With so many ‘rules to dating in Japan’ or ‘how to nab a Japanese man’ articles floating around the Japanese blogosphere, I feel almost compelled to look at my own situation. With my boyfriend being Canadian, it sure would be useful to have an abundance of ‘How to’s- in regards to courting someone from Canada. I don’t know about you, but when dating anyone, it’s always nice to be able to find an online tutorial on how to do so. So, for all you non-Canadians, dating Canadians, or just those of you who are aspiring to date someone from ‘Canadia’, this my friends, is for you.
1.First things first; ’Canadia’ isn’t actually a word. Please don’t let them fool you with their trustworthy eyes and smooth accents, It’s a trap! Speaking of which…
2. Unless they are from a specific part of Canada, their accents (sadly) do not sound like the moose from brother bear. Disappointing, I know, but if you have a good Canadian lover, maybe they’ll do their best to put on the overly stereotypical accent just for you.
3. Canada will always be colder than your own country. Unless of course you are from somewhere with a similar climate, like Scandinavia, Russia or the North Pole. If you ever try and complain about how cold it is during winter back home, the look you receive in return will be anything but one of love and approval. I learnt this harsh lesson my self one afternoon while driving around the wonderful Japanese countryside with my handsome, beardy Canadian. Note to self, -1 does not equate to -30.
4.Be warned, your family may love them more than you. With their aforementioned smooth accents and warm personalities, they are sure to steal the hearts of everyone in your family, leaving you forgotten in the cold harsh rains of loneliness. Or maybe that’s just my family… things just got awkward.
5. Canadians are insanely good at speeches. Truly, it’s actually a bit perplexing to me, since Welsh (or, as many people would say when they don’t know the difference between the four countries of the uk; British) people don’t typically dole out lovely long speeches outside of the wedding and funeral act. At my 24th birthday, my other half was asked to give a speech. He started off by thanking everyone for coming, saying it meant a lot to both me and him; a good, solid and practical start. He then delved into the poetics, creating vivid images of pinks and oranges as he wrapped us all up in the warmth of his sweet words; I honestly felt like I was in some high budget North American drama, the ones that are funny but always have that one scene that makes you cry, or at least ‘aww’ in happiness.
6. It may surprise you to know this, but there are actually many famous Canadians outside of Avril Lavinge and Nickelback, the latter of which, I should warn, is not so popular with their kinsmen. So, if you don’t want to look like a clueless idiot and offended your Canadian spouse, it’s about time you hit the books (aka google. You don’t actually have to read, who does that anymore?)
7.Wear Plaid. I’m not kidding. You may think I am, but i’m not. Despite the various jokes that surround this topic, it is actually very serious and if you want to impress not only your true love but their family as well, I suggest you invest some of that hard earned money into some well colour coordinated plaid. When I finally make the trip to Canadia (see what I did there, I hope you’re paying attention), I plan to pack nothing but my best, thus winning everyones hearts and blending in.
8. A top tip from my Canadian boyfriend himself this time: ‘Always smell like maple syrup’. Never forget the importance of maple syrup. A sure full proof plan to keep your Canadian interested, or to attract the attention of a wild one, is to always smell like their beloved maple syrup. Or, you could take it one step further and acquire a maple syrup lip balm. I actually have one, it’s delicious and my man loves it.
9. Toques and hosers. Two words you should really learn the meaning of. One of them you want if you go to Canada or any other cold country, the other…well, you never want to be called that word. So, apparently a toque is a beanie hat. Yup, that lovely warm thing you put over your head to keep your ears warm, that’s called a toque in Canada. The word comes from Middle Breton, the language spoken by Breton immigrants when founding New France. As for hoser, if you ever want to blend right in with the Canadians, just use the word hoser when calling someone an idiot. It’s a super popular word…(not really, it’s mainly used by people trying to sound Canadian, but it’s useful to know what it means incase it ever pops up.)
10. When they say ‘Right’ try not to get confused. Like the very well known ‘Eh’ that is added to the end of a sentence, ‘right’ is the Canadian way of agreeing with you, confirming you are correct. It can, however, get confusing. Take another car-time conversation that ended in confusion as an example;
“So, this is wrong?” I ask, talking about something I have no idea about right now.
“Right” He simply replied, eyes on the road as he made a turn. I hesitate.
“Oh, it’s okay?” I questioned.
“No” he raised his impressively thick brow.
“huh? so it is wrong” I was getting confused now.
“Right” He nodded.
“So it’s right?” My confusion reaching high school mathematics level.
“No its wrong”
Riiiightio then…. Either way, just remember that they are probably just agreeing with you and move on with your life.
11. Ice wine is not actually frozen wine. I made this mistake and looked like a right idiot as my boyfriend snorted and gave me this nauseating love sick look that made me feel precious and loved and all things cliche that romance authors eat up. (I actually love that look, i’m just trying to be facetious and seem cool). Ice wine is actually wine made from grapes that are pressed after the first frost; I think anyway.
BONUS TOP TIP: Canadians are literally people like everyone else, which is why these kind of articles are sometimes amusing to me. Granted, when dating someone from another culture, it’s sometimes good for a little bit of a heads up to avoid cultural clashes and misunderstandings and what not. But you know, those things are kind of unavoidable, and to me, I think this has its benefits. Working through things and learning to understand one another are the most rewarding and downright amusing parts of a relationship. Some of my best moments have been getting to know my boyfriends culture and just generally having no idea what he’s talking about and creating crazy images in my head. Living in Japan and being in the Japanese blogosphere means I see a lot of ‘how to get a Japanese guy’ or ‘how to find a Japanese woman’ etc. There are so many articles out there offering advice when it comes to dating, and as I said, to some degree, I’m sure some articles are very helpful, but ultimately, at the end of the day, it’s just like riding a bike. If you never try, you’re never going to learn, because reading a manual for it your entire life, never daring to climb on, won’t get you as far as the back door.