10 things I don’t understand about Canada (and Usa???)

Hello everybody, and welcome to the first part of my The world through Italian eyes project.

WARNING – A small but still remarkable percentage of readers found this post offensive, and somebody commented “You’ve been very insulting to a country that has welcomed you with open arms”. Replying that I have been talking about cinnamon and air-conditioned, and of course my post was ironic – like thousands for readers understood and wrote me about – I have to warn you. This post may contain humor that may not be suitable for an audience with unexpressed anger, lack of a sense of humor, lack of self-criticism, and serious disposition for conspiracy.

For all the people who missed my presentation (you can read here) everything came to my mind with the realization that every one of us wear a pair of glasses that filter the world around us. From here, with my “Italian glasses“, the top 10 things I do not understand about Canada.

First of all, I’d like to say that I’m talking about Canada because it’s been 5 years now that I have been living here. However, I won’t exclude that some of these things happen in the United States as well, which will make my post even more interesting!

Canada is a very great country, but there are things I really have a hard time to understand:

1. First of all, taxes. The reason is simple: if you have $5 in your wallet, and you want to buy something that costs $5, think twice. You can’t! In fact, due to Canadian taxes, the price of an item is NEVER what you read on the tag. This makes everything very….. frustrating!

2. Air conditioning. Ok, this is not only something that I don’t understand, but also a big issue. What is wrong with you people???  Why do I have to take with me a jacket in the summer  just to go to the grocery store? And keep a sweater at work because it’s so cold that I have goosebumps? This is much more than a fresh breeze in the hot muggy summer (which it’s not the reason why Canada is famous since probably there is a summer every 4 years) but we are talking about a strong polar storm that gets you as soon as the sliding doors open!!!! I don’t get it!

3. Last minute plans. “You know how Canadians are”! This is a typical sentence that comes up when we are talking about booking an appointment, meeting or even a dinner with friends with weeks in advance! “What about a brunch next mont?” Next month????? I suppose I will be still around, and I also suppose we will still be friends in a months time. However I have a hard time deciding what to have for dinner later, so I’m not really sure how we can do this. How about you call me whenever you are ready?!

4. Seal hunt. In Canada you can hunt pretty much everything. This is very disappointing. I have always considered this country one of the best in regards of green living. There are beautiful landscapes,  one-tenth of the world’s forests, and most of the people seem to care about the environment. They have wonderful people like David Suzuki who certainly said pretty important things about the country and the Planet. However sometimes I wonder if it’s all just in my head, if Canada is just as bad as any other country. For example, did you know that the federal government wants to put a price tag on polar bears???

5. Hockey vs. Soccer/football. I know you are already smiling, so let me get to the point: Canadians  don’t think soccer is a real sport! They make fun of soccer players because they fall down and complain like little girls while they play hockey and are tough! So tough that when they don’t play hockey they get busy pushing freaking teapots on ice with a big broom thinking that’s fun to play and to see.  They call it curling and play it on TV for hours! Well, let me tell you something: that is not a sport either, and for sure it’s not tough, it’s just insane!

6. Monarchy. Italy has really nothing to teach anybody about politics and democracy. In any case the presence of a monarchy in a country like Canada seems today something with not too much sense.

7. Everybody’s sorry. Coming from a country where it’s easier to get naked than to apologize about something, one of the first things you notice about Canadian people is that they say “I’m sorry” in any occasion, no matter what! Sometimes makes you think how kind these people are, other times….what are you guys so sorry about??!!

8. Cinnamon. This is another Canadian obsession: in cookies, soups, coffees, cakes, meat, pretty much everywhere! There is so much cinnamon in Canada that you can smell it when you walk on the street! I have never been a fan of this spice, but it never bother me at all because I have never lived completely surrounded by it!!!

9. Style. I’m sorry to say this, but Canadians have no sense of style! While it’s very nice to live in a country where nobody judges you for the way you dress – should I say “for your fashion crimes”??? – it can really be disturbing sometimes to watch! It really took me lots of work and energies, but it made me a better and more tolerant person. Still, not style! It really would take not much to understand that just because you have a designer bag it DOES NOT mean you have style!

