Canadian things vs American things.

As a constant travelling Canadian, I’ve been to America a million times and it never ceases to amaze me how my Canadianism keeps getting in the way. Like, not knowing how things work, being overly nice to strangers and not wanting to give up my credit card.

I can’t help but be a friendly goddamn person, but you never really realize how friendly Canadians can be until you take them out of their habitat and unleash them into the world.


Here are a few examples of how not American I was in Seattle this past weekend.

It’s called a Screwdriver, idiot.

When at the bar here in good ol’ Canada and I’m done drinking beer, I will move onto my go to drink: vodka orange. If you don’t know what vodka orange means, it’s a shot of vodka with orange juice. Two shots if it’s a tall glass. Cue my first bar experience in Seattle.

Me: What do you have on special?
Server: Well drinks and PBR.
Me: ………I’ll have a vodka orange.

First of all, what the fuck is a Well Drink. Apparently, it’s the house brand of all the hard liquors. Neat.

So the server comes back and my drink is very….not…orange. It looks like 3/4 vodka with a hint of orange juice. I took a sip and BOOM, welcome to my mouth, all the vodka. So I downed a little bit of it, got myself a buzz on, and asked the server when he came back for some more orange juice. I had the drink in my hand expecting him to take it but he didn’t. HOW DO YOU ADD MORE ORANGE JUICE WITHOUT MY DRINK.

He comes back with a separate full glass of orange juice, expecting me to pour it into my glass of vodka like the neanderthal that I am.


After that, the server completely ignored my existence the rest of the night. It was BLATANTLY obvious that even the three other people I was with were like “seriously, this guy hates you.” I was then told by them that the drink I ordered was called a Screwdriver. Well, I know that, but not once in my 11 years of going to the bar have I ever ordered it under the name ‘Screwdriver’ NOR HAD I HEARD THAT NAME IN A VERY LONG TIME.

Why are you waving at strangers, idiot.

I managed to embarrass the hell out of my friend Becky via waving at everyone. I guess I don’t really notice my politeness until someone is laughing AT you, not WITH you. Apparently down in Seattle, humans aren’t one with eye contact and/or being forced to have interactions with people. Which is fair, people suck and I hate everyone, but not when it’s a gorgeous day, I’ve had beer, I’m not working, and I’m in a city I love to pieces. I get friendly AF.

  • Incident #1 Of Waving At People

We walked by a Ride The Duck that was headed into the water and I waved at everyone and yelled hello. THEY CAN SEE ME. THEY CAN HEAR ME. OF COURSE I’M GOING TO SAY HOWDY!

  • Incident #2 Of Waving At People

We were sitting on the edge of a barrier with our legs danging over the side, drinking beer and watching the 809476523942 people playing around in the water via their boats, kayaks, canoes, Ducks, etc. A relatively bigger boat sailed on by us and honked. The standard reaction to someone honking at me is either “WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANT” or “HELLO FRIEND!!!!!!!!!!!” so I waved howdy. They honked again. I waved again.

This happened probably 12 times. Becky beside me is almost falling in the water due to laughing at my derpness. I could hear two chicks behind us laughing at me too.



It also only ever rains in Seattle, as you can see.

Give them your credit card, idiot.

Thank you Jess, for reminding me of this. I don’t know what it means to have “a tab”. Like, I don’t even know how to phrase that properly. I’ve only heard it recently in Edmonton bars, and only a few, that bartenders will ask if you want a tab but I just look at them like they don’t know what they’re doing and walk away. No. I emphatically don’t want a tab.

Down in America, I got the weird look for not tab…ing. GIVE A STRANGER MY CREDIT CARD WHY DON’T I JUST GIVE THEM MY PIN NUMBER AND FIRST BORN CHILD. I think I only did it once because I was all TRY NEW THINGS! (I live life on the edge) But it gave me hives knowing my credit card was behind the bar and not in my purse. AND it’s so much goddamn slower than just paying every time you get a drink. Okay, maybe not at the time of getting a drink, but when you’re hammered and ready to go home, the last thing I will ever want to try and do is CLEAR A TAB. HERE, HAVE A 400% TIP BECAUSE I CAN’T SEE.


I will be tab free forever.


13 Responses

  1. I understand this from another perspective too- being that I’m half Aussie, I moved here to the grand Maple leaf country right after high school and found my Aussie-isms and habits sometimes borderline offensive to people here never mind being understood! and now I’m a perm. resident it’s hilarious how people back home perceive my new found Canadian politeness, some people actually think I’m being patronizing. Social habits, slang language etc is interesting to perceive in other places, which makes me miss traveling all the more!

  2. I think you should visit Texas. The culture here is so twisted and hypocritical that you will lose your fucking mind before you even get out of the airport. But you’ll get material for at least 467 blog posts, so it’s all good…

  3. Scenario 1:
    Me: ………I’ll have a vodka orange.
    Server:………………..K. As in a vodka with orange?
    Me: Yes.
    Server: Haha, cute. Here in Seattle, we call that a screwdriver.
    Me: Then I’ll have a screwdriver, please, barkeep.
    [Cue general laughter and merriment, and the best night of fun everrrr!]

    Scenario 2:
    Me: ………I’ll have a vodka orange.
    [Server steps to stage left, lights dim and they think aloud to themselves: By the Gods, a vodka orange? What strange speak is this? Forsooth, I’m just going to be an asshole here, because this person doesn’t use my secret codewords for drinks that I could share right here and now in a simple manner… Further fiendish cackling ensues]

  4. Okay, as an American for 29 years, I have never heard of a “well drink” either. WTF? But, I live on the dead opposite end of the country, so it may just be different over there. People here suck. Keep waving and smiling, weirdos like me enjoy it because we get the chance to forget we’re stuck in a land of assholes.

  5. 1) “Well drinks” are also sometimes called “rail drinks.” I’m not sure if that helps you or confuses you more.
    2) This is like the opposite of my experience moving to VA from NY. I spent a lot of time being like, “why are all these strangers talking to me?” and “do these people not speak sarcasm?” Just the other day a friend, whom I have known for over 5 years, was like, “aaaaaaand there she goes with the Yankee sarcasm.” I thought they’d long beaten it out of me, but nope! Still got it!
    3) I can’t decide which visual is better: picturing you waving like a little kid at every boat that passes or picturing Becky falling over laughing at your goofy Canadianness.

  6. The last time I was in the States, I kept putting my wallet away and just keeping my change purse out for my change. And then I would be handed a bunch of bills. Right.

  7. We met a Canadian in Barcelona, who was with a group of Americans.
    “Where are you from?” he asked.
    “England,” answered The Sexton.
    “Where in England?” asked the Canadian.
    “Gloucester,” replied The Sexton.
    “Ah, near London,” Canadian says.
    “No, south west England,” The Sexton informs him, before politely adding, “where are you from?”
    “Ah, nearly America,” The Sexton says playfully, followed by giggles from Americans and sportingly, the Canadian.
    I feel for you. I was born and bred in London before becoming rural 30 years ago. If I went back, they’d eat me alive…

  8. I grew up in New York City, I’ve met people from everywhere, but Canadians really are the most polite people I’ve ever interacted with. It used to totally freak me out because I couldn’t figure out their hidden agenda. They just ARE nice! Weird.

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