keeping our weekend jobs and coming into the city every weekend just to work. It's an appealing idea, but fraught with questions, and would probably be more expensive to maintain than we'd be comfortable with.

We have the perfect situation right now: a terrific rent-stabilized apartment and great jobs that give us lots of time for writing and our own pursuits. It's so comfortable; it's too comfortable. I feel like we could stay the way we are forever - and it's beginning to stagnate. The time is right to pack it all in and start something brand new!

This feels exactly right.

64 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi! I’ve lived in Toronto for 24 years now. Before that, I was in Montreal for almost 30 years.

Is there any way we could take over your NYC apartment as a timeshare kind of deal? We love visiting NY, but find the hotels pretty damn expensive. In fact, we had planned to be there this weekend (Nov. 20 & 21). We have family and friends that love NY and the apartment wouldn’t sit empty very much.

Oh... I dunno. It feels complicated and might be tricky to organize. But it’s something my wife has thought about a lot.

L-girl said...

Hi! What a cool idea. I don't think it would be that hard to organize, but unfortunately, it wouldn't work with us.

While we're visiting Toronto, our apartment will be occupied by our two dogs and their "nanny" - our dogsitter who stays over while we're gone. After we move, the apartment won't be ours anymore. Our landlord will have rented it to someone else.

However, I do have some good recommendations on less expensive hotels in NYC. Email me privately, I'll send you some info.

Beausejour said...

Hi there! We just made the move from NYC (Washington Heights) to San Francisco - driving across the country in the week before the election. It's truly scary. I am Canadian, having lived here now for almost 6 years - all of it in NY before moving out west, and one who grew up in a pretty conservative place in the Maritimes, but nothing is like what I see here now. We're tempted to pack up and move to Canada ourselves...have you had many other people mention that to you since you came out as closet Canadians in your blog?

I would say that of everywhere I lived in Canada, Toronto was OK, but not my most favorite (however, we Maritimers have a knee-jerk reaction to Toronto - more on that later if you like). Having read your post on Christmas-time tourists in midtown (I've always worked in midtown and I loathed this time of year too), the comment you make about a NYC theme park - that was always my standard line...about Toronto. TO tries so hard to be NY, it's like that kid in 8th grade who has all the good stuff and tries to bennice but annoys everyone. It's like if Disney came up with a New York ride in Orlando, that would be Toronto. To quote MArge Simpson - "It's so clean...and bland!" :)

Wretched said...

Well, good luck! I've lived here in the T.O. area for 20 years now, and *I am sick of it! But with your political views you should really *love it here - especially because of the Media!

Though your reasons for coming here seem somewhat vague and idealistic to me, and not really related to what will be everyday life, they're not really my business.

But, a couple of points on your comment "... it all adds up to a very different attitude about government, society and a nation's place in the world."
For sure!
Ppl here still have that sort of British/socialist attitude that Gov't knows best and will take care of us.

And Society? Well, the mind-blowing immigration rate will change it by tomorrow or the next day, so don't get too comfy with whatever it is today!

As for their "place in the world", well they're not sure yet. They cannot actually define what they *are as a people, only what they are *not - i.e. "we're not Americans." How original.

ps - hope you have enough money to live right downtown so that U never have to *drive!

Cheers!

L-girl said...

Related to everyday life - I'm an American every day. I have to live in this disgusting, shallow, commercial, militaristic, jingoistic culture and support it with my taxes. Can't get much more every day than that.

Society rapidly changing from immigration - excellent. It's something I am accustomed to from NYC, and something I look forward to in Canada.

Place in the world not being American - sounds fabulous to me. That's the whole point.

We won't be living downtown, we'll be in the suburbs. But we have traffic here too. We know about that.

Thanks for your good wishes. If you're sick of the Toronto area, I hope you can soon leave.

Anonymous said...

