Monday, June 30, 2008

Happy Canada Day

Happy Canada Day! What does it mean to be a Canadian freelance writer?

It means I used to LOVE getting paid in US dollars. Today, not so much. Is it anti-patriotic of me to wish the Canadian dollar would dip in value again?

It means I still like getting paid in pounds sterling (though not as much as a year ago).

It means that I don't have a PayPal debit card but it only takes two days for Paypal to transfer to my bank account on weekdays. However, echecks do take forever+ 1 day. I also know about all US holidays because they could conflict with PayPal transfers.

Being a Canadian writer in the Toronto area means I tell clients I'm on New York time (or UK clients I'm GMT-5)

Being Canadian also means I know what an IRS W8-Ben is so I don't have to allow my US clients to withhold taxes and it means that I can slip easily from UK English to US English as well as Canadian English (which has morphed online into a hybrid of US English and UK English.)

Happy Canada Day, Eh to all my Canadian friends. For those of you who are not Canadian and want to know a little about us, here are a few tidbits:

-We drink Tim Horton's Coffee as regularly as we say "Eh." (I don't really say Eh...much.)

-We get milk in plastic bags that fit into pitchers as well as cartons. Most Americans I speak to think it's bizarre. We use a doo-hickey called a 'Snippit' to cut the corner off the bag so you can pour the milk.

-We have something called Canadian Bacon that's like ham with a cornmeal edging. It's a lot like ham. We have regular bacon too.

-We eat poutine. It's a lovely concotion of french fries, gravy and cheese curds. It looks disgusting but tastes heavenly.

-We have Ketchup potato chips. They rock!

-If you've never had a Nanaimo bar you don't know what you're missing!

-Ditto for butter tarts

-Due to some conversations I've had with non-Canadians, I feel the need to say that we are just on the other side of the American border. We do not have drastically different weather near the border so people visiting from just south of the border do not need to bring mukluks and parkas to visit us. There is not a weather black hole between us and most Canadians do not live in Igloos and go to work wearing lumber jackets in their kayaks. I also don't know a single Canuck who says "Aboot" instead of "About."

Happy Canada Day :)


Sharon Hurley Hall said...

Happy Canada Day, Dana. I can sympathise with a lot of what you say. When you live in the Caribbean people often think you must be part of America, too. Unbelievable, but true. Hope it's a good day for you.

Graham Strong said...

It's actually quite patriotic of you to say that the Loonie should be much lower. I loved the days of getting $1,500 for every $1,000. Besides that, due to the dollar we had the lowest price in the Western world for books and CDs. But most importantly (for the patriotically-minded), less people travelled outside of the country, spending their money here instead. I think that's a big reason why we are so much stronger now (which, of course, is part of the ironic reason the dollar is so high...)

I do disagree with you on one point -- we do say "eh" all the time. Listen for it. It's not like the movies where someone will say: "What's that like..." Full Stop. "EH!?" Full Stop. It's slipped in like a verbal question mark, so subtle that we are oblivious to it.

So what does it mean to me to be a Canadian freelance writer? Well, I'm working today unlike the rest of the country (though I will be cutting it short to get ready for the BBQ and fireworks). But on the flip side, I'll have a quieter day on Friday...

Happy Canada Day!


Dana Prince said...

Thanks Sharon and Graham. Yes Friday will be much quieter than today for us :)

Dana Prince said...

Graham, my husband says "eh" all the time and I notice it SO much that I think I intentionally leave it out of my vocabulary..

I saw a paper two dollar bill recently and it made me nostalgic. I do, however, like the fact that I can think I have zero money and reach to the bottom of my purse and find I've got $20 worth of twonies and loonies in there :D

Amy Derby said...

Dana, I am American and I say "eh" all the time. I didn't know it was Canadian. Learn something new every day. :-)

Happy belated Canada Day.

Dana Prince said...

Hi Amy :)
And a belated Happy 4th of July to you!