10. Complains about weather. You have not excuses! I am Italian, born and grew up on an island where you can go to the beach pretty much 6 month per year. I have the right to complain about Canadian winter, and I don’t really do it. Why? Because it’s winter, and you are in Canada for God shake…. what do you aspect? Try not to wear t-shirt and flip-flop while it’s snowing, that could help you! Yes, I understand you are tough and you like hockey and not soccer…. So how come, after 6 month of winter (read snow, snow storm, -30ºC) if we pass +20ºC you tough guys melt like ice-cream on a bbq grill and lose your mind complaining about the heat??? Let me ask you: did you go to Florida in February only to make your co-workers upset and actually spent the whole week in your hotel room with AC watching curling on We-are-tough channel???

Ok, come on, where is your sense of humor???

Well, let me say that Canada it’s a great county, and that my “Italian glasses” don’t always make me see things in the right way. I’m learning. However, there are things I will never understand.

For all the people who now want a revenge, it’s coming! So don’t miss the things you need to know about Italy + the things I learned in Canada about Italian people (coming up on my blog).

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42 responses to “10 things I don’t understand about Canada (and Usa???)”

  1. Daniel Daugherty says :

    Wow, dude, If Canadia drives you crazy, you should never move to Korea.

    Especially for the fashion crimes — it’s a land of outlaws.

    • elenasc says :

      Canada does not drive me crazy at all…. I love it!!! And about fashion crimes, well, I wont go to Korea! lol

    • kim says :

      If you want last minute plans you should visit the maritimes…We really annoy people from Ontario with our 9ish or around ten appointments…lol

  2. Jetouellet says :

    As a Canadian, I really don’t know what you’re talking about in regards to cinnamon. Who the hell is putting it in soup or on meat? That’s far from the only complaint I have though.

    • elenasc says :

      You are probably right, but I can guaranee you I did see somebody putting cinnamon in soups and meat, and telling me it’s a Canadian thing! I didn’t have any reason to believe that was not true, that’s why I wrote it!
      It’s good that with this list people can explain me ….

  3. Jordan says :

    1. Yes, taxes should be included in the listed price. Besides, tipping at restaurants is a stupid practice — just pay your servers a good wage. Occasionally you will find a place that includes taxes in the listed prices, and I like to go back to those places more frequently. Worth noting is that some portions of our population are exempt from sales tax (First Nations) so there’s a potential reason that sales tax isn’t included in the listed prices.

    2. Grocery stores are kept cold for a variety of reasons, including encouraging people to keep moving. It’s generally only cooled to about 18C anyway, which is a perfectly acceptable temperature, especially for the poor saps who have to re-stock the shelves.

    3. This complaint is one of the most poorly worded of the entire diatribe and is more endemic to your friends / acquaintances than Canadians in general.

    4. Hunting is heavily regulated in Canada, with the intention of preserving the natural spaces you speak about. That’s the reason the government wants to put a price on hunting polar bears, an endangered species. I would have thought this was obvious, but apparently it’s too difficult.

    5. Soccer (or football as it is perhaps more wisely called) is definitely a real sport. So are golf, curling, field hockey, basketball and dozens of other activities. However, soccer is the only sport where the Italian national team, the pride of Italy, is allowed to cry and complain on worldwide television because they lost possession of the ball. Stop being drama queens and we’ll stop laughing at you. Brazil, for example, isn’t completely ludicrous about falling over for every little thing. If a hockey player tried to draw a foul without getting hit, he’d be out of a job in minutes.

    Curling, of course, is more in the class of sport that golf is in. Maybe not very much fun to watch, but actually surprisingly fun to play. Try it sometime…but don’t bother watching it.

    6. The monarchy is a figurehead preserved as part of our history. It really has no bearing on modern Canadian politics.

    7. People say sorry frequently in Canada out of politeness for even minor indecencies. This is in contrast to many other countries wherein “sorry” isn’t even employed for mistakes (such as a restaurant not bringing you your meal). Given the choice, I’d take Canada’s approach.

