Following up on my last post where I described a negative experience recently, I think that as I’m not a regular Canadian but have lived here for the past five years, I am more than qualified to give strong criticisms of Canada. I mean, people go to other countries or places for days or weeks, and they make generalisations or criticisms right.
My main point is that there are strong elements of subtle arrogance, dishonesty and contempt in society here which contrast sharply with the existing cultural diversity that exists, notice I emphasized “subtle”. I am quite comfortable saying this, especially since I’ve had little run-ins here with customs officials, profs, telemarketers, the freaking TTC and even my insurance company. Nothing illegal or violent, and certainly nothing in which I did something crazy. Thankfully the police are absent from that list.
Now, while these incidents have filled me with disgust, frustration and shock, I have to say that politeness was always a constant. Canadians are generally a polite people and certainly it’s a good thing in many cases. But sometimes it’s mildly surprising and even more bitter when you’re being bashed or talked down to, but in a casual polite manner. However the best way to counter these situations is to do the same, that is to be polite but sharp and persistent.
That is because the thing about Canada, or Ontario or Toronto to be specific, is that for the most part, people always abide by a certain standard of conduct. So when you have cases like an insurance customer representative trying to cover up her company’s bullshit attempts to deny me from getting my reimbursement, or a travel agent being patronising to me, or even a prof react to being offended by something I said by ripping me continuously in class, they are still relatively courteous and
do end up doing what they’re supposed to for the most past. I’m still pretty upset at some of these events and I stand by my claims that there’s a lot of arrogance underneath the polite exterior of many Canadians/ Torontonians but I also admit that it’s still better than other parts of the world. There’s a certain amount of open-mindedness and politeness among people here especially when having conversations that’s sorely needed in Trinidad for instance. And for damm sure, in parts of Asia, if people are rude to you, even in positions of power, they will do so and wouldn’t even bother hiding it.