Dispatches from Canada: Life is Not Always Rosé

searching for an open LCBO

Title of this post courtesy of the delightful Nicole Dieker.

Canada is looking pretty decent these days. As a Canadian who spent 15 years living in the United States of America, I understand on a cellular level the appeal of universal health care, fair yet strict gun control legislation, and Justin Trudeau’s hair. And it’s really cute and all, how every time a fear-mongering megalomaniac approaches the seat of power, all the Americans are like, “WELL I WILL JUST MOVE TO CANADA!” and Canada is all, “That sounds like a pleasant and measured thought! Here, enjoy this Coffee Crisp!”

However, moving back has been an adjustment. Last week I went to get blood work done in Toronto and afterwards I stood at reception arguing that I must owe something, anything, are you sure you wouldn’t like my money? What about this shiny coin? SURELY THIS CANNOT BE FREE! And yet! It is!

But having said all of that, there are some important topics I would like to address with Canada.

  • Amazon.ca is a wasteland. Example: should you wish to order your dumb cat wildly overpriced grain-free cat food, in America you would pay $35.46 for 24 cans with free two-day shipping. Amazon.ca is selling 12 cans of the same food for ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY ONE DOLLARS plus $8.99 for 14 DAY SHIPPING. Your cat is now starving.
  • The CBC, our national broadcasting corporation, is like your boyfriend’s quaint small-town cousin, whom you really want to like because she is just so sweet and eager to please, but then she goes and does things like accidentally borrows your favourite sweater and spills spaghetti all down the front and when you’re like, No, just let me clean it, she insists she’ll take care of it and then before you know it she’s put the thing in the dryer and seems totally befuddled by how any of this came to pass and that is exactly what it is like trying to listen to the CBC. You really, really want to support them, but 80% of their programming relies on Billy from Moose Jaw calling in to share his belligerent opinions on the latest Liberal budget, and Billy is probably a super sweet guy, but caller-driven radio is the most wretched evil that socialism has wrought.
  • Have you ever tried to buy wine in Canada? The winters are really long here. Perhaps you’ve heard. And yet, the government has done its darnedest to make sure you can’t self-soothe with a glass of California pinot because wine is impossible to buy unless you’re in a government-run facility (the LCBO), of which there are seemingly like two in all of Toronto, and even if you do manage to locate one that is open (because they are always, always closed), the wine that is there is subject to obscene duty, taxes, and markups imposed by the provincial government to make Canadian wine seem more appealing and look I LOVE CANADA but my patriotism has yet to make Ontario wine even close to palatable.
  • Glossier does not deliver here. What is even the point.

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