Many countries exist with their borders touching and maintain their identities solely as their own, and the same is true of Canada and the United States. However, unlike Europe in its easily-crossed borders and the common thread of having a "European lifestyle", both of Canada and the US are drastically different and citizens from both countries often wonder about the state of life that exists in the other country. Although they share a common (and large) border, their lifestyles are completely different and everything, from money to food, throws newcomers for a loop.
We're not saying that one country is better than the other or that either need to change, but we are saying that there are plenty of things about the US that simply don't make sense to Canadians. Their way of life is simple, makes sense to the majority, and they don't practice half of the things that Americans do. While this way of life might suit the average American, we're delving into some details of US life that Canada really just can't seem to make sense of. You get what we're saying, eh?
20 American Money Isn't Very Attractive
The color of greed is often associated with the color green so it's no wonder that American money has that tinge to it, but does it have to be so sickly green-looking? For people who have grown up using American money it probably comes as no surprise that the faded olive tone has become part of daily life. However, in Canada, the money is relatively unattractive and just not nice to look at. Compared to several other countries, not just Canada, the American dollar is outdated and ugly. There's no law saying that money needs to be good-looking but for a country that prides itself on economic wealth, you would think their dollar would be a tad bit more flashy.
19 The Sports Obsession
It just doesn't make sense. Yes, Canada has sporting events and they're obviously big fans of hockey, but the borderline obsession that Americans have with competition is just as mysterious as it is mildly frightening. No sporting event should cause people to jump through flaming tables or run wild through the streets like savages (we're looking at you, Buffalo). In America, the Superbowl is treated more like a Roman-era colosseum fight, complete with crazy food courses, onlookers screaming in the stands, and drama that could give Mean Girls a run for its money. Even in baseball, there are rules against fighting... Yet the fighting happens anyway. What gives, America?
18 America Still Refuses Metric Measurement
America's unit of measurement is an interesting topic because it's not that the US doesn't use the Metric system at all, it's just not predominant. Engineers will be taught both systems depending on their career path because, at times, it is necessary to know both in order to convert and understand. However, when it comes to things such as construction, the measurements are done in "customary units" or "traditional units". The overhaul process would take a substantial amount of time and money in order to convert every store and construction site which is a huge drawback. Additionally, there's just no need for it. The measurements serve their purpose and work well for the US, contrary to Canada's disbelief.
17 The Kraft Mac n' Cheese Debate
This is a fairly heated issue among the two countries (there's nothing more important than mac and cheese, you know) because it involves what appears to be the same product from an outsider's perspective. You've got the same classic blue Kraft box, the same logo and writing, and, really, the same type of food. Both products claim to be that cheesy, salty, delish gooey mac that we've all grown up and loved... However, some of us have grown up differently and have come to learn that what we thought put us on the mutual ground, would actually tear us apart. Canada has "KD" which stands for "Kraft Dinner", and it has some slightly different ingredients than what Americans knows as "Kraft Mac and Cheese". Not to mention that the taste is just not the same. The rivalry over fake cheese has begun, and we don't see it ending any time soon.
16 Canada Doesn't Understand Why The US Has No Green Bins
Recycling is important and throwing away your trash in an actual rubbish bin is important. Separating the garbage from the recyclables isn't the most glamorous process, but it's necessary to improve the environment. One thing that still mystifies Canadians, though, is that fact that American has blue and black bins, but no green. Composting is a process that's somewhat lost on most of America unless you live on a farm, have gardens, or lead a very environmentally-friendly lifestyle. The green compost bins that flood Canada aren't normally seen on streets in the US, not that they'd know what to do with them if they did have them. Eggshells are on the same trash level as a broken plate and chances are, that's not changing.
15 When It Comes To Spelling, Forget It
All of these extra-added U's in various places can be really confusing to the US but to Canada, that's just how the English language works. We mean real English, that form of vocabulary hails from Britain and is seen as the proper way to spell words such as "favourite", "flavour", "spectre". Not all of Canada will enforce this spelling and the Prairie regions often differ but for the most part, you're looking at a vocabulary difference that's enough to throw you a bit. Along with the metric system, the US is downright rebellious toward things that just make sense across the border. Don't even get us started on diphthongs.
14 The US Has So Many Accents
It's weird, right? In Canada, just throw an "eh" on the end of any sentence and you're likely to not draw too much attention to yourself unless of course, you exaggerate it. In the US, each region has its own accents that are significantly different from one another. In New England, everything is exaggerated and you can't say the word "car" without it coming out like "caaah". New Yorkers not only have an accent but have an additional attitude, free of cost. Along with their "cawfee", they'll also honk at you and flip you off while making sure to drive straight through a dirty puddle, causing a tsunami that's aimed at you. The southern states have a slight twang while the deep south is nearly unable to be understood, especially when they bring up crawdads. In the Midwest, they've got their own thing going on that's quite hard to describe via text, and what does Canada get at the border? "Ruff" instead of "roof".
13 The Government, In General
The US is a wild and confusing place full of Democracy and separation of church and state... Well, the idea of it, anyway. Canada has kept things simple and doesn't do too much to fight against the tide, mainly because there is no time to fight against it. There are three levels of government: Federal, Provincial, and Municipal, all of which include members that have equally divided power and specific areas of control within. Voting is similar, however, Canada has 14 registered political parties along with more unregistered parties than we can list here. This is in stark contrast to America with two (main and major) political parties -- something Canadians really just don't understand at all.
12 Americans Wear Shoes Just About Everywhere, Including Indoors
It's unclear whether the US just takes pride in their footwear or whether they're just uncomfortable with the idea of socks, no shoes, but it's strange. Even when walking into someone's house, Americans remain firmly in their shoes. There are people who contradict this and flip their shoes off the second they enter the house and many have mud rooms to serve this purpose, but overall, it's not that common when visiting. Canadians aren't fans of tracking mud and guck and whatever else you might have waded through on your journey into their friend's houses, therefore it's common practice to remove your shoes regardless. For courtesy's sake, as well as for the sake of what might be a very expensive carpet.
11 Too Many Flags, America
We get it, you're a nationalist country who is very proud of your history and how far you've come. The reminders that you won the Revolutionary War are everywhere and while history is amazing and should be learned about, you can't walk ten feet without running into yet another American flag. Canada is proud of the state of their country as well, however, they don't drape flags over everything or feel the need to paint their houses red and white. And okay, we understand being proud of your country, but painting the entire house to resemble the flag? That's crossing the line just a little.
10 Grocery Stores Are Not For Eating Food
We will say that one great thing about the US is that you can walk into most any major-chain grocery store and be able to eat while you shop. For the pure glory that is food, we're going to ignore the fact that this is hella gluttonous and a bit over the top. It's a wonderful world we live in where you can grab a sandwich, a slice of pizza, or even a massive latte and proceed on with your weekly shopping list. But in Canada, this doesn't really exist. There are delis and places to grab hot foods and whatnot, but as far as eating in the actual grocery store itself, that's somewhat of a foreign concept. We suppose there's never really been a need for eating while you shop for, well, food to eat, but you never know.
9 Banned Chocolate Is A No-No
We have two words for you: Kinder Surprise. My first run-in with this glorious chocolatey egg happened on a trip to Iceland where I was both intrigued and amazed at the fact that yes, there was a tiny toy inside my snack. That's also the exact reason these treats have been banned in the US since the FDA has dubbed them a choking hazard. While it makes perfect sense, it also comes as a sad story that American kids nation-wide will never be able to crack open their milk chocolate to find a small action figure awaiting them. The US is also severely lacking in Jos Louis, Nestle Coffee Crisp, and Big Turk. It almost makes you wonder; how do you know you've ever really eaten chocolate unless you've gotten your hands on a Coffee Crisp?
8 America's Use Of Latin For Just About Everything
Everything is so complicated once you graduate from middle school in the US. All of a sudden, you're not just going into grade nine -- you're becoming a freshman. Suddenly, you have a title that sounds a little weird and only mildly insulting, and you have three more of them to look forward to. Then when you get to college, forget it... You not only have these titles four more times, but you could graduate "cum laude", "summa", or "Magna". That's not to say that you'll never hear Latin words or phrases in Canada, but you definitely won't hear them as often and it's a bit of a surprise how much the US does lean on this Roman-based language.
