Canadians, we are so Apologetic and Giving.

I was out with some international friends the other night.  We were: Two Brits doing a short working holidays in Canada, a Canadian and a Brit who live in Beijing and 3 Torontonians.  An interesting group with various life and travel experience.

Our Canadian friend who lives in Beijing start talking about how different people are here compared to China and how things have changed in Canada over the passed few years.  It was interesting what he brought up.

The most obvious and the one we all realize, the use of SORRY!  Do you ever stop to think about how many times you say sorry in a day?  Us Canadians use that as our go to response for just about everything.  My friend’s very recent example and experience was a funny one.  He was at the bottom of a staircase about to go up and a few people were at the top about to come down.  Now this should really happen with nothing more than a smile at each other (that is, at minimum, the reaction in Canada), but he said that he started up and they started down and he could already hear their ‘sorry’ before they were even near each other.  Nobody actually did anything that warranted a ‘sorry’. But that’s our go to for putting anyone out in the slightest.

As I heard the other day, ‘you step on some one’s foot in a bar and everyone around will say sorry’.  Why the heck do we do this?  It’s far better than ignoring or being rude, but how and when did we become the ‘Sorry’ Nation?

He also noticed that people in lines, give others so much space.  When we are at a Tim Hortons (Timmy’s) or the like we leave all kinds of room between us and the person ordering, similar to what we do when someone is using the ATM.  Why and when did this start happening?  What we don’t want people to hear us ordering our X-Large double double and sprinkle donut?  This does drive me crazy also, and I will happily close the gap when I’m up next.  As my friend point out, you do something like in China and 6 people will find a way to bud in front of you.

While on the topic of Timmy’s, my other Torontonian friend and I mentioned about how people are buying strangers their coffees.  Well, this stopped the conversation for all the internationals at the table.  They just didn’t get this.  Was this some Urban Myth we spoke of.  No, it’s true.

We explained to our friends that people will go through the drive thru and leave money to pay for the person behind them.  Usually just a few bucks for the strangers coffee.  We have a strong drive thru culture here that is not in many other countries.  And really there is no reason for these acts of kindness.  People just want to ‘pay it forward‘.

The Brits said that there was no way anyone would do this in the UK.  And my friends living in China agreed.  Now, the drive thru culture in Canada makes it possible to do this without any interaction or any uncomfortable situation. I’m sure that people do this in restaurant also. Why do we do it?  We just want to make someone happy.  We are definitely a giving bunch.  But, I’m sure that we would find a way to throw a ‘sorry’ in there some how.

What stories do you have about ‘sorry’ or giving that you can share with us? Would love to hear how you ‘pay it forward’.

Memorable videos of 2012

2012 has been another great year of viral videos.  I’ve put together a blog of some of my favourites of this year (and maybe one or two from a few years ago).  Grab a drink and sit back and enjoy.  Please share your favourites with us!



And a favourite from 2010, but I only just saw it for the first time in 2012.

Please share some of your favourites with us!

Happy New Year and all the best in 2013!

But who do I cheer for?

As I wrap up day two of watching the games live, I must say it’s been quite a day. First off the big things: our first Gold, an awesome silver and a wonderful bronze for Canada on super Saturday. Glad to know of the 25 Golds given out today that one went to Canada. Fantastic. Go Canada Go!

But what have I been up to today you may ask? Today was my Beach Volleyball day, all right in the heart of London at the Horse Guards Parade near the palace. So amazing to be sitting watching this very modern sport surrounding by all this history, greatness and plus some modern architecture.


We were lucky enough to catch a men’s and women’s match. In the men’s, Germany played Latvia and in the women’s it was Brazil vs. the Czech Republic. Since neither my home or birth country were playing, the question comes up who do I cheer for? One or the other or everyone? The top seed or the underdog? Or the one everyone else is cheering for? I didn’t know. Most of the time I go underdog. But today, it ended up that I cheered for the higher seeded team of Germany for the men and the underdog of the Czech Republic for the women. Couldn’t really tell you how I came to that decision, but I’m sure many of us couldn’t explain what we do when we don’t have a team affiliation.

Here is team Latvia.


Team Czech Republic


Germany won and the Czech republic won, so I guess I chose well.

But what a great atmosphere and energy. The music, the fans, the volunteers. Incredible. I can’t say enough about how well organized these games are. Tomorrow will be the big test as I head to Olympic Park for my 3 event day.

Again no idea who to cheer for. But it looks like at my last event of my Olympic Experience I will be able to wave our flag and be a crazy Canuck as I watch the women’s 3m springboard diving final where we have 2 awesome Canadians who qualified. I’m so pumped. Go Canada Go!


But my question is to you, who do you cheer for when you don’t really know who’s playing?

A dream realized…Olympics

I never thought that the day would come that I would get a real chance to attend the Olympic Games. I had dreamed it for as long as I could remember. Actually, I think I can remember exactly when it became my dream. It was the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics when Alex Baumann won his gold medals. From that moment on I wanted go and compete for Canada in swimming. That dream never materialized, but then the next dream of competing for Canada as a rower crept in my head when I took up competitive rowing. Sadly that was not to be either.

Then Vancouver 2010 happened and I will always kick myself for not going to those games. So when the opportunity came up to attend the London 2012 games, I couldn’t pass it up, no matter what the cost.

So this past Tuesday I began my journey to London for the games. The bad weather tried to me down, but I finally arrived on Wednesday and it’s been go go go since then (all fun). From picking up my tickets to trying to catch up with friends who’s schedules are also filled with watching events, its been a whirl wind.


Today I got to attend my first event. And what better to start with than Rowing. It was incredible. From the shuttle bus to the volunteers to the incredible organization of it all, it has all been done right over here. And the rowing itself was great. Sadly it was not a big day for Canada but I did get to see the men’s pair race and I could almost reach out and touch them.


My next few days are filled with so much more, that I will share with you as it happens. I just can’t wait and also have trouble believing this is all really happening. Pinch me, it is! Go Canada Go!


I will say one last thing, I do miss the CTV coverage of the Games. Can’t say that the BBC style is for me. But still great to watch it in real time.