Three conversations about America’s Hat

Ottawa, of all places, is rather high on our list of places we’d like to live next, but in mentioning Ottawa to people we’ve discovered that Canadian geography totally eludes Americans. Further proof that even educated, well-traveled Americans are totally bleeping ignorant about our sister to the north. Specifically, we are those ignorant well-traveled Americans.

Mom: Your dad and I looked up Ottawa. That’s an easy flight for us.
Me: Oh really?
Mom: Definitely, we thought it was out by Vancouver.

Me: Honey, you’ve been to Montreal, right?
Tom: Yes.
Me: Where is Quebec City in relation to Montreal?
Tom: Between Montreal and Ottawa.
(later)
Me: You lie! I looked it up, Quebec City is not only not between Ottawa and Montreal, it is three hours in the opposite damn direction.
Tom: Seriously?!

Me: Okay, you know how I said if we moved to Ottawa we should take day trips and such to Toronto?
Tom: Yes….
Me: We can’t do that. It’s like five hours away. Definitely long-weekend material.
Tom: Seriously?!

Shameful. I’ve since familiarized myself with Canada’s Wikipedia entry and feel confident that I could identify the provinces on a map, but I’m rather embarrassed about our collective ignorance. My wholehearted embrace of Tim Horton’s notwithstanding, I promise if we move to Canada I will know all about the government, the provinces, and using the metric system without always converting in my head. (Maybe not the metric system.) I will know Celsius! Promise.

Advertisements