Hey I-girl (or is it L-girl),

Sounds to me like anonymous and some of the others on here have never lived anywhere but Toronto. Good for you for having the courage to follow your heart and beliefs to a place that you feel more comfortable with. I moved to Toronto from London, UK. It is diverse, inexpensive and there is really very little traffic congestion as compared to most other big cities.
It can be a little bland at times, but every place is what you make of it!
Have a brilliant time in your new home and best of luck!
mj

L-girl said...

Thanks so much, MJ.

Funny how coming from London or NYC, Toronto seems inexpensive (and maybe a little bland) - where most Canadians find it so expensive.

It's L-girl, btw. Blogger's lower case makes my name look silly. :)

BW said...

Congratulations! I hope you, your family and your dogs will be very happy in Canada. I'm from the "Left" coast (Vancouver)and think your reasons for leaving are valid.
Toronto is probably a good place to start since you're from NYC. The pace is little faster than out here in Lotusland.
I hope you enjoy your life here.

L-girl said...

Thank you BW! Just as you were leaving that comment, we were signing a lease in Port Credit, right outside of Toronto. Thanks so much for your good wishes.

HLinNYC said...

People who give up and move in the face of challenging problems are cowards. If you felt The City was getting "bland" and that the country is moving too far to the right, what did you do to try to change things for the better? Robert Dinero created the TriBeCa Film Festival - You moved to Canada.

We are probably better off without you. Please DO give your apartment to someone who understands there is something worth fighting for here.

L-girl said...

In fact I have spent most of my life trying to improve both my city and this country. If you knew me, or read more, you would know that.

Now, rather than trying to force an alien world to come around to my point of view, I am going to a place already more like me.

There is absolutely much worth fighting for here. I agree.

(Although I don't agree that a film festival does much to improve things!)

Good luck on your own battles. Including the one that makes you so judgemental and unforgiving.

L-girl said...

Also, HLinNYC, see this post.

A-Man said...

Move already!!! You're one of those liberals who preaches for the common man, but doesn't like the common man if he's not as educated as you, cultured as you, and God forbid, occassionally votes Republican.

God who are those people? The "masses," they're not part of the intellectual class like you are. They all drink beer out of a can, and eat red meat, and get this they actually fly the american flag!!! Heavens to betsy, what will katha pollitt think.

Go and please take your "patriotism is so passe and only for the common man" ass to canada

L-girl said...

Move already!!!

Going as fast as I can, baby!! As fast as my little feet will take me!

Guess what? I eat red meat and drink beer, too! And I don't care how educated anyone is, just how compassionate they are.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a nice day!

Anonymous said...

What if we don't want you? Canadians are rabid anti-americans, even Canadians who live in the US and drive up with their US licence plates get treated badly. But if you feel entitled to everything and feel that you are morally superior to your fellow Americans (and remember when you move to T.O you gotta pull the party line which is Americans are stupid/backward/evil and live in our one party state) and that the government should look after you..... well come on it. As an Albertan I am only too happy to pay for your new social benefits.

L-girl said...

What if we don't want you?

I guess you'll have to either have to put up with us or move somewhere else! Because your country has welcomed us with open arms.

Re paying for social benefits, I will be paying for yours as well. I have always been employed and plan to continue that trend.

And re Americans are stupid and backward, why do you think I'm moving???

That's a joke, by the way. Not all Americans are stupid and backwards. But the country is, that's why I'm packing it in. See you soon!

And thanks for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

Welllllll no you won't be paying for mine. Alberta doesn't get equalization payments dearie from which social benefits are paid out. But thanks for taking the time to find out about how Canada works before you moved.
It's not that I don't want you to in Canada, but this attitude like we should be happy that you choose us. Like you've decided to be so benevolent and move to Canada...Kinda arrogant don't you think? ....which is another thing that Canadians don't like about Americans.
I personally dig Americans (not as much as I dig the Irish but not really the point) and while I don't agree with everything in the States I think that there is more correct than wrong with it.
I just think you should be aware that there is a VERY HIGH level of Anti-American sentiment in Canada. Considering that most Canadians identify themselves as "not American" as opposed to being proud to be Canadian and that for most Canadians being Canadian doesn't really mean anything. And that the vitriolic loathing is encouraged by the Canadian Government. You may find that Canada isn't the approriate choice after all.

tijo said...

