Well Travelled? Not so much…

I’ve never travelled outside of North America but it seems that being somewhere like Whistler, where we are this week, that the outside of North America has travelled to us!

It almost feels as though speaking English with a good ol’ Canadian accent is a rarity around these parts.  This has made for some interesting moments!  There have definitely been thoughts of, “I wonder if that’s how all  people from _____ do that or if that’s just that persons quirk.”

Take for instance the man who plopped down beside us in the Starbucks comfy chairs.  My son had left to go to the bathroom so there technically was one seat empty but we were in a huddled little foursome of chairs having our own coffee party.  He walked through the middle of us, sat down and proceeded to take off his shoes and socks!  I almost died.  Let’s just say I have a foot thing and not in the good way.  No one in my family is even allowed to clip their toenails in the same room as me!  Anyways, he rubbed his feet for a moment (of course in the seat nearest to me) and then continued to unbunch his socks by flicking them.  He then put them back on, tied up his shoes and carried on his way.  All I could think was, Really?

The chair lift rides were always interesting for our family as well.  Of course only 4 people fit on one and we’re a family of 5 (a post on how this world isn’t made for people with more than 2 kids to come soon!) so we were always in different groupings of 2 and 3.  It was me and two boys this particular time when a very large man scooched his way into our line as we were ready to board the  lift.  Now, of course I’m fine with filling the seats and having singles fill in the gaps to get everyone up the mountain quicker but the odd thing was he moved in between me and my boys!!  So we rode up with me on one side, a large man next to me, and my two boys on the other side of him!  One of them needed help with mittens but I wasn’t about to reach around him to do it so it had to wait.  Weird, right?

I had my own loser moment on our last day on the mountain.  There was a couple in the chairlift line that looked to be of Asian decent.  Considering how many people we’d seen that didn’t speak english I assumed, the loser that I am, that they didn’t either.  It was just my son and I so I was hoping to join up with them on the chair.  I leaned over very obviously and loudly and slowly with hand gestures said, “Are there just two (holding up 2 fingers) of you? (pointing at them)”  I have never felt more lame than when they looked up at me and said in perfect English with west coast Canadian dialect, “Yeah, feel free to join us!”  I hung my head in shame and sat silently beside them the whole way up!  Gah!!

Our final moment of hilarity came when our friends came up to join us for a few nights.  They are originally from Australia though they have been living locally here for a few years.  We had gone camping in the summer with them and we thought they were so cool when, in their thick Aussie accents, they asked us to pass the Peanut Paste.  The boys giggled and we were like, peanut butter?  Since that day, in our home, we’ve felt very foreign and exotic to call our peanut butter peanut paste, with our own attempt at their accent.  (which I’m sure is horrendous and totaling butchering it!)  Anyways, we were having toast for breakfast yesterday and they asked for the peanut butter to which we bellowed, “You mean peanut paste!”  They looked at us and were like, “So that IS what you call it?”  To which there was a debate of, “No.  That’s what YOU call it!”  Finally, I asked the question – what do you call it in Australia!  And they announce, “Peanut Butter!”  Turns out that they thought peanut paste was american and that it was  having a PP&J sandwich not a PB&J.  So they were trying to fit in with us by calling it that.  Now, unbeknownst to them, we’d started calling it Peanut Paste thinking we were sounding Australian!!  Turns out, there’s no peanut paste!  It’s peanut butter from coast-to-coast!

Do you have any good stories from visiting another country?  Or meeting people from elsewhere?  Share!  Share!!

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3 thoughts on “Well Travelled? Not so much…

  1. so true! I’ve always been shocked at how many people in Whistler and Banff are from Australia and New Zealand when I’ve gone there. Also Lots of French Canadians! Quebecois love them some cold weather 🙂

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  2. I just learned why from our Aussie friends, Em! It’s their summer break over our winter in Australia, so all the university kids come out to work at the ski resorts over their summer! We didn’t run into any french speakers but I’m sure they were their as well!

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