To Be or Not to Be….That Is The Question

To Be or Not to Be?

The question on the mind of the Ouisar-san. Now posted to you.

Some of you have expressed delight concern as to where I`ve been. Not only have I not been aggravating readers who happen upon “Hey From Japan”, I`ve not been stirring the pot in the comments section of other bloggers sites and FB pages.  The secret is this-I`ve been fully immersed in scouting the next exotic location for the blog tag line. Starting last June, the Clampits began entertaining several options to pitch the tent.

I provided Spouse with my list of “Must Haves” for the ideal location.

1) Palm Trees, Banyan Trees, Coconut Trees, Banana Trees, Olive trees or any other Species of tree that does not turn yellow, red and drop it`s leaves in winter.

2) Within 30 degrees of the equator

3) Does not have a cost of living requiring I abandon my current occupation of touring and laundry.

4) Must be at least 4,000 miles away from my family so they have to call before they show up.

He  chose Canada.

So here`s the question.

Do we need another blog from Canada?  I personally follow at least 4 Canadian bloggers. As an American, can I spot the cultural differences? I have some fodder set aside from our “look see” trip that might be entertaining….

One thing I know from my Canadian side of the family is that even though they`ve never put a man on the moon, you can put one in to orbit by provoking one with something along the lines of, “Canada is really just a northern extension of the US.”

Fighting words. Don`t say it unless you can run fast. In the snow.

I  read hilarious author Leanne Shirtliffe`s article “You Know You`re a Canadian When…” and had no idea what any of it meant. Apparently although I`m half Canadian it is blood only.

This leads me to suspect significant differences previously unnoticed.

Spouse left last weekend. The Offspring and I will be cramming every little bit of Japan we haven`t seen in to the next 5 months so I`ll continue on until June or so.

In the meantime-

Canada- to be or not to be? What do you think?

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61 Responses to To Be or Not to Be….That Is The Question

  1. kayvctx says:

    I have always wondered why so many great jazz people like k.d.lang and Diana Krall are from Canada. Ann Murray was a great singer of western style. What does Canada have the brings out the only American art form?


  2. Barbara Tungate says:

    Um, I thought you were moving to xxxx or some such. Where in Canada — that’d make the difference. Had a friend who grew up in Houston who endured Saskatchawan (sp) for a few winters. She never spoke of it again.


    • Hey Barbara! How are you? Montreal. There`s so much more to Canada than snow! She probably never spoke of it because it`s really difficult to pronounce.


      • Barbara Tungate says:

        I/m fine, thanks! When do you move? How’s your French? Montreal is charming, very European, and a terrific mystery series is set there and close to there in a fictitional town called Three Pines. Read the series by Louise Penny — impossible to put down, best done in order, all available on Kindle.


  3. Judyj says:

    Eh? From Canada? So glad you’re going to be joining us here in the Great White North (actually it’s been the Grey Wet North here in Toronto today). Where will you be located?


  4. rimassolosailingaroundtheworldm says:

    Thank you so much for sharing,every blog so interesting to me.I do not have a time to read all but I am trying as much I can


  5. Oh dear! We are a little shy of Banyon Trees and Palm Trees. Now for the good news. I see you will be in Montreal and that is one interesting place. First of all as you know Canada is bilingual and Montreal will be the perfect place to uh perfect your French. I think you will have lots to talk about since resident Canucks probably cannot compare differences that you will notice right away. Montreal has a wonderful history that most of us are unaware of. WELCOME! EH!


  6. When we lived in Minnesota we used to cross the border now and then to see exotic Winnipeg. I didn’t think it was much different from any of the large Midwestern cities, except for its background of French and Métis culture. Then there was the day we drove to Lake Winnipeg and got lost along a provincial highway. We pulled over and asked a Canadian Mountie parked nearby for directions to “the beach.” He said, “You go down this road, eh? And at the stop sign you turn left, eh?” He was friendly—most of the Canadians we met were—but we had to bite out lips to keep from laughing. We’d thought the Great White North stereotype was just that until that moment.

    Oh, and don’t throw out your ski or snowboarding wear. You’re gonna need that a LOT in the winter!


    • OS #1 can`t wait. He envisions snowboarding down the street. I`m trying to figure out how I can stay in the famous Montreal underground all winter only popping out to go from the house to the car…..


