that time i got lost on july 1st.

1 Jul

lots of things happened when i was 8. i distinctly remember that it was at 8 years old that i started thinking boys were ok (yes that young – get over it) and i learned the f-word. i  look back on the latter moment with a special fondness as the f-word has since become one of my most favorite words. it’s just so f*&king versatile.

anyway, something else happened when i was 8 – i got lost in the giant ottawa montreal canada day parade.

now i don’t remember a lot about this day other than the basic facts: i was chosen to be in the parade because i was a small blonde-haired blue eyed girl dressed in head-to-toe red (have i always been such a keener?). i held the canada flag in the parade. when the parade was over, i couldn’t find my parents in the maniacal crowds. i panicked. i panicked some more. i located a cop and cried. the cop located my parents.  the end.

after you have a semi-traumatizing childhood experience in a crowd of thousands of nutty canadian patriots – you sort of stop caring about canada day.  funny how that works…eh?

yes, i know that this event was almost 20 years ago (gasp) and i’ve had plenty of semi-traumatizing experiences since then to replace this one with. but brains are a tricky business – somehow they always choose to remember whatever they want. bastards.

(exhibit b: no matter how hard i try to forget that i ever did a dance routine by myself  to the hit 1993 c&c music factory song “gonna make you sweat (everybody dance now)” in a talent show in front the whole school, i just can’t. denim cut-offs and body suit included.)

lord i need a chilled glass of chardy.

anyway, the calendar tells me it’s canada day again.  and while i am generally unenthusiastic about this holiday, today i am mysteriously feeling a glimmer of national pride. all it took was 12,952 km between me and you!

as the americans told me a few weeks ago: “american and canadian passports are the only game in town here.” and they’re so right.

it seems like all my colleagues have talked about immigrating to canada at one point or another already. they know that we have  many of the things that india doesn’t – good infrastructure, job opportunities, better living conditions and decent health care. and niagara falls – we can’t forget niagara falls.

i say why shouldn’t they come to canada? india has too many people anyway – frankly it makes me suspicious.

so today, on the day we became a united people who watch hockey and drink beer, i feel proud to be from a country so highly regarded that others are willing to risk everything  to join it.  i guess for the first time in a while  my previously established canada day trauma hasn’t prevented me from appreciating this day of national pride. and that’s pretty cool.

but fear not – because if you haven’t figured it out already from this collection  of stories and swear words – i’ll find some new awesome canadian foible to bitch about soon.

in the words of regina george from “mean girls”:  love ya! [blows double kiss]

in an absence of canada-esque pictures, i thought this would amuse you. i know he looks angry, but really he loved this game.

25 Responses to “that time i got lost on july 1st.”

  1. A.A.B. (auntie angie baby) July 1, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    Yesterday I beat the off the crowds at the mall to snatch the last Canada Day t-shirt. Then I went to a few more places to get some of my favourite things for a favourite niece. I came home to find a box and packaged it all up. Had a few helpers add some more nifty things and felt proud and happy at the post office to see it leave.

    Happy Canada Day Eh!- your celebration box is on the way! (finally).

    • heyitsmeal July 1, 2011 at 4:45 pm #

      this is such exciting news – thank you so much! i love packages and i cannot wait to receive it! you guys are the bestest….BESTEST!

      very very sweet of you all.


      • A.A.B. (auntie angie baby) July 1, 2011 at 5:15 pm #

        so here’s a funny for you – i am standing at pakmail and she weighs the box and measures the box and then tells me the price and i say hmmmm….why? and she says, ‘well it’s a long way away’ so we both glare down at the world map on the counter and i go “okay, where the hell is kolkata anyway (i have been in denial since you left). so she finds delhi and says, ‘it’s somewhere around here, right here!’.

        i tell her i cannot have this go by sea (8 weeks don’t you know) and when we both stare silently as she waits my decision she says, ‘you could add another hundred and be on the plane with it’ and i chuckle, ‘gawd no, send it off – and she says ok, is it worth it? can you make the box smaller or lighter?’ No and no – and yes, SHE’S worth it.

