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1.) Better Netflix selection, and the option for home delivery of movies, now that I have a TV.

2.) Better selection of Ben & Jerry’s Ice cream. The best ice cream I ever had was a Canadian brand, known as Cow’s, but they only seem to have stores in PEI and Whistler, neither of which are reachable from where I am just for an ice cream run. Also, Canada lacks Late Night Snack and Chubby Hubby, my favourites.

3.) Not having to worry about shipping costs on just about every online purchase.

4.) American brashness. I feel like I’m too loud and violent for poor, poor Canadians. I want to shout at the top of my lungs sometimes.

5.) Better clothing store selection. Canadian malls are sorely lacking compared to American malls, I haven’t bought any new clothes in months, and I spend a lot more time going ga-ga over pretty clothes online than I ever did in America.

6.) Tropical fruits. That’s specific to Hawaii, but I could really go for some papaya with lemon juice squeezed on top, some strawberry guava, mangoes, and some lychees that don’t come from a can or frozen.

7.) Sliced kosher dill pickles. I don’t know if this is just a Victoria thing or what, but I can’t find them anywhere! I’m very distressed, what am I supposed to put on my hamburger?

8.) Barack Obama. Less awful than Stephen Harper.

9.) Mexican food. There’s two good Mexican restaurants in Victoria (Well, one restaurant, one taco truck) but it’s not as good as the U.S. We need more Latin@ people in Canada.

Things I don’t miss about the U.S:

1.) The news. CBC may be getting more and more neutered with every budget cut, but it STILL beats the idiocy of FOX, the mediocrity and shininess of CNN, the blandness of ABC, and the in-your-faceness of MSNBC.

2.) The restaurants, cafes, and bars. There are literally only a handful of restaurants I miss from the U.S: Mama’s Fish HouseMerriman’s, The Silk Road, and Biga Pizza. Otherwise, restaurants here are absolutely superb, and have amplified my foodie tendencies tenfold. Canadians do coffee, tea, and bakery goods better, which pleasantly surprised me.

3.) The newspapers. The Victoria Times Colonist is the best local paper I’ve ever read, the Martlet is the best student paper I ever read, and the Vancouver Sun is one of the finer city papers I’ve read. I don’t know if it’s the breakfast diner culture, a nose for better, more relevant news, or whatever else, but Canadians sure know how to do newspapers.

4.) The fixation on appearances. The only person I know here who is constantly preoccupied with her appearance is an American. Canadians do like to look good, but they’re more preoccupied with having their own unique styles than following the trends. Which is why I’m so surprised there are so few good clothing stores here. Maybe I need to go to Vancouver to shop.

5.) The apologist attitudes of leftists. Canadian left-wingers are much better at getting shit done, getting what they want, and getting involved in the mainstream of politics. None of this namby-pamby centrism or trying to “reach across the aisle”, or selling out your interests. At the local level at least, the NDP isn’t what I would call perfect…

6.) The lack of good magazines. I do a lot of an activity in Canada which I never did in the U.S: Read magazines. Canadian newsstands, in addition to the North American publications, have British and Asian fashion and beauty mags, which I find to be refreshingly smart and diverse compared to North American ones, with better fashion to boot. And there are some great Canadian magazines on arts, culture, history, feminism, and politics out there too, if you know where to look. Sure, we have our awful MacLeans, but that’s hardly the whole picture.

Even though the things I miss about the U.S outweigh what I don’t miss, I love love love it here. The grass is always greener after all, and I know my list of what I would miss about Canada would far outstrip what I miss about the U.S if I were to move back tomorrow.

 

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