    8. Stop ordering things with cinnamon and you’ll stop finding it everywhere. Besides cinnamon is delicious, so either learn to like it or learn to avoid it.

    9. I’ve never understood why anyone considers style to be of importance. The clothing fits, and is comfortable? Great. What more do you honestly want of clothing?

    10. Everyone, everywhere complains about weather. This is not unique to North America. Besides, if you’re doing anything physical, temperatures above about 25C rapidly get unbearable, especially if you’re used to wearing a winter coat most of the time.

    11. You’ve been very insulting to a country that has welcomed you with open arms. I don’t expect you to love Canada, but I do expect a degree of respect.

    12. Please learn how to use punctuation. Multiple exclamation points or question marks are poor form and don’t convey anything except a lack of maturity. Also, “expect” and “aspect” are different words, with very different meanings.

    13. As for sense of humour, we can start talking about that when you admit that the Italian soccer team looks retarded.

    • elenasc says :

      First thanks fot taking the time to explain me all this!

      I have to say I do not understand people who get offended from MY top 10 list – it’s called “10 things I don’t understand about Canada”.
      Everything was really ironic, and I have been writing much “worst” about my own country (you will see it with my next post “Things you need to know about Italy” and I already did in post about Italy.
      You wrote: “11. You’ve been very insulting to a country that has welcomed you with open arms. I don’t expect you to love Canada, but I do expect a degree of respect”.
      First – With all the respect, you don’t know my personal life, how I got to Canada and IF this country welcomed with open arms! I did not talked about YOUR private story, so keep this comment for yourself, you are not adding anything to the conversation!
      Second – I have been insulting a county??? I have been talking about cinnamon and air conditioned, what are you talking about. Relax!

      About my writing in English, I can just learn, but this is not the point of my post. When I’ll write about my perfect English you could come back and insult me again.

      Italian soccer team sucks!!! Nobody can say anything different!
      Hope you feel better and find a way to smile sometime!

      P.S. Why do you say “we…”? You do not rappresent Canadian people to me! They are much smarter!

  4. gianni Lovato says :

    Holy cow (without exclamation mark, please notice).

    I was going to take your ten points one by one, dissect them and compare them with mine, from the perspective of 40-plus years of residence in the U.S.ofA.
    Now I changed my mind because:

    1) Taxes here are way more infuriating here than in Canada and all levels of government levying those taxes are wasting and misusing those revenues in much worse ways than Canada does. (care to compare our D.O.D.s?)

    2) In the US all large stores (not just groceries) are cooled in Summer to temperatures that would be considered downright unacceptable in Winter AND warmed at equally ridiculous levels in Wintertime.

    3) Basically we are talking about the cultural difference between puritan-calvinistic societies and mediterranean animistic tribalism. They are still hung up about getting caught in their skivvies or sitting on the commode. Give them time, they’ll eventually get it.

    4) Again: if you think it’s bad up there, take a few hours drive South of your Border. You’ll think you live in a war zone. Heck, people hunt with AK-47 around here.
    And, let’s be honest: who are we (as Italians) to talk? Things are perhaps different in your native island, but in most parts of Italy it’s impossible to find ANY kind of live wildlife below 2,000 meters and above stove-top level.

    5) I have no interest in any sport I cannot play or practice. I am 68, poor and in less-than-terrific physical shape, so you guys can fight without me on this one. (until they admit briscola and tresette to the Olympics)

    6) Some people in the US are beginning to think that the Monarchy wasn’t such a bad idea, after all. Some are even revisiting the Boston tea party. (or is it revising/re-writing?)

    7) In the United States, “I am sorry” has become one of the most frequently used opening (or closing) lines at press conferences and communiques held by politicians caught with their pants down, financial tycoons caught embezzling old folks of their life savings, public officials found with rolls of cash in their freezers,,,, Be happy when someone in Canada apologizes to you for stepping on your big toe by mistake. They might actually mean it.

    8) Cinnamon in my opinion is no different than, say, sulfites in wine, MSG in food or buttons on the blouse of an attractive lady. It would be nice to be able to do without any of them, but if you must use them, please do so in moderation.