7 The Slight Tendency To Be Oblivious
There's a lot going on in the US, we get it. You've got all these cities and people all over the place, many of them need to get somewhere at a certain time, in a certain way, and in a particularly certain mood. This presents the unusual impression that the US is full of citizens who are quite oblivious to what's going on around them and, more so, citizens that don't really have an interest in anything outside of their own countries. Maybe it's due to hyped nationalism or simply the fact that life is crazy and intense across the border, but Canada is left wondering much of the time why America stands on the sidelines and roots only for their own team. Perhaps it's the water that separates continents, out of sight out of mind? Except for Alaska and its proximity to Russia, of course.
6 Canada Isn't Full Of Honking Cars
You might find it hard to believe especially if you're on the New York side of the border, but Canada really doesn't have much car-honking going on. It's not a necessary evil for Canadians to honk at the drop of a hat, whereas in America, if someone even looks at you the wrong way, it's cause for a 45-second horn-honking, at least. There's just no need for it and you'll find that the streets of most Canadian cities and towns are much quieter compared to places such as Manhattan and Los Angeles. Keep in mind, we're talking about honking that occurs out of sheer frustration, such as sitting in traffic for three plus hours. In Canada, you're not likely to find people who get overly agitated over something they can't control and know that honking for an hour straight won't change.
5 The Obsession With The 2nd Amendment
Hunting is a sport, and Canada is a country that fully understands that. However, hunting and having a serious passion for an amendment that was coined something like 242 years ago is a notion that's lost on America's bordering country. The fact that many states require nothing at all to stroll in and pick up a weapon is a concept that Canada, and much of the world in general, is not too familiar with. Those who preach the 2nd amendment religiously also display behavior that confuses many a Canadian, because the love for their hunting equipment just does not compute to that much excitement or joy. Hunting is a sport, plain and simple, and weapons should be controlled and not boasted about, plain and simple.
4 Being So Anti-Socialism (Sorry Canada)
Aside from picking and choosing which amendments are fine and dandy to exploit, the US sure does love not liking on socialism. In fact, some citizens almost express signs of fearing the concept and vow to never let America become a socialist nation. What works for one country might not work for another and from the outside, there's seemingly no threat of America ever become 100% socialist. But does that mean its citizens need to hate on a concept that works for another country? That's almost like saying because you love fresh cheese, any country who enjoys it melted is wrong... And we all know that there's no "wrong" way to eat cheese.
3 All The Crazy News Stations
Politics are something that Canada commits to keeping somewhat separate from their actual news, while in the US, the two go hand in hand everywhere. Around the clock, 24/7, you have news stations that spout politics and banter back and forth whenever you want to tune in. Canada can't seem to make sense of this because there are such a separation and an added level of respect toward what's considered "news" and what's considered "hot-button...rage television". The US media is certainly something to be marveled at because unlike other countries, journalists are now allowed to fully input their own opinions when commenting on a nation-wide or world event. Strange.
2 Common Courtesy Is Defined Differently
"Yeah, can I get this, this, and this, and make sure the sauce is on the side." That's how a typical call normally goes in the US when someone orders takeout and it's just commonplace that there are no "thanks" needed. I mean, they haven't actually delivered your food yet, right? Courtesy is different no matter where you go, and the US seems to have a fairly lax policy on it, to say the least. In Canada, manners matter and though not everyone acts on them accordingly, more often than not, you'll get the respect that you've earned. In the US, it's more surprising than anything when someone makes direct eye contact and says, "thank you".
1 Let's Talk Poutine
You've given it a valiant effort, America. Canadians, specifically Montreal, will applaud the efforts put forth in places such as upstate New York and Vermont who have attempted to recreate your traditional comfort dish. They've used their own in-state cheese curds, gravy from scratch, and fries that are almost perfect. The problem is, they're not Canada. Recreating Canadian poutine is like trying to recreate New York pizza in Antarctica. It would be like making croissants outside of France or fresh pasta outside of Italy. Everything will come close, but you lack the experience and the rich history that comes with eating a dish where it was first coined and perfected. Many a Canadian citizen will politely applaud another country's poutine, but secretly? They're spitting it in the napkin that's hiding under the table.