I’ve lived in the United States for more than a year now. It’s weird, but kind of great. A friend of mine has been asking me for a while now to write about the differences between living in Canada and the US. I’ve been hesitant, though.
I mean, where do you start?
I could go on a Canada vs America rant, which, depending on your political persuasion and understanding of Canada’s healthcare system, could be entertaining. Or I could get serious about everything I wish I knew a year ago (and probably will eventually). So what if it were a memoir?
I could write one of those, couldn’t I? After all, it seems to be that all you have to do is come up with a hook, usually some form of experiment, and then go to town. So what would I call it?
A Year of Living Americally
In 10 chapters, I would cover the most interesting and bizarre features of this lovely nation:
- “Free Refills: Shut up and drink your diabetes.” Because, seriously, that’s a lot of Sweet Tea, y’all.
- “Let’s all watch the news together!” Everywhere we’ve gone, the news is ALWAYS on. Always. And it’s terrifying.
- “Guns: A Love Story.” Every day, I pass a giant billboard about about a gun shop with roughly 50,000 styles of guns available.
- “What the Heck is a HOA?” On feeling overwhelmed by the neighborhoods in Middle Tennessee.
- “Everything is Big.” Insert whatever joke you want here.
- “Cracker Barrel.” Americana caramelized.
- “There’s Booze at the Kroger!” My ongoing shock at the existence of alcohol at the grocery store (and Target. And the gas station. And the corner store…) instead of in a government controlled liquor store.1
- “I Got Carded.” On my experience buying NyQuil at Target.
- “I’m Canadian, too!” How to win friends and not talk about healthcare with our fellow ex-pats.
- “Missing U.” Brief reflections on spelling.
Would it be a bestseller? Probably. Maybe someday I’ll actually write the thing.
Emily Armstrong contributed the funniest chapter titles to this post.
- Note: I don’t partake out of personal conviction. ↵