WOW, dear Anonymous Canadian, who's Kinda arrogant don't you think?

As a Canadian, and former Albertan, I'm frankly embarrassed by most of what you have to say here, especially this:

most Canadians identify themselves as "not American" as opposed to being proud to be Canadian.

Do you have statistics to back up this claim, because I don't think they exist. Why not 'take the time' to gather some proof to back up your point instead of (what seems like) shouting?

Sure there have been some incidents, also discussed here on this blog, where Americans have been on the receiving end of unnacceptable anti-American behaviour. It's a rare thing. Canadians on the whole are by no means RABID, as you proclaim. Many are defensive against the US administration's attempts to meddle in Canadian policies, and why shouldn't they be?

Anonymous said...

Well here is one Albertan that welcomes you with open arms... I completely disagree with my anonymous countryman about this anti-American sentiment. Yes, most of Canada is pretty pissed with the current US administration, but we don't dislike the people, or the country as a whole. I guess it is just because we (me and my fellow Canadians, at least the ones i know) are generally for equality, freedom, and not blowing peoples heads off because they have oil... but that last one might just be because after Iraq is said and done what is going to happen to the US's largest energy source?

Anyway, I also disagree that American's get the short end of the stick when they come up here.

Peter

L-girl said...

Thank you so much, Tijo and Peter.

But thanks for taking the time to find out about how Canada works before you moved.

I've done a great deal of research. But naturally I haven't learned everything yet, nor am I foolish enough to think I have. I have a lifetime ahead of me to continue learning.

I can learn from everyone, including you - except your attitude prevents that.

It's not that I don't want you to in Canada, but this attitude like we should be happy that you choose us.

Please show me an example of this attitude. I have never said or implied that Canada should be happy I chose it.

The Canadian government, however, through its immigration policies, made it very clear I was welcome. I was honored to accept the offer.

Meanwhile, you stand as a lovely example that no place is perfect, and there are assholes everywhere, even in lovely Canada.

Kyle_From_Ottawa said...

Well, I'm happy you chose us! :)

Slim Bacon said...

Dear anonymous,

Most Canadians are not Anti-American. However, i think that you might be. There really is no reason for such an abrasive outburst at someone you hardly know. Racial and ethnic prejudices are often the cause of such statements.

You are welcome to speak for yourself but the next time you do, i would appreciate it if you dont lump me in there with you.
______

Ummm. Well i can't wait for you guys to join us up here. The more the merrier i say!

L-girl said...

Thank you, Kyle. :)

And thank you too, Slim Bacon! You are a welcome addition to the wmtc crew.

redsock said...

Please show me an example of this attitude.

Examples? You mean evidence to back up what he's saying?

Yeah, right.

These idiots just blab out any old shit -- and have nothing to back it up. Nothing. Not even the guts to stand up and defend it in any reasonable manner.

Post and run.

jacky said...

hiya, i live in canada...it's kind of boring but i've been to the us a lot and the environment really isn't that different, exept canadians seem angry and unfriendly(probably the cold i'm guessing) oh well good luck with the move

L-girl said...

Thanks for your good wishes, Jacky. I haven't met any angry and unfriendly Canadians yet, but hey, they're entitled...

Pearl Pocock said...

I just read your post on the reasons for your move. We moved to Toronto over a year ago from the San Francisco area from almost identical reasons and logic. On the whole it has gone well and is meeting most of our expectations. I wish you a smooth transition too!

Anonymous said...

