I find it funny how very similar my hometown of Greensboro, NC and my new hometown of Hamilton, ON, Canada are to one another. Even when family and friends come to visit–they remark on how familiar it all feels. It is only a 12 hour drive passing by Niagara Falls and through the lovely mountains. You would just assume that they would be completely different. The weather is relatively similar. This year especially, NC has been a bit cooler at times than here in Canada. This seems weird b/c it seems that Canada would always be colder, but not so. NC seems to have warmer, longer summers, and warmer, shorter winters, but on average the temps are pretty close.
Some of the biggest differences I have noticed are racial issues. Where I live in Canada, there aren’t any race issues that come up, or at least that you hear on a common basis. In NC, we have advanced a lot, but let’s face it, race is always there in most people’s minds. It is overheard all the time. Another is that here in Canada, most all the people are well-traveled and have a lot of knowledge about other places in the world. In the states, we seem to travel outside the country, yes, but not a lot. Most vacations are to another state. We know a lot about our country, but not so much about the rest of the world. Both places have a ton of positive things to offer and I can happily live in either place.
One of the most troublesome differences is language. In both places we speak English, but have different meanings for some words and simply don’t even use others. For instance, I use the word commode. Most people here in Canada look at me like I have 3 heads. Especially if I am showing clients around homes and throw out that there is a 2 piece bath w/ a new sink and a commode. What? w/ some confusion. Apparently, commode is a funny word meaning something other than toilet. Another that just really throws people off is when I proudly state that “I am wearing my toboggan to stay warm”. What? You said what? How the heck do you wear a toboggan? All you Canadians are thinking right now–how can a toboggan keep you warm? All you Americans are thinking, well of course a toboggan keeps you warm. Well, apparently up here a toboggan is a sled. MG had a long discussion w/ some of my friends who just didn’t believe that a sled is a toboggan. No, they said, it is a sled. Anyway, right around the corner from my home in Ontario is this sign. It certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t wear a hat.
Oh well, I don’t think I’ll ever change. MG would really like me to take up some of the Canadian terms, such as toboggan meaning sled-like, but I just can’t. I feel like a traitor or like I’m trying to “be Canadian“. Yes, I live here now and I’ve certainly picked up the saying “eh” (if you don’t people don’t realize you are asking for a response) and a few others, but I have to stay true to what I know. It may seem silly here, but that’s who I am. I may not be in North Carolina now, but the North Carolina will always be in me.
Love to hear thoughts from any of you. Have you ever moved and picked up different ways of speaking or words? Did you change? Either way, I’m lucky to have 2 hometowns w/ loads of people who care about me in both and even though they may giggle at me a bit, they enjoy what makes me different or the differences they notice in me now.
“Make It A Great Day–Go Inspire!”