Archive for April, 2010

The beautiful, peaceful people of Canada
2010.04.18

I am presently visiting Ottawa, the capital city of Canada.
Late spring finds this delightful place mostly sunny but
still brisk enough to encourage you to keep your coat handy.
My enthusiastic hosts and coworkers met me at the airport
and immediately began showing me their town. What a
beautiful town it is.

I have seen brave young men dropping 4 meters (that’s about
12 feet for the uninitiated) down a waterfall in their
kayaks. Oddly, the drop wasn’t a problem for any of the
daredevils. The tricky currents just after the falls
consumed one very expensive carbon-fiber paddle as well as
the ego of its former owner.

I have ridden my bike along luxuriously wide roads
alongside some of the most polite drivers I’ve ever
encountered amidst green lawns, tree-lined avenues, and
picturesque lakes.

I have visited a bakery, or more aptly, a boulangerie, where
I was greeted with “bonjour” and thanked with “merci”.
Studies have shown that bread tastes better when it grows up
in this kind of environment.

I have visited a world class art museum and have seen the
facilities where a peaceful government conducts its
operations.

But mostly, I have been extremely impressed by the people of
Canada. I don’t think they realize how beautiful and
charming they are. They are universally nice and polite.
Despite the busy, eclectic, urban environment, folks smile and
acknowledge you even when you’re not somehow in their way.
They seem generally very healthy, fit, and full of life.
(This could be a fine moment to mention health care but I
will choose not to get involved in the silliness of that
debate.)

All in all, I am extremely pleased to have spent this
weekend getting to know Ottawa and its people. People of
the world, take note, when you want to find an example to
follow and a city to model yours after, you could do worse
than to visit Ottawa, Ontario, and learn from its peaceful,
beautiful people.