L.Girl,
If I have a business in NYC, financially how can i afford moving to Canada with my girlfriend if i wanted to? How is it to bring over dogs? My girlfriend is a phys. ed. teacher, could she get a job there? The health care - if one of us got sick - i here though there is health care for all there is also a significant waiting period for specialists and operations needed...is this true? - new yorker curious

L-girl said...

Hi anon, you should go to the CIC site and start reading everything that applies to you. See the "Official Info" link on the top right.

If you own a business and your wife is a professional, you shouldn't have any problem getting in. But it takes time, and you have to learn about the process.

Dogs are no problem. You just need proof of rabies vaccination. We have two dogs and couldn't move unless we could take them without quarantine.

The health care stuff is largely a myth. It's not a perfect system, but my experience with HMOs in the US has been way, way worse than what most Canadians experience with their system. You might have to wait for surgery if it's not crucial that you have it right away. No one I've spoken with has ever waited much time to see a specialist, as compared to the US.

Read up, and drop me an email if you want.

Anonymous said...

regarding red meat and radical leftist...do radicals forget ecology and how much the development of the cattle industry uses of the last vestiges of the wilds as well as the lands my forefathers & mothers & grandmothers lived freely in harmony with nature (oil, hardwood, cattle, gold, aluminnum are just the leading industry destroyers of the earth) - so beef eater that is great you feel so 'socially' left but it makes me feel so sad - how far I and others have to go when the radical left even ignores the rights of other inhabitants(besides the domestic animal friends you have) of the earth - even laughs it off by defending herself by saying "i eat redmeat and drink beer". I'm sure you are a nice person but it does feel painful. Where's our safe space or country...?
sincerely, Maricela Flores

L-girl said...

Marciela, if you're reading, a bit of explanation.

I laughed off that person's comment because I find that the best way to deal with obnoxious idiots. I didn't feel I was defending myself. I just didn't enjoy being stereotyped.

I have ethical misgivings about eating meat, but have decided, for various personal reasons, to eat it anyway. We all make choices, and no one's hands are completely clean. If yours are, I admire you and commend you for it, but chances are there are certain compromises you make in your life, too. For example, do you own a car? Do you know where all your clothes are manufactured, how the workers are treated and paid?

I say this not to chide you or harass you, merely to point out that you may have gray areas in your life as well. I find it best not to judge others for the choices they make, but to do the best we can, and support each other as best we can.

Thanks for reading and for your thoughts.

Peregrinato said...

So now that you're in Toronto, have you experienced any anti-Americanism? Have you been the recipient of some of the arrogant hostility that some have directed to you here, or have you received the hospitality that others online (as well as the Canadian government) have demonstreated here?

L-girl said...

So now that you're in Toronto, have you experienced any anti-Americanism?

Not a bit. Everyone has been so welcoming, it's been great.

People are very curious about our motivations for moving here, since we left a place with a high standard of living relative to the rest of the world. People seem interested, and very pleased that we chose Canada.

99% of the hostility I've encountered has been online, from right-wing Americans.

The remaining 1% has been from the occasional Canadian (online) telling me (anonymously) that I'm not wanted.

Tracy said...

Welcome to Canada. I am a Canadian expat living in the Middle East (for 3+ years). You are really corageous to actually make the jump to a new country. It is much easier to think or dream about it. Congratulations and welcome home.
My only advice would be to try to get to other places in Canada too...like the maritimes and the west. Perhaps a camping trip in the mountains or a folk fest in Winnipeg. And it's a great idea to keep a journal of all the quirky stuff you discover too. Incidentally, I have found that the Americans who I have encountered living here in the Middle East feel much the same as you, and never want to go back. They are frightened of what will happen next due to the unabashed lack of separation of church and state apparent in the US. Your observations are so true about beginning left of centre and now being a 'liberal' while your position has never changed. It is like the coriolis effect.
Well it is easy for some to send a few scathing keystrokes but you made the leap of faith and changed 100% of your life to fall more in tuen with your beliefs, to suuround yourself with a better space. That is sincerely inspiring.
Now you will never be the same.
Good on ya'
Salam Alaykoum (Peace Be Upon You)
Tracy

L-girl said...

