Maybe it’s because I’m Scottish, but whenever someone is overly nice to me, I immediately become suspicious and jump to the conclusion that their niceness MUST have an ulterior motive. I know – it’s pretty sad, but I can’t help it. Nice people are creepy.
I’m sure I’m not alone in this view. On the plane over to Canada, I could easily have pointed out who was Scottish and who was Canadian just by their response to the air hostess’s suggestion that we give “the beautiful Macie” and her “cute, cuddly penguin” a wave. The Canadians giggled, waved, and said a big hello to Macie and her penguin, while the Scots bore an expression that was part confusion, part terror. I, being an extremely nervous flyer, wanted to get off the plane. Anyone who made a bunch of adults say hello to a toy penguin could not be trusted in ensuring a safe flight.
Although, having been in Canada a few days now, I do know that Canadians are actually, just nice. It’s who they are. You walk into a shop and they come bounding up to you, smiling, and say, “Hey, how are you today?”, and what’s more, they actually care about your answer. The first time this happened to me, I almost dropped my bag, and ran out of the shop, screaming, “Take whatever you want!!!!!!! Please don’t hurt me!!!!!!!”, but now I manage to stutter a “fine” and then swiftly, but calmly, make an exit.
It’s funny thinking about it the other way around. I mean, if we are scared of Canadians and their friendliness, what on earth must they think of us?! The other day, for example, we were sitting in a restaurant and as I was reading the menu, Dad slapped me on the head, telling me to hurry up and go order. I laughed, but as I got up, the family sitting next to us looked absolutely horrified. I almost had to tell them that it was just a joke and that the slap didn’t even hurt, but that probably would have confused them even more so I just went and ordered.
Hmm…having thought about it, it’s probably us who are the weird ones.
Aaaaanyway, despite this cultural divide, being in Canada has been pretty great. We used to come every summer, but haven’t managed to make it out in the past four years. The last time I was here, I had just finished school, just passed my driving test and was excited at the prospect of university. Now I have just finished university, just got my degree and am terrified of the prospect of full time employment. How times change.
The journey here was pretty uneventful. I’m getting better at flying thanks to Fly Without Fear. It’s a self help book (I know, I’m sorry) that miraculously, helps. I think it’s because it’s written by a pilot and not someone who tells you to just breathe and count to ten. His voice is so rational, calming, and he’s even a little funny – I think I may have a crush on him. But I really would recommend it. If it can transform me from the pill-popping, Rescue Remedy drinking, hysterically crying lunatic that I was, into a calm, almost normal passenger, then I’m sure it would work for you too. I mean, I still have those moments of incredulousness that everyone is acting like it’s completely normal to fly at thousands of feet in the air in a hurtling tin can, but now (thanks to that sexy beast of a narrator Captain Godfrey) I can contemplate these thoughts without having a melt down – like a curious, open minded spectator of a surreal play.
Mmm…breakfast (pancakes, bacon and maple syrup) is calling. My sister thought I looked a little skinny and peaky when I arrived (too much time spent in the pub) so she’s been feeding me up, and I’ve certainly not been complaining.