Not So Different After All, Eh?

By Terrance DuBois, Canadian Foreign Exchange Student

Ok fine, I get it. I’m not from around here. I don’t talk like you guys, I don’t dress like you guys, and I don’t practice your same customs. But don’t get me wrong, just because I’m Canadian, that doesn’t mean I’m not one of you. My colours are not red and white; my colours are blue and gold.

But you people don’t see it that way. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been just chilling out in the U-Centre when some girl will come up and ask me to “tell her aboot Canada”. So I tell her about how I spent all my childhood weekends slapping the puck with my Dad during the long winter, how loopy my Grandma would get on her free Vallium, and she just starts laughing like I said a joke or something. But whatever, I can handle a little teasing. I can even handle all the people who assume I’m good at stand-up comedy because I’ve spent a lot of time in Toronto.

What I can’t handle is the bullies.

I don’t know if you think it’s funny or just a joke when I’m just walking back after class and someone hits me with a maple syrup balloon, but that kind of thing hurts. It’s one thing to have your turtleneck get all sticky and tight around your throat, but it’s another thing entirely when the allergic reaction sets in. Yeah, I’m the Canadian who has to order his flapjacks dry. Pretty ironic, eh? Sometimes it gets so bad I don’t even think I’d feel safe with a couple of Mounties by my side, but hey, it’s not like I can go to CSOs.

“What’s your problem, Canuck?” they sneer.

You know what my problem is? My problem is that my midterm didn’t go so hot so now I have to bust my hump to stay afloat. My problem is that I’m having trouble with my girlfriend back home. My problem is that I’m not sure aboot my major anymore. You all like to think that there are kilometres of difference between you and me, but the difference is only centimetres. My problems are your problems, if you can set aside all the problems you make for me.

Look, I know that understanding doesn’t come easy. It took me a long time to get used to all your backward baseball caps and that fact that over here you call your country “Murrica,” but I tried my best to be patient and adjust to those changes. After all, college is all about new experiences, and there’s no newer experience than getting to know foreigners, dontcha know?

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