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She sat shyly hunched on the bench, folding her shoulders inward and making her diminutive frame appear even smaller. My Aunt, sitting beside me, didn’t fare any better.Her peers, a group of Grade 11 English students gathered with us for an afternoon picnic, were playing a raucous game of volleyball as we sat back and chatted. After assuring C that as a nation, Canada has no collective fear of darkness (words of truth from my Aunt: “We practically live in complete darkness during the winter months, it would be awful if we were afraid of it.”), I explained to my Aunt that I knew exactly from where this question came.I see it as an opportunity – a perfectly clean slate.
For example, Bill 94 requires people in Quebec to “uncover their faces to identify themselves in order to receive government services” (1).Once, while checking into a hostel in southern Chile, we overheard some Aussies talking with Brits about who they’ve met on the road. (And we’re real sorry about that.) Both Pete and I wear a Canadian flag on our backpacks, proudly.Some people do it in order to be automatically distinguished from our southern neighbours, but we do it for the instant rock-star status it brings.It was not uncommon for us, while living in this small remote Turkish town, to be questioned regarding their only exposure to our home country: a quirky Canadian character named Robin from the popular CBS sitcom, Robin is teased and tormented by her American friends for several stereotypes: her love of hockey and her obsessive use of the word “eh” when drinking, as well as the unsubstantiated notion that all Canadians fear the dark.Chair throwing aside, Robin typically takes it all in stride and represents us fairly well.It’s a natural assumption, given our similar accents and the chances of meeting a Canadian versus an American (the USA has ten times more people, of course more of them will be on the road).We politely correct them, but sometimes our reference to the almost 9,000km border doesn’t even matter.(But we can understand how he could have made that mistake, and we did apologize for the confusion.) We take no offense to being initially labeled as Americans, as more often than not, Americans are very loved too.Although it may be counterintuitive to the democratic process, the actions of government do not always reflect the values of the common people (heh), and many citizens of the world rightly recognize this.How can a veiled woman be identified in her Driver’s Licence, for example, if her face is covered. “I would like to ask you a question,” C almost whispered, pushing her long hair back behind her ear. ” Despite my best efforts to spare her vulnerable feelings, a snicker escaped.