How to: Spot a Canadian in Brussels

Whether they are a tourist or an expat in Brussels, you can always tell someone is Canadian if:

1) When you move your chair in closer to the table in a restaurant to the point where you are© Johanna Goodyear obviously uncomfortable so that the person can get by easier: they say “thank you” in English of course, with a Canadian accent (yes there is such thing as a Canadian accent, which is also new to me).

2) When you are walking on the terribly narrow sidewalk and their dog stops to sniff something and thus is technically in your way and you have to stop walking: they say “sorry” again in English.

3) You are walking along and you catch someone’s eye as they walk by: they smile (instead of looking you up and down, frowning or looking away in a split second).

There are also other signs, like if they are waiting patiently for someone to move out of their way rather than pushing their way past, they don’t honk in traffic, they don’t stereotype or said mean things about people from other countries. And of course, there is the obvious one: if they’re wearing a Canadian flag on their clothes for example, but usually these people are (a) tourists, (b) “new” Canadians (via citizenship) or (c) they might be an American posing as a Canadian to get treated better by the Europeans.

For some reason, I get the feeling that Canadian-born Canadians aren’t as patriotic as they could/should be. But, I wonder if its just me that thinks this?

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About Nicole Basaraba

Nicole Basaraba is a Canadian writer focusing on topics of travel (Mondays), writing and literature (Wednesdays), lifestyle (Fridays) and her experiences living in the capital city of Europe: Brussels, Belgium.
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