Tracy, thank you for this lovely comment, and for sharing your thoughts with me.

I certainly plan to travel in Canada. I love travel - it's my favorite thing in the world - and now I have a whole new country to explore.

Thanks again for stopping by. All the best to you.

Anonymous said...

Hi L-girl,

Enjoyed your comments about moving. Your family seems like a delightful addition to Canada. I recently moved from Alberta to the UK, and the distance gives me a perspective of my homeland that I could never get if I stayed put. I like living in a community here in the UK where there are people who share my politics. I think there's a time to stay and fight, and a time to heal and grow.

Enjoy!!

zonie-phone-home~ said...

L-GIRL!!! So you are OVER there, then! We are living in Phoenix (DH and I) and after 25 years married and also (seemingly) moving farther and farther left of center.. we just decided after a trip to Nova Scotia earlier this month, that WE TOO are heading to Canada! Your blog turned up today on a search today my hubby made for living in canada! We have been doing NOTHING but surfing the net since we got back. We HAD thought of Sidney, but having come from Montana, we started looking at British Columbia. We think we may have found our spot around Nelson or Revelstoke or Kaslo. We hope to have some kind of work to go to, but have also saved our butts off to retire early. We would do part time work up there most likely. We LOVE Toronto, but it was a little big for us. We were there in the summer of 1996 for a few months around Markham. NEAT area! We are going up to BC this spring to scope it out, but want to submit our paperwork while the score is still 67. WE both make it now. We appreciate the info.. we have 3 dogs we'll have to get new rabies shots for.. or find the old. We think we can be out of our jobs and ready in 18 months. (summer of 2007.) We hope to buy a little house and do a LOT of fishing. I will hopefully be able to teach college or do some drug counseling.. H works for IBM and may find something computer-ish. It's nice to see someone else you can reach out to, who has blazed the trail! This is REALLY exciting, but REAL scary. IT WILL happen, though.. it HAS to. Can't take the crap anymore. Worked TOO hard on John Edwards campaign and have never recovered. That tells you where WE are. LOVED the comment about the masses going more conservative over time. I always thought.. it's not the PEOPLE's fault.. but at some point, the choice to tune into American Idol.. and tune out reality, IS a problem when so much hangs in the balance for all. GREAT to see you.. will be watching!!
h

L-girl said...

Zonie-phone-home, thank you for this terrific comment. In the spirit of your writing, GOOD LUCK!!! :) Please feel free to email me with your progress as things move along.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that any American with a brain would up and leave for Canada. I'm impressed that you've actually done it, instead of just talked about it (like the Americans who periodically contact me about moving to Australia), and perplexed why not more Americans are doing it.

I fully endorse moving to a country whose politics you share. (I would probably move to Sweden if I spoke Swedish.) In any case, from a political standpoint you can probably do more good for Canada than you can do for the US right now. The US seems beyond salvation, but Canada could remain a decent society for quite a bit longer yet.

Social Democracy Now
http://www.blogigo.co.uk/socialdemocracynow

The Acid Queen said...

Checking in a month late, but....

I'm a bit like you, in that I'm considered a "radical leftist" with relation to the Traitor-in-Chief and his regime...but I'm a Goldwater conservative.

Even though I've been marginalized by the Republican Party (because I believe in such outdated things as civil liberties, the freedom of speech, and the right to self-determination), even though folks like me are regularly pilloried as "un-American" for opposing the Traitor-in-Chief, I just can't leave. I've been sorely tempted, believe me--I've looked into immigrating to Canada a few times, but I feel that somebody needs to stay to keep fighting for the Constitution and the liberties it guarantees (and that Shrubya et al. want to take away from us).

I wish you good luck--and don't let the wandering neocon trolls get to you. They're just gutless cowards like their demideity in the Oval Office. ;)

L-girl said...

