Thursday, June 7, 2012

Behind the Blog #5: Canada

Behind The Blog is a meme to help bloggers connect their life and interests to the content showcased on their blog. The co-hosts Faye Kathe and Melissa will provide a different topic, idea, or question every week that bloggers can relate to themselves and the books, films, or media they find interesting!
Due to the Jubilee being on the beginning of this week, and with the upcoming Olympics, I thought it would be good to look at countries. Where do you live? What is your favourite country? Why? What do you like about it most? What about least favourite? What book has described a place you desperately want to visit? Etc...

I live in California. While we  do have plenty of beaches in California, unfortunately I don't live by the beach. Oh how I wish I did, because I love the ocean! The weather is nice enough, though it gets to be sweltering in the summer The winters are usually pretty mild, and where I live it doesn't snow, so it doesn't get too cold.

As for my favorite country? That's easy.

 Canada, hands down. I absolutely love Canada. Now, before anyone starts to wonder, I'm not saying that I don't love the US. I do. I love the US and Canada equally. I feel equally at home in both countries.

There are so many reasons I love Canada, I could probably go on and on, but I'll try not to.

One of the main reasons is that my boyfriend is Canadian. We've been friends for over 9 years, and  dating for nearly 7 years now, so I've had lots of time to enjoy and grow to love Canadian culture. I've visited plenty of times of course.

I even lived in Canada for a year and a half, between July of 2010 and January of 2012. I was fortunate enough to participate in a year long work exchange program. After my work permit expired, I applied for an extension on my stay so that I could do a bit more traveling that I didn't get to do while working full time. And so that I could spend the winter holidays here, even though winter isn't my favorite season. (Winters are a lot colder in Canada than I'm used to in California!)

Besides my boyfriend and his family, there are lots of other reasons I love Canada so much.

I love the diversity. There are so many different groups of people. It seems silly to say because there's diversity in every country really, but I notice it more when I'm in Canada for some reason.

The food is also awesome.  I've only had it once or twice, but Poutine is an excellent Canadian dish. I have to be in the right mood for it, because I don't like cheese curds all that much, but it's always pretty good. Another awesome food that's popular here is the Donair. While the origins are Turkish, the first time I ever had a donair, and the only place I've ever had them is in Canada. They are delicious. So is donair pizza.

I've also tried a lot of different ethnic foods for the first time while in Canada. I tried Thai (love it!) Japanese, Korean, Lebanese, and Malaysian foods. All of which were excellent.

And finally, I love the politeness of the people here. It's somewhat of an adjustment going back and forth sometimes. Not that there aren't nice people in California, of course there are. It's just a different, easier kind of mentality in most of the areas of Canada that I've spent time in. It's difficult to put into words what I mean by that.

 Some of my friends in Canada tell me I must be Canadian at heart because of my easygoing personality. I'd say I agree with them.

Since the only two countries I've ever been to are the US and Canada I can't say that I have a least favorite. Hopefully my lack of countries visited will change someday. It'll be silly if all the stamps in my passport are from visits to Canada.

Books and Films:

Since I gushed about Canada so much, it seems only fair that I bring up a book by a Canadian author. If you're looking for a hilarious read, I'd definitely recommend Dirk Danger Loves Life by Chris Rothe. You can check out my review here

And now for some books that center around a place I'd really like to visit. One day, I'd really like to go to France. 

This is a wonderfully intricate story set in both Paris and Noirmourtier Island, France.

Here you see Paris through three different character's eyes. This book also happened to make me want to try pain au chocolat very badly!

I'd also really like to visit Ireland someday as well, but I can't think of any good books off the top of my head that are set in Ireland. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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Faye (Daydreaming_Star) said...

CANADA!!! That's my favourite country too! -snugs- hehe.

I tried poutine but I didn't actually like it! Shameful, I know! But we can't win all the points! Hehe.

Also, Bridger by Megan Curd has Ireland within it and film wise, Leap Year!! xD


Great Post Melissa! Yay. Glad to see we have something in common :D

Anonymous said...

Between you and Faye, I really, really feel the need to go and visit Canada now.
I love how your love for the country really shines through everything that you write here. :-)
Where else would you like to go?

Melissa said...

Woohoo! A fellow Canada lover! It's not shameful at all that you don't like poutine, I really don't like it all that much either. In certain places, like Quebec, it's made differently so it's better.

I'll definitely look into Bridger by Megan Curd, I think I even have that on my Kindle app but I'm not sure. And I've heard Leap Year is really good so I will check that out as well!


Canada is awesome, I think you would like it!

I'd also like to visit Ireland, England, France, Greece, Holland, lots of other countries really. If only I could win the lottery, lol.

Anonymous said...

So I absolutely love California, but I now want to visit Canada because of what you and Faye have said! I'm glad your boyfriend's allowed you to experience Canadian culture and that you've done so as well, firsthand. The people are always a big factor, I think!

I'll have to check out Dirk Danger Loves Life sometime. I'm not really a contemporary book person, but occasionally those I read, like It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini, have insights that surprise me, and in a good way. Can't wait to see it! Cultural comparisons and insights are always valuable.

Thanks for the post, Melissa! I always love reading what you have to say, and I'll catch up on commenting on reviews and other things soon!

Ashna Banga said...

Am I among the minority who hasn't been to Canada yet? Dear God, when will the day come? It's awesome you've had so much to see there. I love the sound of that place! :)

And I am such a foodie (also, just eating, mind you. I can't cook a thing!) I think I'll love the food too. :)

Melissa said...

Dirk Danger Loves Life is very quirky so if you're not big into quirky it might not grab you as much. I completely agree cultural comparisons and insights are always valuable because they give you a wider perspective on things, and I also think more tolerance and acceptance of other cultures and even subculutures.

@Ashna: Nah, I think of the people that have commented on this post I'm in the minority having visited Canada, lol.

I'm a total foodie too. I don't cook, but I do a lot of baking.