Cultural Learnings – A Canadian Weekend at TBEX

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to represent IZEA at TBEX – the world’s largest gathering of travel bloggers, writers, and new media content creators at the Metro Convention Centre in Toronto, Canada. IZEA was a TBEX Silver Sponsor which meant our logo appeared on all their marketing collateral and we had both a speaker/table-top presence at the conference. It also meant I had the pleasure of spending the weekend with these two fools…

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Throughout the weekend, I had to be on my best behavior. This is what Crystal and I look like when we are being professional…

IZEA @ TBEX

When we didn’t have to work the conference, Crystal, Ted and I took it upon ourselves to learn everything there was to learn about Canada. Throughout the course of the weekend, we came up with a very solid list of what I can confidently say is a 110% accurate depiction of what it means to be Canadian. What makes it even more accurate is that none of us are Canadian, so these are views portrayed by outsiders with no vested-interest in the Canadian culture or its people. Here are our findings…

1. Canada hates escalators

This was evident from the very second we landed at Toronto Pearson International Airport. I had to lug my suitcase up a set of escalators that weren’t working. When we finally made it up to the next level, the entire hall of moving walkways weren’t working either. Later that day, we made our way out to the conference venue and discovered several escalators that weren’t operating – this continued for the duration of the conference. This clearly proves Canada’s hatred toward escalators – what else could it possibly mean!?!

2. Canadians love moose dressed in tuxedos

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Need I say more?

3. Canada hates using air conditioning when required

I’m not sure if Canada is just mad at the sun because they don’t see it all to often, so when it eventually comes out, they just want to die of heat exhaustion, but that’s sure how it seemed. The Friday we got in was quite warm and humid out, yet no one had their AC on; we were literally sweating when indoors, it didn’t help that we were both wearing our hair down. On the Saturday morning, it was rather chilly out when we left the hotel, which could only mean one thing – Canada’s time to…

ALL THE CANADIAN AC

4. Canada hates Pandora

Canada hates PandoraEnough said.

5. Canada hates taxis

After landing at Toronto Pearson International Airport and wanting nothing more to get to our hotel, it appears Canada was experiencing a taxi shortage. I have never been in line at an airport taxi rank and had only one cab come through every five minutes – there’s usually an entire line of them ready to go. Instead, it was the other way around; a mile-long line of people and one cab swinging by whenever they felt like it. Canada clearly hates escorting foreigners to their hotels.

6. All Canadians look like this…

A Typical CanadianTrue story. Would I lie to you?

7. Canadians love wifi

Free wifi at our hotel, conference venue, all the bars we drank at, and all the restaurants we ate at… at least Canada got something right! Way to go, Canada.

8. All Canadians dress in white

While making our way to the Expedia Night of Stars TBEX part on the Saturday night, there were so many Canadians invading the CBD area decked out from head to toe in white attire. At first we only saw a handful, but then we saw thousands of them, everywhere! It was of course, only safe to assume that all Canadians love dressing in white.

Exhibit A

Sensation Toronto

Exhibit B

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Exhibit C

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Turns out there was a white Sensation dance party at Rogers Stadium that night.

9. All Canadians smoke pot

No matter where we went in Toronto, the smell of pot would be lingering near by. This has led us to believe that all Canadians love to let loose and smoke pot on weekends – fair assumption, I’d say. Hooray, Canada!

10. All the limes in Canada are soft and squeezable

I ordered a vodka, soda lime from four different bars over the course of two days, all of which had the most juicy, squeezable limes that I’ve ever come across. When squeezing my lime wedges into my vodka sode, the juice offerings from each wedge were generous (more so than the juice offerings of their American neighbors), so much so that I had to request two per drink! This made for a divine vodka, soda, lime encounter. Well done, Canada, well done.

Vodka, soda, lime Canadian style

11. Canadians hate bras

Crystal and I were unfortunate enough to encounter a lady walking by us on the street who wasn’t wearing a bra and really should have been wearing one. I’m feeling quietly confident in saying that one bra-less lady is enough to base an entire opinion off of for Canada’s 17,571,300 female population. You’d be wrong if you thought otherwise.

12. Canadians love growing grass in abandoned cars

Hipsterville - Toronto, Canada

Ta-da!

13. Canadians love poutine

For those of you who have no idea what poutine is, it’s a Canadian delicacy (usually consumed when drunk) that is made up of fries, gravy and cheese curds. It is pretty much like a heart attack on a plate. Since we were drunk, it only seemed right to pretend to be Canadian in this instance.

Eating Poutine in Canada

14. French Canadians from Quebec get defensive when you eat poutine in other provinces

Poutine Hate from Quebec

Is it really that hard to screw up fries, gravy and cheese? The answer is no.

15. Canadians love the word ‘eh’

Keep Calm, Eh!

For reals.

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As you can see, our weekend in Canada turned out to be an extremely education few days for us, all thanks to TBEX. If it weren’t for this awesome travel conference, we would have been left in the dark on so many levels about our friendly neighbors up North.

Oh, and one last thing – we also learned that Toronto has an extremely gorgeous city skyline ♥

Toronto City Skyline

Thank you, Canada!

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