    9) Just because you come from a Country where females (and now even some very interesting and quite pretty males) are born wearing umbilical cords with style, does not give you the right to criticize people who use clothing just for covering their privates or for protection against the elements and accessories with any signature other than their own. Let she or he who can explain style to a North American cast the first stone.

    10) I was born and raised in an area with fog as thick as soup, cold, humid, dreary and miserable 5 months a year; humid, hot and miserable for another 5 and just about tolerable for the rest of the year. Now I live in an area were Winter lasts 6 months.

    Is sense of humor compulsory on this blog? I shed the last vestige of it when I retired and I am now a very happy curmudgeon.

  5. bagnidilucca says :

    I haven’t spent much time in Canada, but I really liked what I saw there. Amaricans put cinamon on their coffee. I couldn’t make out why it tasted so bad until I realised this. Why would anyone want to ruin coffee with cinamon? I don’t think being stylish is a bad thing.

    • gianni Lovato says :

      No kidding: Amaricans put cinamon in their coffee too? I thought that it was only Americans and Canadians who did it.
      In what part of that Country do they grow it? And is cinamon also similar to “cannella”, by any chance?

  6. Paola says :

    Geez, some readers really need to get a sense of humor! She’s clearly exaggerating to make a point, and most definitely loves Canada. Lighten up.
    As an American, raised in the U.S. by Italian immigrant parents, and now temporarily living in Italy with my Italian-born husband, I could make a similar list for both countries. Doesn’t mean I don’t love and appreciate aspects of both.
    Elena, keep on writing…looking forward to your other “lists”!

  7. A. says :


  8. Bryan S says :

    I love the sense of humor!!!! You are right on the mark on many of these points. If we would step back and look at ourselves, in any country, we might find many things that are odd.

    PS – I agree about the curling…I just don’t get it – eh.

    • Ilaria says :

      Io ho riso moltissimo leggendo questo post… non sai quante volte ho pensato le stesse cose!L’aria condizionata poi, se qualcuno di loro dovesse passare un luglio o agosto a Cagliari schiatterebbe senza dubbio! Io vengo da Macomer, e vivo e lavoro a Boston dal 2004. Ad essere sincera tutte queste cose dell’America (Canada compreso) mi piacciono anche (come I’m sorry, e good morning quando sali sull’autobus) e la cannella se usata con moderazione non e poi tanto male.
      a presto Ila

  9. CanadianInAustria says :

    For all you aggressive defenders of Canadian integrity – She’s not being rude she’s just pointing at (our) Canadians “flaws” and laughing at them. Which is by the way a really good way the help adapt to another culture and appreciate it’s qualities for better or worse.

    Great job “takin’ the piss”!(for you canadians: that’s making fun of someone’s traits or characteristics and it is pretty much the favorite humour of the Irish and Aussies)

    HAHAHAHAHA… I was laughing at this post. AWESOME! First of all, great english… only a couple of tiny mistakes. I wish I could pull off anything close to this quality in German.

    I think a lot get lost in the difficulty of conveying tone in writing… because I’ve now lived abroad in Australia and now here in Austria (going nearly alphabetically I guess) and I can tell you I COMPLETELY understand where your points come from.

    1) I agree… totally bs.. but I think it has to do with how the law was enacted (I think GST was first enacted in Canada…could be wrong though) and consumer psychology… if it looks cheaper people are more likely to buy it… along the same lines as 4.99 and not 5.

    2) AC… didn’t even notice it in Canada… maybe it’s cause all of our clothes are generally much thicker materials (than both austria and australia) so we have our offices cooler?? No idea but I can see how that would be annoying

    3)Last minutes plans… lol… you should come hang out in the german speaking world… I have arranged plans with friends 8 months from now!!!! I think of myself as more spur of the moment than most… but Italians… I can totally see you guys being even more so :)

    4)Seal Hunt – I think Canadians generally think of themselves as having a well regulated hunting industry… But I think the level and strictness is all relative… Europe is MUCH more strict I would say than Canada which is much more strict than the USA… unfortunately we base most of our relative references off the USA (scientifically proven fact for anyone who will respond in dispute of this claim) as they are our neighbour and the dominant culture “Seller” of North America.

