How to Identify a Canadian

Sitting in the Tha Khaek Travel Lodge a couple nights ago, I overheard a conversation that had strayed onto the price of beer in various countries. The guy who was talking said something about the price of "two fours" in Australia. He definitely wasn't Australian, and I know where that term comes from ... it's Canadian slang for a pack of 24 beers. I approached him and his girlfriend later to inquire where they were from: Oakville (about 40 kilometers from Toronto). I've met one other person from the GTA on this trip, someone from Ottawa, a couple of Montrealers, and a bunch of people from the west coast. We chatted together for a while and ended up eating and touring together the next day, getting a tuk-tuk into the Khammuan Limestone.

So how do you identify a Canadian? The accent is rarely a give-away (I don't say "oot" or "aboot"). Our accent is fairly flat, and is often hard to tell apart from Californians, and people from the American mid-west. There's not a lot of uniquely Canadian slang, but we all used some of it: he says "two four," she says "eh?" at the end of sentences quite a bit, and at one point I used the term "hosed" to mean "broken." And I didn't have to explain what it meant. They were also unfailingly polite, and - like pretty much all Canadians - were talking to the guide to find out about the area and the culture. I find Americans do this a lot less.

It was a real pleasure to spend a day with Canadians. I like Canadians, and will be very happy to return to Canada when I finish travelling.