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Hey Canada, What's Up With The French And Celsius Talk?

Thursday, 15 Nov 2007 | 2:56 PM ET

I'm still in Vancouver, covering the fallout from Canada's strong dollar. There's not a single freeway in Vancouver. Traffic is terrible. One local complained to me, "How can we be a world-class city with no freeways? We are run by tree hugger idiots." One of the best things about Canada is a TV show called "Canada's Worst Driver."

Like everywhere in Canada, the scenery is breathtaking here. And like everywhere in Canada, I'm reminded how woefully ignorant I am of the place.

Ok, I get the metric thing. But what is 5 degrees Celsius? And, I'm sorry Quebec, but why does everything have to be translated into French when there's not a French-speaking person around for hundreds of miles? Even more in kilometers. Very irritating (quel irritating). But is it me?

Why am I surprised to see the Queen on the currency, to see "color" spelled "colour"? Why can't I name any Prime Minister since Mulroney? (Quick, name any head of state anywhere, period. I thought so.)

We Americans have been blessed by wide open spaces and two oceans to keep us oblivious about the rest of the world most of the time. But how can we justify being oblivious of our neighbors? Are we so focused on chasing the American dream, as our immigrant ancestors did, that no one else matters?

Eh? I've learned more about Canada watching "South Park" than I ever did in school (the "South Park" boys love a TV show starring two gay Canadians, and when Canadians speak, the tops of their heads become disconnected from the rest of their bodies--it's pretty funny).

By the way, 5 degrees Celsius is pretty cold (tres froid).

Meantime, back in the US-of-A, here's a hilarious take on Judith Regan's lawsuit against Rupert Murdoch's News Corp . Andy Borowitz spoofs it on www.borowitzreport.com, with this headline: Satan Refuses to Take Sides in Regan-Murdoch Lawsuit Prince of Darkness ‘Caught in the Middle’ of Longtime Associates

You don't have that in Canada!

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  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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