I've gotten quite a lot of mail from the Globe And Mail essay. I answer every email, however briefly, but I'm asked the same questions over and over. To that end, an FAQ. New readers may find this educational, veteran wmtc readers may find it amusing.
1. Have I seen Rick Mercer?
This is the most frequently asked question. Sometimes it's phrased in the form of advice and instruction.
I have seen Rick Mercer.
I do not care for him. I just don't find his show funny or compelling in any way. Sorry.
My thoughts on his show are here and here.
2. Will I travel in Canada?
Yes, definitely. I plan on seeing as much of the country as possible, a little at a time. Thank you all for your travel suggestions.
3. Will I move to [your city here]?
Probably not. The GTA is a very good fit for us in many ways: jobs, baseball, proximity to family and friends in the NYC area. We like Toronto, and we love Port Credit.
People on the west coast are particularly adamant, some saying that I can't possibly find what I love about Canada here in Southern Ontario, and should be seeking it in B.C. It's lovely that you feel so strongly about your province. However, I'm not interested in moving to the west coast. Contrary to what you imply, Toronto is part of Canada.
4. Am I disappointed in Canada? Will Canada meet my expectations?
No, and probably. My expectations about Canadian society were realistic, not utopian. I do think it's a better place than the US, a society more in tune with my own values. But I have no illusions of perfection. Canada is a country, made of people. Therefore it will always be flawed. One big difference between Canada and the US is that Canada knows that.
5. Do I find Canadians anti-American?
No more than me.
I understand that disapproval of the policies of the US government is not bigotry against the American people. I do find that many Canadians subscribe to stereotypes about Americans, as many Americans do about Canadians. See #4, above.
6. Do I always pay on the GO train?
Yes. I have been tempted to cop a free ride now and again, as I've always had a bit of a shoplifting and petty-theft streak. Although I've outgrown it, it lives within. And I am still a New Yorker, who would gladly milk the hated MTA for any freebies. However, I keep these anti-social impulses in check, and dutifully pop my ticket.
7. Do I wear shoes in the house?
Just kidding. No one has asked me that. But new readers might enjoy the long discussion that ensued from that observation.