Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Veteran's day weekend.

Well, being a geek I am normally vaugly uncomfortable with strangers in the house.

The mother and aunt of my room mate Erika came to visit for the long weekend. However, I hit it off with them right off and had a wonderful time!

Since they (and the roomie) are from Toronto I did have to work on my Canadian-American translation skills. This weekend I discovered that a serviette (sp?) is Canadian for Napkin and a Carburetor has nothing to do with a car, its a garbage disposal! Veteran's day is Remembrance day up north and they had Thanksgiving a month ago!

In Canada they buy little cloth flowers from veterans for Remembrance day and pin them to their clothing. I have blanked on the name of the little flowers right now. I like that tradition though, I would like to see that one spread here.

Erika has been living in America long enough now to have shaken off most of her accent but her visiting family had the most delightful accents and they threw in plenty of the requisite "eh?'s" at the end of sentences! To me the accent sounded like a blend of Massachusetts and Wisconsin accents. That soft A sound of Mass. with some of the Wisconsin Scandinavian overtones. It was wonderful! There is a melody, a rhythm to the speech that is really fun to behold as well.

If they had any thoughts on my Texas accent they did not share them but it had to sound odd to them?

(BTW, if an American is from America shouldn't a Canadian be from Canadia?)

Anyway, as much as I dread having strangers in the house and having my normal routine broken on Monday morning when Erika was back at work and her relatives were gone I was a little sad. I had grown used to chatter and the light hearted liveliness that had prevailed in the house over the weekend. The contrast made the returning silence in the house that much louder.

11 comments:

Melek said...

you know they were good guests if you MISS them when they're gone :)

Melissa said...

Glad you had a good weekend. It's always such an unexpected pleasure to enjoy something you thought you might dread, eh?

michelle said...

you knew i'd be jumping to comment on this one, eh?

red flowers are poppies ... the brits wear them as well. i believe it comes from the poem "in flanders fields" ... google it, it's worth it if you haven't read the poem.

i say napkin. i think it would be a garborator, but i would say garbage disposal if i had one. different areas of canada, like the states, have different accents and terminology ... a nova scotia accent does not include the word "about" being pronounce "aboot".

however, i used to be teased about my slight accent when i worked out west ... by people from australia! the hosers! can't we all just get along, eh? ;)

michelle said...

oh, so you'll be prepared for the next visit ...
http://www.canadaka.net/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=124

Michelle said...

I'm not a big fan of strangers in my house either.

Glad you had a good weekend!!

Rob said...

Melek and Melissa you are both dead on!

Rob said...

Michelle (northern one) :) -

>>you knew i'd be jumping to comment on this one, eh?<<

I was waiting all day for your perspective!

>>red flowers are poppies <<

Doh! That was it! I used "heroin" as a mnemonic but I still could not remember! :)

>>i think it would be a garborator<<

Ah! That makes so much more sense than carburetor! I was trying to figure out the etymology of how that could possibly be called a carburetor!

>>different areas of canada, like the states, have different accents<<

Well that's a big duh to me, of course a nation as huge as Canada would have regional accents. Passing my observations on as though they were Canadian instead of Toronto-ian was kinda silly, eh?

Anonymous said...

Yes... garburator. And honestly, if people from Canada are Canadians, shouldn't people from America be Americians? And that's Torontonian -- sounds goofy, but heck!... I though they were joking when they said "Michigander" and "Haligonian"! (that last one's Halifax, Nova Scotia for y'all 'merican types, eh?)
-Erika

michelle said...

my name is michelle and i am a haligonian! and now everyone wonders what episode of star trek i was on! :)

comparing my little part of the world to "tranna", aka toronto, is asking for trouble, dude. my mom is originally from the city, and had the hardest time when we moved from there (yes, i am originally from the big smoke) to small town nova scotia ... talk about your culture shock!

people who move here from outside the atlantic provinces are labeled "c.f.a." (come from away) and can sometimes keep that label until the day they die ... we're like the borg, all about the assimilation, b'y! ;)

and despite 2 references in this comment, i actually do not watch star trek.

Rob said...

>>people who move here from outside the atlantic provinces are labeled "c.f.a." <<

Oh yeah, Texans do that too. IF you were not born in Texas you are a Yankee. Period, end of discussion. Only natural birth counts.

Hope said...

Texas accent, too?......sigh...oh and the flower you are talking about is a poppies...there is a John McCrae poem "in Flanders Fields" about war and death and the poppoes that grew over the same ground blood was spilled...hence the poppies I suppose.