Low loonie gives Trumpophobes a chance to test drive Canada: Don Pittis
Why wait for November? The loonie is low and we have Celsius. Just bring a calculator
The bored-looking man at the border didn't even blink when we told him the grand total of our purchases during a five-day trip to Pennsylvania was a measly $30. Evidently other cross-border travellers are also discovering that even when you try to ignore it and enjoy yourself, a 25 per cent currency markup makes shopping feel expensive.
Today is Memorial Day, part of the long weekend marking the beginning of the U.S. driving season that always brings our American cousins north. But this year there is a double impetus. They can take advantage of the effect opposite to the one we noticed during our visit south. And then there's Donald Trump.
A wave of Trump news at the end of last week was a reminder that The Donald is even closer to the White House than almost anyone expected a year ago.
Confident of a Trump victory
But perhaps the story most ominous for Trumpophobes was the news that the Chinese company Partytime Latex Art and Crafts is so confident of a Trump presidential victory that it has geared up production of Trump masks and scaled back on those of other candidates.
There are plenty of stories about Americans planning to cut and run if Trump wins in November. There is even a company offering a Maple Match, the opportunity for Americans to escape "the unfathomable horror of a Trump presidency" by meeting and marrying a Canadian.
What if it turns out the new arrivals just can't stand people saying "aboot" instead of "abahowwt"?
What if they find they really don't care for having a pugilist as prime minister, or for the fact that Canadians are constantly saying, "Sorry"?
What happens when they discover that a fill-up is still more expensive despite the exchange rate?
That's why driving season is such a wonderful opportunity. Americans can visit Canada, explore it for a few weeks and see the sights. But more important, they can see whether they can adapt to all the differences.
All those extra u's in words like colour and neighbour. The annoying absence of handguns. Remembering that soda is for baking and pop is for drinking. Figuring out what a chesterfield is.
Except for science grads, the metric system and Celsius thermometer will be a mystery at first. The advantage will be that, unless they bother to do the math, they won't realize they are being hosed on gas.
And the great thing is that with the loonie back down to 76 cents US, they can give being Canadian a trial run while getting a 20 per cent reduction on everything. Except gas. And houses. And books with those little stickers updating the "price in Canada."
- Reality TV politics gives Trump a shot at White House
- Trump faces bitter opposition from business fundraisers
For those trying a test drive to avoid Trump, there is one other thing to watch out for: the Canadian media is just as obsessed with The Donald as is the U.S. media.
And for my contribution, to any Americans Trumpophobes reading this, I'd just like to say, "Sorry."
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