Thursday, February 17, 2011

How I became an “Honorary Canadian”

Bringing one back from the classics…

Travelling in Malaysia in 1998, I came upon 3 Canadian backpackers.

You know, of course, who the Canadians are since they always have the maple leaf sown to their backpacks. God forbid people actually confuse them for Americans, right?

In the ensuing good fun and frivolity (“Americans are idiots about Canada” and “Canada is the 51st state,”), I challenged their assumptions:

“Look, I’ll agree that most Americans probably couldn’t find Canada on a map, but I can name all of the provinces and sing ‘O, Canada!”

They challenged me, of course.

So, in the Batu Caves in Malaysia, I proceeded to do just that.

As I finished the anthem, they were rolling on the floor laughing, enjoying the unusual spectacle.

Then, they said, “now, sing it in FRENCH!”

“You can’t sing it in French!” I countered.

Having called their bluff, they bestowed upon me the title of “Honorary Canadian,” something I cherish to this day.

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