Thanks for this, Acid Queen. (More like 18 months late, but who cares!)

I know what you're saying about staying and fighting. I felt that I had spent my whole life fighting, only to see things get worse and worse. I wanted to spend the rest of my days not fighting.

I've come to respect you true conservatives more and more. There's a lot we disagree on, but there's a big intersection of our values, too. The neocons aren't at all conservative - they're dangerous radicals.

Thanks for stopping by.

Elio said...

Hi and welcome to Canada.

I currently live in British Columbia and just found your blog. What's really interesting is that I spent a couple years travelling throughout the US on business (while living in Canada) and I found that Americans did not even know where Vancouver (voted the #1 city to live in the World) was. I had to tell them it was close to Seattle before they could understand.

Anyway...good on yah!

Take care.

L-girl said...

Hi Elio, and thanks for your welcome!

Well, Canadians love to make fun of Americans' poor geography skills. (With good reason.) But in all fairness, you don't hear much about Vancouver in the States. It would be kind of like asking Canadians where Louisville is.

Thanks for stopping by. We are really happy to be here.

Greg Ellis said...

I am an American who has lived with his Japanese wife in Tokyo for near nine years. Two years ago, we decided we wanted to raise our children in the West, and started looking at my homeland, as well as Canada, England, Australia and New Zealand. Of course, proximity to family was a powerful factor. However, Canada has other strengths that those other countries don't. It has the second largest quantity of fresh water beside Russia, some of the largest forest and timber resources in the world, global warming is making its climate more livable rather than more hostile (bad overall, but it can be a benefit to most of Canada), its water tables are not falling as quickly as the States, and many more factors I could name that will bolster its resource power and ability to leverage them.
I am one of those Americans who loves my country. When I read or listen to a biography of a Founding Father, and George Washington in particular, I get that lump in my throat, when I hear the Constitution quoted, I get that shiver of awe in my spine. Jefferson fires my Freethought spirit, Franklin makes me proud of the ingenuity and work ethic of America, Roosevelt of the nobleness of serving the least of Americans and guiding the nation in the darkest of hours, and so on. Even if my children grow up Canadian, I will always be American.
But an American of an America that has vanished under the sea like an Atlantis. I go to Canada for my children. I go so that they will have a safety net, so that they can marry if they turn out to be gay, that they will not have to take a job they hate JUST to get decent insurance (though maybe to feed a family, hehe); so that they will not have to turn into animals in competition as water becomes the next scarce resource as the UN estimates, and so forth. Canadian patriots and politicians in the past have said it regarding the 90s (inaccurately), but my research shows that Canada has its best chance of rising to the ascendancy in the 21st century than it ever has, if it takes that torch and run with it. At least it will stand a fighting chance against the environmental hardships the U.S. will increasingly experience in the next century.
I have already filed my immigration application, and have mailed out my graduate school applications to Canadian schools. I will get in one way or the other. I have read much on what is right and wrong with Canada and have no fuzzy misconceptions about some frozen utopia.
I know I can always go home. But having moved internationally once (and back to North America soon to Canada), we want our children to live in one place and know a stable home. So in all likelihood, this will be our last move. How do other Americans feel about moving to Canada? I feel both relieved for my family, but sad that I cannot stay and fight in America to try to save it from running off the tracks. I am normally not one to run from a fight. I at least look forward to making friends and a community in Canada and give something back to the country in return for taking us in and/or educating me.

Cheers
Greg Ellis
gmellis1@hotmail.com

SteveR said...

It's very interesting to come in "late in the game" and read older posts like this. It looks like you're happy with your decision, and that's the important thing for you & your family. Voting with your feet is a long and honorable American tradition :-)

"...I used to be a liberal. Now I'm a radical leftist - and I haven't changed at all! ..."

It's ironic, - I feel the same way, but backwards. I used to be a liberal, but now, compared to my fellow Democrats, I feel like Barry Goldwater. I also don't think my values have really changed.

