Becca Jane St Clair

Personal Blog

I am Canadian (apparently)

I went on a walk today to get out of the house….3 days cooped inside and I was ready to just get out! I decided I needed to spend some of the pile of change I was accumulating (They won’t accept coin to convert back to US money), so I headed to Tim Horton’s for a coffee and maybe a bagel. I brought along the book I’m currently reading, Mother Tongue, and my N810 in case I could find wifi.

The person in front of me in line was American, as evident by not only his accent but by his form of payment – US Currency. Tim Horton’s will accept US Currency at the stores near the border and in large cities like Toronto, so I was surprised to see it being accepted this far North and in such a small town, but I suppose it’s a corporate thing. Anyway. I didn’t get a chance to talk to the American as he got his stuff to go, and I was getting mine “for inside” (the Canadian way of saying “for here”). I ordered, and paid with Canadian currency. As I was waiting for my toasted bagel to come up, the ladies behind the counter were talking about how they “knew that guy was American because of his accent” and how paying with US currency only “proved he was American”. So I quietly told the one girl that I was from Pennsylvania. All four girls behind the counter turned to stare at me and told me I couldn’t possibly be from the states. I didn’t act like other Americans, I didn’t talk like an American, and I used Canadian money to pay for my food. I explained that I had been in Canada since the beginning of August, and the one girl suggested that I had “picked up” the Canadian accent from hanging around Canadians….but honestly? I don’t think I have. I think I just tend to be lucky that I have such a nondescript accent (except on certain words and the way I sometimes talk…THEN you can tell I grew up in New Jersey!). I’ve been “accused” before of being Canadian though, and this was before I was living here for two months, so maybe I do just sound Canadian.

I also think I embarrassed the girls behind the counter when I told them I also was American, but at the same time, I’m quite pleased you can’t tell.

Hopefully when I’m in the UK this fall/winter people won’t be able to tell I’m American either!

1 comment

1 Comment so far

  1. Jennifer Ofenstein September 16th, 2008 21:18

    I’ve had the same thing happen re: being a Texan. Movies give this false sense that all Texans have this outrageous exaggerated accent, but it’s really only pockets of the state, and it spread across a number of southern states.

    The hubby and I lived in California for a couple of years and no one ever believed we were Texans!

    It’s a bit weird when people assume where you’re from based on your accent (or lack thereof).

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