LOST IN TRANSLATION...
Here we are in the midst of the Blogging Doldrums and I hope that you are all enjoying the Holiday Season. While many of you were pulling tinsel out of your cat's bum I was getting my computer back up and running and...
I just returned from a Canadian tradition of going across the American border to experience a cross cultural experience in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Grand Forks is of course infamous for hiding Nuclear Weapons in plain sight to deter those Godless Communist Ruskies from starting sumthin' that they ain't gonna finish during the Cold War.
Most North Dakotans cannot accept that a country with 30 million people could actually exist any further north than them. As if humans could exist in a climate colder than Pluto next to Alaska! When people in Grand Forks ask you where y'all from and you say Winnipeg they just smile and say OkeeDokee as if you are a lunatic.
The biggest challenge is simply trying to get into the USA in this post 9/11 world. As you nervously hand over your Canadian Birth Certificate and Driver's License the steely eyed Border Guard orders you to start singing,
"Bye Bye Miss American Pie, Drove my Chevy from the Levy..." then he asks a few questions
"What is the State bird of Arizona?"
"Who won SuperBowl XXII?"
having memorised the 3,000 page entry examination book you answer correctly and seconds before you are ready to snap and accept full responsibility for the Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping he reluctantly let's you pass..luckily there were no members of al Qaeda present in my vehicle when I received my one and only speeding ticket in back in 1994 or I would be writing this from the Guantanamo Bay Koranic Retreat Centre in Cuba.
Despite the hassle Winnipeggers make up the majority of the tourists that travel 150 miles South to Grand Forks a quaint city of 67,000 of which 12,954 are students at the University of North Dakota.
Grand Forks is 92% 'White', 57% of them voted for Bush, and booze is practically free, which would seem to be a recipe for disaster but somehow it continues to be a vibrant destination for us Canadians because we are such cheapskates.
You see most of us travel to Grand Forks to go shopping at the
which we pronounce
where for instance I purchased a shirt for $1.94...
I kid you not.
We also love to get snacks and gas at the inappropriately named Loaf 'N Jug mini mart!
Any trip to GF is not complete unless you drive across the bridge into the State of Minnesota and visit Cabela's. Cabela's is a recreational weaponery and wildlife decimation emporium.
Leave your thin skinned vegetarian animal rights bleeding heart at the door. Here young Americans stroll through the sporting goods wearing T Shirts that read
I LOVE WILD ANIMALS..
they taste great!
There is a staggering collection of stuffed North American Creatures on display. Any creature that you could Google be it fish, fowl or mammal, has been exterminated with extreme recreational prejudice and fashionably mounted on a gigantic 3 storey high montage and throughout the gigantic store. It is sort of like going to a hunting museum.
Here the timid gun averse Canadian tourists nervously wander about the 'Sporting Goods ' with mouths agape and stare blankly at items such as this Gatling Gun which you can purchase for $30,000.
Why not get yourself a sweet .44 Magnum and pretend that you are Dirty Harry..
"go ahead little Duck...make my day!"
So to recap:
Whateverpeggers are drawn to Grand Forks by impossibly cheap booze, affordable 80s styled clothing and the simple thrill of visiting a small but well armed city full of white people with Nuclear Weapons!
Oh and gettin' snacks at the Loaf N Jug!