canada, eh?

i had a great few days in canada. in fact, entering canada made me feel like a celebrity.

after i cleared customs and picked up my luggage, i exited into the general population of the airport. i stepped through the double doors onto an elevated platform with railings on three sides. the platform was surrounded by people — people crying, people with cameras and signs, people shouting and singing for their loved ones. it was a surreal couple of moments. i had no idea what it was like to be an ‘international arrival.’ it was exciting, and even if there weren’t any signs or songs or people waiting just for me, i felt loved and welcomed just the same.

all in all, canada treated me well. it was strange looking up and seeing a foreign flag flying in the breeze, and hearing the majority of sentences ending in the trademark ‘eh’, but all of those things endeared me to my northern neighbors. it was interesting to be the outsider, the person from the states.

i am happy to be back home, under the red, white and blue*, but i feel certain that my first visit to canada won’t be my last.

*as a completely unrelated footnote, three weeks before publication, f. scott fitzgerald tried to change the title of ‘the great gatsby’ to ‘under the red, white and blue’. but by then it was too late.


I don’t remember getting this feeling when I entered Canada but I remember this when entering the United Kingdom in London. In fact, I totally joked with my contact when I met him as to why he didn’t have a sign with my name on it and a limo waiting. One interesting part about that trip was when I came back to the states from London. The Customs agent checked me through and could tell I was tired from a long week of working and a long flight home. He said “welcome home” and it was genuine with a smile. It was by far the nicest behavior I’ve seen from an agent – TSA, Customs, or otherwise – in America.

Posted by Colin on 17 June 2008 @ 2pm

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