One thing I like about the Internet is that you can find communities of people who are interested in things you like to do. They can be virtual communities, or you may actually get to meet them face-to-face. For any degree of weird fetish you might have or any topic you are researching, there is some version of it out there on the Internet. If, for example, one day you were thinking you like dogs and on another day you were thinking you like bees. And, for some reason, you decided to see if there were any body else out there who liked dogs and who liked bees, you would probably google on the words: dogs and bees.
LOOK. LOOK what turns up: www.beedogs.com. How completely amazing. A community of people who dress their dogs up as bees. When you are searching the Internet, you can get as specific as you like. Right. I don’t have a dog. I don’t necessarily like bees. But there is a community out there for people who like both and who apparently like to dress their dogs up as bees.
Recently, for myself, I was thinking: Canadian in Bay Area. So I google Canadians Bay Area. Look what I found: Canadian Expats in San Francisco. Even more exciting. I signed up. I’m going to meet some Canadians—who speak the same language, who have the same sense of humour, who know that the official term for the Canadian one dollar coin is loonie, and the two dollar coin really is a twoonie, who will probably say “Sorry” a lot. People who are just like me: Canadians living in the Bay Area.
We have the same common background. We have the same language. When I meet them and say a word like neighbour or colour–there will be a U in my words. And they will know there is a U in my words. And they won’t ask me to repeat the words: house and out (oh–that reminds me I have to write my story about the outhouse). We will understand each other easier simply because we are not translating a word with no U. And when we talk about organizations or privatization–we know there is a zed in them. Not zee. Zed. (And if you’re Canadian and you’re reading this, you’re already smiling.)
Somehow, without having to explain about the zed or the U, it will make our conversations easier because we understand the word exactly as it is—no bits and bytes lost in translation. We won’t have to explain our cultural differences to each other. We aren’t going to have to explain why we are living in the States or why we moved here in the first place. Our conversations are going to be refreshing because we already know that Toronto is in Ontario, and Ontario is a Province, and Ottawa is the capital of Canada and that there is more to French Canada than Quebec. We are going to laugh at the same things because we find them funny or humourous (yes–humour with a U). We are just going to understand each other without having to explain ourselves for an entire evening. I can sense my relief already.
And best of all, I won’t have to explain that the Yukon is the Canadian part of Alaska. Yes–I’m definitely looking forward to meeting my fellow Canadians. I wonder if they will recognize my cell phone ring tone?
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