Many of you will know that I am Canadian. It’s a well known fact to anyone who has met a Canadian abroad that they will espouse that Canada is the greatest country on earth, despite them choosing to leave it. And it’s true, just so you know.
But there comes a time when, I don’t know, you’ve just finished shovelling your drive for the second time that day and the plow comes around and banks it up again or the racoons have foiled your defences and spread your garbage all around the lawn. Maybe a moose in the road has written your car off for the second time that year or as in our case Brian Mulroney has just been elected and we’re all going to get nuked so we might as well go live somewhere relatively safe like the Middle East. Whatever is the trigger many Canadians go live abroad where we wistfully remember what it was like to watch ice hockey on tv or wait in the queue at Tim Hortons for our double-double. We listen patiently as people tell us how they’ve ‘always wanted to go to Canada, it’s such a beautiful place’. We agree and tell them they should go but don’t tell them about the slums around Toronto (locally known as Hamilton), the institutional inequality afflicted on the First Nations or the desperate problem of methamphetamines in Sydney Nova Scotia.
So no, Canada doesn’t get it right all the time but one thing we do do properly is Panic Buying. In the States they just riot and steal everything, here in the UK you dutifully push your trolley round as fast as you can go without breaking into a run, loading it up with milk, bread and eggs as if Churchill himself is going to rise from the grave and reinstate rationing. In Canada we hit the Liquor Store and load upon two-fours. Honestly you can tell there’s a storm coming because the NSLCs shelves are empty.
But don’t worry Brits, we have you covered: not only do we have fresh baked sourdough bread and focaccia here at Withies Deli but we have local free-range eggs, cheese, salami… all the essentials.
And yes, of course, we have beer too: