Thursday, July 1, 2010

A tartan skirt and a fifth of cake??

Thursday, 1 July 2010 - So today it is Canada Day. Though this is a holiday best celebrated in Canada, I am south of the 49th and in a different zip code entirely. In fact, this post is different than most because I am posting from an iPad of which I have yet to determine if the laptop can be replaced by a larger iPhone. I will reserve all judgement until the end of this post. Should it be full of typos more than normal, blame Steve.

Zip codes are quite a sorting system. It's like the Dewey Decimal System for houses. A way to sort where you live, how much you earn, and your preference in coffee shop without actually asking you anything more than your zip. My current zip would suggest I will be celebrating the fourth of July, but like any good odd ball, I shall spend Canada Day in the USA and Independence Day in Canada. It could have it's challenges. For starters, I ordered a cake on Monday in the shape (should be easy) and pattern (also should be pretty straigh forward) of a Canadian flag for the occasion. I am in the US, not THAT far from the border, and I was asked if I could provide a picture of the flag for the decorator. Who knew the Canadian flag was so unusual? Then I went searching for a Canadian anything to go with the cake. I had to settle for red and white balloons. I still had to pay for the blue ones, I just asked that they not inflate the ones that were blue. Initially I got some confusion, and finally I got some dirty 'you must keep slaves in the garage' looks. I do keep something in the garage, but he doesn't answer to slave anymore. He prefers "porter".  This is a zip code that you would be convinced is miles away from all other civilization.  Granted the US postal code system is pretty impressive. And today of all days, I must bow to it in appreciate.  For in the US it is Zip Code Day.  If you live in a good one... hooray.  If you live in one at all... hooray.  In Canada we have a system all right.  It seems to resemble the system in Britain, only not quite that organized or geographically based.  It appears to be nothing more than a series of alternating letters and numbers that make up some kind of 'system' that only Postee's and the Census Bureau can decifer.  .

For July 4 I will be back in Canada in a postal code that begins with V.  I suspect this stands for Vancouver. I once lived in a postal code that also started with V but I was living in Campbell River. Prior to that, a postal code that started with P - but there wasn't a city, municipality or town around that I can come up with that started with P. I just don't understand the system as it were. But I digress.

To celbrate the 4th of July in Canada I will get charged extra for the blue balloons, but I won't have to provide a picture of the American flag... We know what that looks like in Canada. It looks a lot like our big brother's favorite teeshirt that we hope to grow in to one day. Recently a friend from Colorado took an oath to become a Canadian citizen. This will be her first truly Canadian Canada day. It is for her that I struggled with the bakery bubba that did not know what her new flag looks like. Did I mention this was but an hour or so south of the Canada-US border and a city that just hosted the Olympic winter games? I wonder how easy it will be to order a Stars and Stripes flag cake on Sunday? Bet you I can get a pre-decorated icecream cake and not even have to call ahead. Still, given a green card or a work permit I would be here (south of the 49th) in a moment. I may find the over-inflated sense of patriotism a little thick to swallow sometimes, but anything can be washed down with a little highland liquid. I wonder when Scotland Day is?  I could celebrate that anywhere... all you need is a tartan skirt and a fiftth.

1 comment:

  1. "P" is used because "O" is too ambiguous for OCRs to pick up, sanity-check, and print on the envelope.

    P == Ontario

    Sorry to geek out, but it's a very well thought-out system, but it doesn't translate well to GPS coordinates. North of the 49th, we'll need to continue using GPS to get GPS coordinates, as silly as that sounds.


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