    5) Hockey v. Soccer – I have to say I fit perfectly into this lol. hmm how best to reflect this… aha!
    My high school coach would ask this question, “Are you hurt, or are you injured? Cause if you’re hurt you need to get back up, tough it out and win this match. If you’re injured then I need to arrange a ride to the hospital for you.” Therefore, even though I have tried SO HARD while here in Europe… I still have no respect for soccer. The players have been tackled badly or stepped on thousands of times… they know when it happens if it is just painful or a genuine injury… and yet their actions don’t match their knowledge… I find this dishonest and an attempt to “game the rules”. Sorry it’s true… it must be cultural because as we say “I feel it in my bones” lol… so agree to disagree :)

    6) Quirky I know eh? But doesn’t she just look so adorable with that hat?
    Umm I learned a lot about this when I was in Australia (where they are 50/50 between love/hate the Queen). Although I think it speaks volumes to point #7. She is accepted because she isn’t contentious (in a publicity way). She flew in to Australia and deposed a Prime Minister 40 years ago and they hate her there still :).

    7) This is the one aspect I miss THE MOST about Canadians. I call this our benefit-of-the-doubt Clause. I am going home for christmas and I SWEAR I am going to bump into someone just so I can apologize. I love that if we get into a situation where there could be a confrontation the first thing we do is the nicest thing possible… It just makes it so much easier to have a good day. The obsession with avoiding conflict even bothers us Canadians and has it’s downsides too but… ahh I am home sick just thinking about apologizing to someone I don’t know for something that wasn’t really my fault :)

    8) Cinnamom – hahahahaha totally did not even notice. I know one thing my girlfriend misses most about Canada is the smell of Cinnzeo cinnamon buns in the mall LOL.

    9) I know what you mean… I’m living in Vienna now and everybody has a “style”. I can only imagine Italy :). BIG cultural point here! I still have to stop myself from judging very “stylish” people here. Because I think in Canada it is really looked down on as a sign of “self-obsession”. Let me tell you the shock I had when I made friends with a guy that has long flowing hair perfectly styled (every day) with stylish shirts, trendy jeans and shoes for every occassion (and I’m sure I’m missing some fashion essentials lol) and he turns out to be one of the most down to earth easy going people that I’ve met here… My brain and eyeballs argue over what to think about him every time I see him lol.

    10) I love the jabs about curling btw (by the way)… get ‘em where it hurts lol. uhh yeah we’re proud about walking 40 miles to work through 3 feet of snow at -40 – up hill both ways I might add- but we’re complete whimps when it comes to warm weather. i have no problem with this observation and am totally proud of it :). ‘Cause when the next ice age comes… we’re gonna rule the world (or what’s left of the green, marginally habitable bit at least).

  10. honeybeecooksjackfruit says :

    Funny! Ignore the overly-sensitive ones. jeesh

    I completely agree with you about the airconditioning. That is soooo annoying! I always have to think ahead and bring a jacket with me, no matter what the outside temps are. Even in the winter its cold. One store here, its a whole foods, has been insanely cold. I mean you shouldnt have to do grocery shopping wearing a jacket, and STILL your hands freezing and your nose running. That is extreme. Even enjoying a meal in a restaurant requires a sweater in summer.
    AHh well..

  11. georgette jupe says :

    great post elena! It made me laugh and its nice to see the italian take on north america. Considering all the trulty offensive material floating online, it astounds me that AnYone would find what you wrote offensive ….and take the time to dissect what you wrote point by point. geez.. some people need to get a life..I find the most defensive nationalist people ( I’m American living in Italia ) tend to be the LEAST adaptable when taken out of their comfort zone or forced to learn another language.. I would love to see those people writing a blog in another language lol.. seriously.. about cinnamon my italian boyfriend always complains about that , its everywere in the USA, i love it but i agree it can be overwelming! I love that in Italy I can make spontanious plans to meet with friends , pretty awesome actually :) , keep writing Elena!

  12. Fragolina says :

    Great post Elena. It was very fun reading the comments, i really enjoyed it. I laughed alot about it. Well, I think you have the RIGHT to write whatever you want and express yourself, your thoughts, your ideas. You’re not offending anyone or Canada… you’re just sharing your opinion. And they have not the right to tell you, “Canada has welcomed you and you’re insulting it.”

  13. The Gates of Lodore says :

    You insulted curling – so I am offended!! :) Seriously, if you havent tried it, find a club and throw a few stones. Be sure to find a club that encourages beer consumption while playing. After a few outings, you will come to appreciate the strategy, the players, and the camaraderie.

  14. bobby says :

    Great post. I’ll try my hand for Italy.

    1) Family — One of the “greatest” things about Italy also has 40 year old momma’s boys living at home. There is no escaping an Italian family.
    2) The government — It doesn’t work. Everyone complains about Berlusca but left is just as bad and impotent as the right. Also, I recently voted in the popular election. The propositions come on GIANT posterboard sheets with just “SI o NO” on each. The legal language was incomprehensible to even my Dad. Democracy, ha! Also, Lega Nord?
    3) Corruption — Though everyone outwardly hates it, corruption is diffuse and culturally permitted.
    4) Furbo — Cagey, but with a positive connotation. My favorite Italian word.
    5) Dressing up little children in posh designer clothes — Honestly, is bella figura THAT important for a 12 year old?
    6) Breakfast — Coffee, milk and, if you are lucky, a small sugar treat is not enough keep me going in the morning.
    7) Taxes — Italy taxes the piss out of water, gas, property, trash collection etc. Honestly, I’m surprised I could take a breath in Italy without paying a tax for it.
    8) Driving — There are guidelines, but no rules. After volunteering with the misericordia for several months I am convinced anyone with a scooter doesn’t want to live long.
    9) The police — There are more police per person in Italy than any other first world country. They are also never doing anything. I have never seen a police officer in a group of less than 5. Why do they need to stand and circles all day chatting?
    10) Lines — There are lines, for waiting in lines, for waiting in lines, that closed 3 years ago but can be found in another line…..

  15. ragazzambulante says :

    Maybe a little late to comment on this, but I took no offense. I laughed :) I agree 100% about the air conditioning.

  16. alexstead says :

    hahaha, this is great… and so true. Thanks for the laugh :) I can definitely tell you that you got at least some of it spot on – that I’m a stereotypical no-style late-planning, apologizing Canadian.

    Funny to see this from an Italian’s perspective, love your sense of humor – keep coming with it. :)

  17. Aidyl says :

    I live in the USA, and no, I don’t find this post extremely offensive. I’m really glad that someone else besides me has the sense to post about this in this exact manner! I really, really enjoyed reading it!
    Spelling Note: expect is spelled e-x-p-e-c-t, as apposed to acspect. English is tricky, though, and you were close to the spelling. :-) Hope I didn’t offend you.

  18. jsteating says :

    Funny post lol

    I was trying to study some physics, but I ended up reading about Canadians.. Actually, I think most Italian people believe that weather conditions in Canada are more or less like those at the North Pole. (That’s why I’d never choose to live there, despite all the beautiful things; don’t know how you manage it- I’m jealous of your strenghth and determination!). Incidentally, I think nobody from Florence’s told you about this, but this year, winter is lasting longer than usual (September-March), and everybody was complaining about the snow (yes, Florentines do despair for 10mm of snow, no comment), and the -4 degrees in March. I mean, I suppose Canadians would just laugh at us, and tell us that -4 is actually extremely hot!
    Ok, I’m finished with the stupid comments, just know that a secondary school-student from Italy supports you!
    Greets from Florence..

  19. Kat says :

    I just stumbled upon this and found it absolutely hilarious, along with many of the other similar comments.

    Hun, I’m from the U.S. and I pretty much agree with you on all of your points (except I love cinnamon) ;). That and I have a very similar top ten “You’ve Got To Be Freaking Kidding Me” list for California and Massachusetts, the only two states I lived in (spent half my life in each). They are in the same country, and they could not be more different. I think the most amusing complaint is always about weather. People in Massachusetts start melting at around 75F (23C…according to google) and that’s around the temperature people in California start digging out their sweaters. It’s just silly on all sides.

