Saturday, February 14, 2004

This is the first in my series of international travel journalism bloggings. Fafblog is not content to read about strange and exotic lands like Russia and Iraq and Dakota and China - Fafblog is going there to tell you what they're really like!

My plane has landed in mysteeeeeerious Canada - the world next door, the land of a dozen lakes, the blueberry state. Did you know that Canada has over a thousand people in it, and its own government? The Canadian parliament meets twelve times a year. Each meeting is called a "Musgrave" and is presided over by an official whose name is legally changed to Musgrave for his political tenure due to a quirk carried over from British parliamentary tradition. Also, circus peanuts in Canada are not orange, they are blue! And there was even more to this mysteeeeeerious world I would discover during my stay.

At the airport I meet my native guide Jacques. "Bonjour, viva la France," says Jacques. I nod enthusiastically and offer him a blue circus peanut which Jacques quickly declines. He is a French Canadian and to eat it would be considered an endorsement of the Queen. Jacques is taking me to the capital city of Toronto which is cleverly disguised as Ottawa for security reasons.

Recently there has been trouble in Toronto since the old prime minister Jean Chretien quit an the new prime minister turned out to be a bunch of rabbits taped together in the shape of a prime minister and not in fact former Minister of Finance Paul Martin. I ask Jacques why weren't the bunch of rabbits allowed to serve as prime minister? Were Canadians anti-rabbites? "Sacre bleu, bon voyage," explains Jacques which makes it all a lot clearer. But now Canada has a problem because nobody was in charge and given the recent threat of an uprising from Eskimos, or as they prefer to be called, snow monsters, everybody is afraid of a coup.

Because of the potential snow monster threat Jacques carries what is called an "Eskimo stick." It is a stick with a lighter attatched to scare them off with the fear of melting. I am told to sit on top of the car and look out for them on the way to the city and also for the hungry hungry wolves which prowl the frozen north. In the event of an attack a government-provided doctor which has been installed in our car will jump out and treat our wounds - it is a miracle of universal health care! "Je ne sais quoi, Le Monde," says Jacques. I understand. We must maintain our vigilance if we are to traverse the harsh Canadian urban battlefield safely.

While we are stopping to refill for gas calamity strikes! The gas station owner has violated Canadian language laws labelling "Sunoco" only in English and not also in Canadian. Jacques is outraged and a long argument breaks out between Jacques and the gas station owner! I buy a Yoohoo. Did you know that in Canada they make strawberry Yoohoos? They're not as good.

While I am enjoying my Yoohoo I glance over and see things approachin on the horizon. Oh no things! I try to warn Jacques and the gas station owner but my mouth is full of circus peanuts. Curse you circus peanuts why do you have to be so delicious all over the world! By the time I finish the peanuts Jacques and the station owner have already been devoured by hungry hungry wolves.

In Toronto I go to the mall which is really big and has a lot of very colorful clowns in it. Clowns are delightful in every country.
posted by fafnir at 6:56 PM



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