Friday, February 01, 2008

So Much for the North American Union

Anyone who has ever done the post-collegiate backpacking thing has certainly come across more than a few Canadians. They're easy to spot because their clothes, hats and backpacks are festooned with enormous Canadian flags - international shorthand for, "I may be a white, English-speaking North American but, let me be perfectly clear, I am not an American, so please don't saw my head off and post a video of it on the internet." What's galling here is that this isn't even some new, post-George-Bush-ruining-the-world innovation; I saw these clowns all over Europe in the late 1980's, when the Cold War was still on and we were protecting Western Europe from the Great Commie Menace. (I'm not really prone to jingoistic displays, but I eventually went out and found an American flag so big it would have embarrassed Sean Hannity, and sewed it to the back of my own backpack. My neck made it home in one piece.)

I thought of this the other day when a couple of long-haired backpackers came trudging up my street, Canadian flags prominently displayed. I felt like pulling them aside and explaining that, not only is Querértaro just about the safest place on earth, but people here look at you funny if you're from the outskirts of Querétaro. It certainly make no difference to them which side of the 49th Parallel you hail from.

But it turns out that Canadians don't see it that way, at least not in Mexico, where a handful of Canadian tourists have recently returned home as checked baggage. As the National Post's John Turley-Ewart ("J.Twat" to his pals) explains:

Twenty years ago the only warning Canadians heard before travelling to Mexico was “beware of Montezuma’s Revenge,” a colloquial reference to the unhappy consequences of eating food that isn’t properly washed. [Ed. note: OMFG! Hahahahaha! Please, continue....] Today, Canadians travelling to Mexico appear to need instructions on how to navigate hotel balconies. In less than a year, three Canadians have apparently fallen to their deaths from hotel balconies in Mexico.

...Six Canadian tourists have died in Mexico in less than two years. In each incident Mexican officials have been quick to blame tourists themselves, dismissing evidence to the contrary and downplaying the possibility that Canadian tourists were targeted by criminals in Mexico.


A lawyer for the family of a 19-year-old Canuck who may or may not have fallen ten stories before turning up dead after a day of binge drinking in Puerto Vallarta, goes even further:

One of Canada's most powerful criminal lawyers, Edward Greenspan, rebuked the [Mexican] president for trying to protect Mexico's tourist industry at all costs. Greenspan urged Canadians to stay out of Mexico for their own safety.

So there you have it: CANADIANS ARE BEING SPECIFICALLY TARGETED FOR DEATH, AND SHOULD AVOID MEXICO AT ALL COSTS!!! [DES CANADIENS SONT SPÉCIFIQUEMENT VISÉS POUR LA MORT, ET DEVRAIENT ÉVITER LE MEXIQUE À TOUT PRIX!!!]

This has been a public service announcement from Burro Hall.

(I would also like to reiterate here, for the record, that I am an AMERICAN citizen. More importantly, my wife holds dual US-UK citizenship, which means she's AMERICAN. Yes, she spells words like "colour" and "favour," and has a purse full of coins with the Queen's portrait on them, but she is not Canadian, she is AMERICAN. Please don't saw our heads off.)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

The funny thing is that mexicans believe that Canadians are more friendly and good people that the USA people, mainly due to the media, racisim against mexicans in the USA has a big coverage while in Canada we only have the nice image.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of racism..... your generalizations about Canadians gets awfully close.
Many Americans have been sporting Canadian flags on their backpacks for years in order to get a better reception around the World. Don't be fooled by the imitations.

Burro Hall said...

By Canadian race, you mean white people, right?