I’m definitely not one for stereotypes, but I somehow find myself being engulfed by the stereotypical “Canadian” character that so many think about when they think “Canada”. Leaving southern Ontario has certainly changed me a little, or maybe it’s just me doing my best to adapt to the surroundings. Either way, I find myself being more “Canadian” since I’ve moved to Brandon.
First, the friendliness. Generally, I think a Canadian stereotype/expectation is friendliness, and I’ve actually seen that stereotype in action here. I’ve found that I’ve had to change and adapt my ignore-everyone-one-the-street thing. I find people here just don’t do that as much, and although I can do some ignoring sometimes (and I really try my best to – southern Ontario habit), it’s harder to do since there is that small town, friendly vibe to Brandon. I remember when I was younger in southern Ontario, walking on the streets and saying hello to people; however, that changed awhile ago. People are so entranced in their own worlds and aren’t interested in interacting with people they don’t know, just to say hi on the street. It’s weird to see that friendliness in southern Ontario. So here I am in Brandon, trying to get rid of my lack of stranger friendliness and just saying hi, or smiling.
And then there’s hockey. Okay, I will admit, I’ve only been to one Brandon Wheat Kings game (they won, by the way!), but the fact that I have even been to one is a huge accomplishment. Also, the fact that I’ve contemplated buying a ticket before for other games is another big accomplishment. See, I’m not a sports person. I don’t watch any sports on T.V., so why would I want to go to a hockey game? But there I was on Friday, enjoying the game and quietly (and secretly) getting into it, although I could do without Willie the mascot, as I have the obviously common fear of mascots and anything that looks like them.
Then, Tim Horton’s. The Canadian staple. In Hamilton, I would never spend any time at Timmies. If we’d go get a coffee of some sort (usually a chai latte or a frap) it’d be at Second Cup or Starbucks. None of this plain-jane Tim Horton’s stuff. Admittedly, I spent a huge amount of my time in high school at Tim Horton’s when I lived in northern Ontario in a small hick town in the middle of nowhere, but that was only because it was literally the only thing to do in town. That, and car tag. Now in Brandon, I find myself at Tim Horton’s a lot, enjoying a coffee or french vanilla with friends.
I’m certainly not complaining about my changes since moving here. It never hurt to be more “Canadian”, even though these are just stereotypes…but they maybe have a little truth to them?