    • heyitsmeal July 5, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

      oh my goodness i don’t even want to think about what it cost you to send it by air….i’m excited but also panicked by this fact. you know it will be massively appreciated, whatever comes my way. anything from home is super super amazing. so a pre-thank you for the thought and the expense. :) oxxoxoxoxo

  2. Lidia July 1, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    we cant forget niagara falls!!! which is exactly why i am taking the Italian man candy there in august!! when people ask me what plans i have for when i go back home, i always give them the “niagara falls” line which is ALWAYS followed by a woooooowww!!! lol

    • heyitsmeal July 1, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

      i should have mentioned it in the post, but i have caught at least 3 staff members with pictures of niagara falls as their desktop wallpaper….lmao – each time i approach them carefully and im like “ that….[confused look]…niagara falls?”

      i love that you’re being the stallion there, he’s going to love it. i wish i was there to see him….someday.


  3. Hannah July 1, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

    I lost hope for Canada Day when I was stuck in the Montreal Airport, on Canada Day, for hours. It was empty. So empty they had to charter a flight from Montreal to O’Hare to get the obnoxious American high schoolers back to their home country before they burned the airport down.

    And I was brokenhearted from just leaving France for the first time.

    So to me, Canada Day sucks.

    Maybe, just maybe, you and Li will make it right for me again.

    • heyitsmeal July 5, 2011 at 3:44 pm #

      just by way of the fact that 2 of your besties are canadian – you should honorary enjoy the day.

      god you hold weird grudges. boston? really?


  4. DaddyO July 1, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

    My darling first born, it was Montreal, not Ottawa. But the panic was the same. Happy Canada day Alli. Now your mother and I are off to America to celebrate. She MIGHT shop as well!!!!!
    Love from
    Grantus and Maximus

    • heyitsmeal July 5, 2011 at 3:45 pm #

      ahhh yes it all came back to me and i made the edit accordingly. i told maximus that likely about 65% of my stories are unintentional lies because wine has erroded my long-term memory. you can’t win ’em all.

  5. ica July 1, 2011 at 6:31 pm #

    Well sister, I am going to go spend my canada day with your hubby and that crazy dog in the polo! ( Your such a nice parent )
    We may drink beer,play some hockey, wear canada day shirts and say “eh” a lot today. But one thing I know is that we will both be thinking about you sister friend!!

    So sis always be proud to be canadian eh!!

    Happy canada day to all!!

    Love ya !

    • heyitsmeal July 5, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

      the dog isn’t crazy, his dog-parents are crazy.

  6. Barnet July 1, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

    Canada Day treat from just down the street…


    • heyitsmeal July 5, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

      dont normaly love them, but i adored this. adored.

  7. Cara July 1, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

    Grade 6. Same song. Same outfit. Probably the same ridiculous moves. Same horrifying memory.

    • heyitsmeal July 5, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

      i love you. that is all. just pure and true love.

  8. Brenna July 1, 2011 at 9:13 pm #

    If anyone out there has the video of the talent show performance circa 1993, I will pay serious cash for it.

    • heyitsmeal July 5, 2011 at 3:49 pm #

      this is supremely enterprising, so kudos on that. at the same time, if you ever got your hands on it – my life would be over. so there’s that.

  9. Kyler July 1, 2011 at 10:08 pm #

    Happy Canada Day A-town. I’m sitting here with Trevor in Ottawa listening to Johnny Cash and playing with a Husky. So you’re not missing much. Hope you’re enjoying the monsoons (if they get those in the north).

    Stay dry,

    • heyitsmeal July 5, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

      the monsoons definitely get this far north, those fiesty bitches. i hope you and the husky (and t-free) had a great weekend. hope you made canada proud!

  10. Barnet July 1, 2011 at 11:30 pm #

    • sarsartheflan July 2, 2011 at 7:15 am #

      Heeeeeeeey. Spent Canada Day doing Pride stuff in the village.
      THAT’S what you’re really missing about Canada!

      If you have pictures of yourself/family at niagara falls you can get in really good with the co-workers. Or give them candy. That’s how I do it.

      I miss your “damage” (what’s your, that is).

      • heyitsmeal July 5, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

        check on the sugary-sweet candy type stuff. check on the pics of family at niagra falls (thank god we went the week before i left – fewf!)
        you’re right, they love them both. actually, i need to unleash round 2 of candy bribery on them, it’s about time.

        you made my day with your “damage”.

        heathers for life.


  11. Jen July 2, 2011 at 8:29 pm #

    Greg has a shirt just like that. I’m gonna go put in on Rex. Brb.

    • heyitsmeal July 5, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

      it only happened unless you take a picture and then send it to me. new rule.

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