  20. peggy maxwell says :

    I loved your article Elena! Born and raised in western Canada, I can vouch for your observations! I agree about the A/C They say Canadian summers are 2 months of bad skiing! I also can not understand why we need to cool the only warm air we get for a few short weeks! I also do not understand owning a powerboat here, the lakes do not thaw until late July and by the beginning of September we could could see snow! Seems to be a huge expense for limited use.The clothing scene here is likely because of simple survival,you cant win a fashion show if your fingers and toes have frozen off while waiting at a bus stop. You have to be tough to battle the elements, therefore the games we play must be tough too! Lacrosse is Canada’s national sport and I believe you have to be crazy to play this.
    Cinnamon is a staple here because our pioneers had limited access to spices and this one was more common then others. Most of us have learned to cook from our mothers and grandmothers recipes, which almost all originated from the early days in this country.It certainly does not mean it shouldn’t be laughed at! The people who created the taxing system in Canada do not understand it themselves,try asking any politician why we have a different taxing system for each province. I would bet they could not explain it either.
    My hat is off to you for making me laugh. Great article and I am looking forward to reading more.!

  21. Yannick Cornet says :

    As a (French) Canadian, I can agree with all you said (and yes, gee, that Cinnamon smell I can’t stand, and yes, fashion is often a little too ‘outdoor-ish’ for me too – though try visit Montreal, it can be refreshing to the eye!). You missed two extra points which horrified me this summer (I, like you, have expatriated myself from ‘home’ for a little while): 1) Toxic food. Sorry but pasta should only have one ingredient: semola. For some reasons, if you don’t pay attention, Canadians manage to add all kind of other dodgy things (aka chemicals) in all their food. A big ‘yuk’ for those who are used to Scandinavia’s organic culture or Italy’s fresh ingredients. 2) Car culture. Cars everywhere, urban sprawl, congestion, parking lots, and all the other ugly infrastructure that comes with it. And Canadians want more! Let’s get that Albertan sand oil out and burn it by gosh, it is our right. Well, that’s a big ‘yuk’ from me again. I’ll come back to Montreal when it finally learns to build proper bicycle paths and make permanent bus lanes. Apart from that, great country :-)

  22. Diane says :

    You crack me up! As an American who had lived in Pordenone for 6 months and married to a guy from Alberta, I can relate to everything you are saying! I am hockey obsessed but think curling is so very dumb, however, soccer doesn’t appeal to me simply because of how idiotic the fans are acting (ugh)! I tend to gravitate towards Italian-American men because it’s my “type” (dark eyes, skin, hair) but I only like the famous ones (Vincent D’onofrio, Sergio Di Zio) I cannot STAND “guidos”! Gross. Anyway, funny stuff :)

  23. torontohibs says :

    This is a brilliant post – I’m very jealous as I haven’t come close to this good and I’m a native English speaker! It’s delightfully tongue-in-cheek and great fun to read. I’m sorry some people have chosen to read this as offensive as it is nothing of the sort. Your love for the country comes through strong and clear. Well done.

    Oh, and I love the smell of cinnamon (I’m an addict) and the Italian football team may be a joke, but they’re sexy ;)

  24. Steph says :

    I started off by reading your first blog “Breaking the Legend About Italian Men,” and then ventured off to your other posts, landing me here. I have to say some of the crowd was so rough to read, I completely disagree with those stick-up-the-ass folks who were criticizing at first. I definitely enjoyed your posts thus far, and have been more and more interested in the Italian culture, after having studied abroad there for a month! It was a short period, but I definitely came back with more of an appreciation for the Italian lifestyle. The fashion aspect is true, I can definitely see where you’re coming from because the first thing I noticed while in Sorrento was how well dressed most people were!

    I’m three years too late on this one but keep blogging, you’re great!


    -An Italian (at heart)
    No, no, I’m actually of Brazilian descent.. Hooray for those Latin origins that bring real spice and warmth to this world, not cinnamon!

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