Thursday, 11 February 2010

Travels around the (World) Showcase - Canada

It’s been a little while, so shall we continue our travels around World Showcase? We’ve already visited Italy, Japan, France and Norway. In honor of the upcoming Winter Olympics, today our little tour will stop in our neighbor to the North – Canada.

When I was living in Florida I had a US work permit and part of the rules of that permit were that after 6 months I had to leave the US and get it renewed. Most of my fellow cast members would take that opportunity to go home for a few days back to Mexico, get the required stamp and return to work. But there was a little group of us that thought that was a bit predictable so we decided to go to Canada instead.

We took 4 days off work and flew off to chilly Quebec. Chilly? Actually, it was more than chilly but actually literally freezing. We had the bright idea to fly there at the end of January – possibly the coldest time to go. Bearing in mind that at the time I was living in sunny Florida, the weather was an absolute shock to the system.

So much of the trip was determined by the weather, something new to me (but sadly something that has now become a part of my life since I moved to the UK). None of us were used to having the weather determine everything and as such, the trip to Canada will alwaysbe remembered as ‘that time when I was freezing cold ALL the time.” For real.

But we did venture out a bit. We walked a bit around Montreal – or make that under Montreal. We were so impressed with all the underground tunnels and shops! We even emerged every once in a while and would have a look at all the nice buildings and stuff but sadly I can’t remember their names or anything. We barely stood still for long outside, as we were so, so cold. We spent a lot of time indoors as a result: in our hotel room drinking and chatting, in restaurants, in shops trying to warm up. And of course we visited the US consulate, which I’m sure is everyone’s ‘favorite’ stop when visiting Montreal!

We also took a bus to Quebec City and it was enchanting, surreal, covered in snow and ice and incredibly cold. But it was nice to sit inside the bus and look out at it. Besides, for most of us snow and ridiculous cold was a totally new experience. Other than experiencing it when skiing, I’d never really been out and about in such conditions.

So sadly I can’t really report on much actual sightseeing when we were in Canada. But I do remember one thing very clearly: the people in Canada are amazing. EVERYONE is so nice, so funny, so friendly. Canadians really and truly do rock and since that trip I have only had this belief reinforced as I have yet to meet a grumpy or impolite Canadian.

I think that the Canada pavilion in Epcot is a bit like my experience of the country: few people may remember the names of the shops or much detail about the buildings presented but the sunny disposition and friendly manner of the cast members is what makes this pavilion shine. It could be so easy to walk past Canada and miss it all, but there always seems to be some cast member either at the carts or doing crowd control that is always friendly and engaging. I will even go out on a limb and say that Canada has the nicest people – whether that is the pavilion or the country, my experience has never been anything but positive.

I hope to go back to Canada someday and this time, actually give the country some respect and do things properly: pay attention to what I’m looking at and maybe even learn something. But the main reason I want to go to Canada is because Canadians are such amazing people, I want to be in a place where there are lots of them. With such welcoming and friendly citizens, I am not surprised that the Winter Olympics are being held there. I am sure that all who visit will have the time of their lives!

1 comment:

Shazza911 said...

Nice to know you like our people!! When you come back to Canada, you absolutely must visit Calgary. It's the gateway to the Rockies and so many breathtaking beautiful sites there. Seriously, gorgeous. And we can even show you around, and the kids could play!! I mean, there's lots of nice places to visit in Canada (it's a really long list!!), but Calgary is a must, since from there you can journey to Banff, Lake Louise, and numerous other unbelievably beautiful places!!


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