But in some ways, especially my view of the world, I have changed substantially, especially since 9/11. For example, I used to believe that "we're all basically the same and we all want the same things for our families" whether we're American or Syrian. But now I see that it's not necessarily so.

Take Mariam Farahat, the Palestinian mother whow was recently elected to Parliament on the Hamas ticket. Surely, as a mother, she just wants what any other mother would want, right? That's what I always thought.

But Mrs. Farahat starred in a video in which she instructed her 17-year old son how to attack Israelis, a video where she is seen telling him not to return. He killed five Jewish students before he was killed. Mrs. Farahat, who is known to the Palestinian public as Um Nidal, or "Mother of the Struggle", sent two more of her boys to kill Jews in the most gruesome manner as suicide bombers. It turns it it made for a very effective and successful political campaign for her.

So is Mrs. Farahat really "just the same" as say, a mother of three in Oakville, shuttling her kids to soccer and gymnastics in her minivan?

L-girl said...

It's ironic, - I feel the same way, but backwards. I used to be a liberal, but now, compared to my fellow Democrats, I feel like Barry Goldwater. I also don't think my values have really changed.

There's nothing ironic about it. You've gone the route of so many others. Here's the only thing you said that I agree with: it's backwards.

For example, I used to believe that "we're all basically the same and we all want the same things for our families" whether we're American or Syrian.

Many Americans raise their children to kill people they have never met. They do it through joining the army or the marines. In that sense, your example of Mrs. Farahat is a good one. There's no difference between one murderer and another.

Please note, your comments will not be welcome on this blog. Thanks and have a nice day.

L-girl said...

So is Mrs. Farahat really "just the same" as say, a mother of three in Oakville, shuttling her kids to soccer and gymnastics in her minivan?

Your question, of course, fails on many levels. It assumes that all Palestinian women raise their sons to kill - that all women want nothing more than to be mothers - that Farahat shouldn't care about anything other than what you think is appropriate for a good woman to care about - and that Americans never raise their children to kill. Which they do. Or else we wouldn't have anyone to fight the war of terrorism as it is now being waged in Iraq.

deaconblues said...

As an American high school student who is trying his hardest to go to college in Canada, this site of yours is very informative. I'm currently a junior so I won't be putting in applications until fall of this year but I do sincerely hope that I can find myself in a Canadian city in 2007.

I fully support everything you stand for and tend to agree with it. I come from an extremely right leaning city and in fact go to a Catholic high school, so I certainly know what it's like to feel completely alien to anything that's going on around me.

I think I am making the right decision. As a student, I'll have the opportunity to live in Canada and decide at the end of my four years if I'd like to stay or not. I hope you keep this site updated so as to provide a perspective into what the "big transition" is like. You have much more life experience then I do, but we'd both be "babies" in Canada.

Best of luck to you. Maybe we can meet for coffee in Toronto in a few years.

L-girl said...

Deaconblues, thanks for your good wishes. Going to university (as it's called here) in Canada is an excellent idea. I hope it works out for you.

I've been here six months and am still writing daily about my impressions and feelings about my new home. If for some reason I end this blog, you can always reach me at movetocanada@gmail.com.

Best of luck to you too! By the time you graduate university, I hope I'll already be a Canadian citizen.

Anne alias Purrceyz said...

Hi welcome to Canada,

I'm not too far from you (south Etobicoke) and I'm a Canadian by past political circumstances. My mom is an American originally & my dad is a Caandian. They met in Detroit where my dad was going to school & my mom was working. They decided to move to Canadian as it was the heaight of McCarthyism and my mom didn't want her children "going up in that atmosphere of hysteria". As a result, we are Canadian and my parents are still here.

I'm very fond of many things about the USA (my American relatives, the state of Iowa where my mom was raised and other things) but I think the USA is going through another very dark period politically and is terribly polarized.

I saw your piece in the Globe & Mail and enjoyed it. PS. If you haven't check on Rick Mercer's TV show Monday Report...he's a hoot.

L-girl said...

Dark period? Why yes, you could say that.

Thanks for your welcome, Anne alias Purrceyz, it's much appreciated.

Rick Mercer is much discussed here. You might want to do search the blog for his name. My opinion is sure to disappoint you. :)

But rest assured, after six months here, I've given him a chance, and then some.

Fusion88 said...

You semm to have tapped into the best (and worst!) of both countries! George Dubya's idea of "Either you're wid us or you're agin us" seems to prevail amongst Americans (our way or the highway!) to the point of turning on their own, even "eatin' their young" if need be just because you have a different opinion. Canadians, on the other hand, are so self-insulting that they cannot take the slightest compliment about their country, even though they love their country and would rather be here than anywhere (for the most part), Secretly, we're just as conceited as Americans but you won't hear it out loud -No siree, not from us!! If a loud, obnoxious idiot was being rude and crude anywhere in public, Canadians normally would sit quietly and hope he goes away (or dies!). Would that happen in NYC? Don't worry, even the people saying that you're nuts to move to Toronto are honoured that you are coming here. Or not! At any rate, I am so WELCOME!!! You cannot be part of Toronto life until you get caught up in T. Maple Leaf hysteria. Sigh! Alas! You will have to wait "till next year as the Leafs are done for now.

L-girl said...

Thank you Fusion88! I much appreciate it.

khattak said...

I am a new Canadian. Born in Pakistan, lived in US for few years on and off. Love it here in TO/Mississauga. I feel welcome and accepted here, unlike in US. Welcome to Canada L-Girl, the real land of the free!

L-girl said...

Thank you Khattak! I'm glad you feel at home here. I do, too.

Chris Shorb said...

Hi L -

I agree with you on most points about the big C. And I love hockey, so it would be heaven. But, what's going to happen when the oil runs out? Darn hard to heat them homes north of the 49th without fossil fuel. Not enough whale blubber/timber up there to heat the homes of 33 million people.

And speaking of blowing up the middle east for oil, I heard recently that Canada has the most petroleum deposits of any nation in the world (probably mostly in shale oil).

Good luck with your move. stay warm.

chris
(red sox fan in sunny los angeles)

L-girl said...

Hey, at least we'll have plenty of fresh water. Canada's got the most of that, too.

Thanks for your good wishes. I'll stay warm - you stay sane. :)

Ugo said...

Welcome to the GTA, it is always nice to hear positive things about my home. I have lived most of my life in the area, although I live in the East End now. I would just like to say that The Red Sox suck, so do the Yankees. Both teams are whats wrong with Baseball. GO JAYS GO!

L-girl said...

Both teams are whats wrong with Baseball.

But don´t tell me you don´t wish your Blue Jays had the same thing "wrong" with them! Your Jays are more competitive this year for one reason: because they spent more money.

Thanks for weighing in - good luck with your season!

Fabio, Valquiria e Letícia said...

Hi,

It has been an extraordinary experience reading your posts.
I'm trying to immigrate from Brazil to Canada and it is very interesting to know your steps in this project.
God bless you and your family!
Cheers,
Fabio

Fabio, Valquiria e Letícia said...

Laura,

Thanks for your nice words and help offer.
I have many friends living in Missi and Toronto if you need any assistance, let me know.
fcuizzi@yahoo.com.br

cheers,

Fabio
PS, if you don't mind send me y/e-mail, please.

L-girl said...

Fabio, it's on the top of the blog.

ANLIFU said...

i am from turkey but i now live in china and it will be 4 years that i am here.i d like to be in Canada oneday,it s my dream to live in Canada for a lifetime...i like there more than USA and England. let's hope my dream become true oneday...

L-girl said...

Ah, then the photo is from Turkey! Thanks so much. Best of luck with your journey to Canada. You're making a good choice.