  7. I would be interested to hear a “foreign” take on Canada. Especially coming from Montreal which is even “less American” than the rest of Canada. Besides I need my regular fix of Emily humor! 🙂


  8. I would still follow you to Canada to hear about it from an ex-Japanese! I am sure there are cultural differences that you’ll be able to retell with that Emily-humour that Lisa mentioned. I’d love to hear about those olive trees, banana trees, tropical days lazing in the sunshine sipping cocktails on the beach…..


  9. Well one thing is for sure- I`ll be sipping hot toddies from October until May to stay warm.
    BTW- OS#2 and maybe the Nose if she can pull it off are heading in your general compass heading- Beijing and XiAn…. Seriously- we are squeezing in all the last minute sites!


  10. Tori Nelson says:

    I just imagined lunch dates between you and blogger Dana and got really excited thinking how I could spend the kid’s college fun to come crash them! CANADA!!!! Excited to read about any of your adventures anywhere, lady 🙂


  11. Ann Marie Skalecki says:


    Love your update… where in Canada are you going to be? Vancouver by chance? That would be close to Seattle!! I would love it!

    I hope you are enjoying all that craziness of leaving Japan! Enjoy it, as it will go SOOO fast.

    Also, a belated thank you for connecting me with your sister…. I apologize, as I thought I was in a “Full On” job search, but…. then a few things happened and I had to put things on hold, so I never reached out to her. Reopening the job search shortly! : ) Thanks a million for trying to help.

    Ski season is ON in the Northwest! Are you getting in some boarding there? I hope so! Big Hugs to you and the kids! xo Ann Marie

    Ann Marie Skalecki


    • We were in Niseko over the holiday- FUN. OS#! is dragging me to Karusawa next week after exams. Although I have to say I`m hesitant to do much without Spouse here- I can`t afford to get hurt!


  12. Yousei Hime says:

    If pressed, I’ll cast a vote. My simple answer is that no matter what the topic, I’m sure your next phase of blogging will be as delightful as this. (I’ll miss Japan–through you–though). 😦


  13. Cathy Cerqua says:

    Well, I for one, have learned everything I know about Japan from you. Thank you, thank you. I could not have learned more reading 100 books. So, I look forward to a blog you write from ANYPLACE. Canada is fine. Looking forward to it. Wishing you all the best, as always.

    Cathy Cerqua


    • HEY! How are you? Long time no talk to!!! You are so sweet. You`ve been with me since the beginning! The Big Man is gone already. You know how that goes. The paperwork gets signed and he leaves to catch the plane. All ok with you?


  14. how exciting! I love montreal. My husband, tho american, grew up in and outside toronto until high school grad when he moved to California. My mother in law lives in Ottawa (except in winter when she flies, like a canada goose, south) and my sister in law is in toronto. (and my mother used to live there back when all the street signs were in english..)in fact, we will be in montreal and ottawa this summer. Last there, (And yes, lots of funny jokes particularly by Stephen Colbert.) I look forward to hearing about your transition.


  15. Sounds exciting Emily! I’m considering Montreal for vacation this year. I’m looking forward to your take on it. That and the best doughnut to eat at Tim Horton’s.

    When is the big move?


  16. Even if you don’t explore the details of Canada, just the general adventures of daily life will still make for interesting reading.
    Still will be sad to see you leave Japan though. I was living vicariously through you.


  17. Of course, you must blog from Canada! It has to be! Can’t be without you, Emily! And just as you announce your new location, I’ve announced ours, as well! Check out today’s post to find out where we’re headed. Sounds like I got more what you were looking for–proximity to the equator and all!


  18. Barbara Tungate says:

    You do realize you’ll have to learn to set a table with forks and such again. Oh the adjustment! Can’t wait to read “As the Maple Turns” or whatever the name of the new blog will be…


  19. Lu says:

    I’m already looking forward to “Hey from Canada” – as per your usual style it will be a great read! Put another way, you could write a blog called “Hey from Gobi Desert” and it, too, would be awesome 🙂


  20. CTBM says:

    Dear Emily,

    I have been following your blog recently, and as a Canadian, I think you should absolutely blog about us. Never having spent much time in the States, it would be curious to see if there are actual cultural differences (supposed differences that Canadians protect- myself included- with all we’ve got). Obviously living in Montreal is not the same thing as living in a small town on the prairies, i.e. Montreal is predominantly French-speaking and cosmopolitan for Canadian standards. As for other Canadian readers who are not from Quebec, it may be interesting to see a third-party view of how the province culturally differs from the rest of the country.

    Good luck with the move!


  21. Cameron Smith says:

    Get to blogging from Canada eh!



  22. NyNy says:

    Canada sounds good!

    By the way, I have my own blog which focuses on Asian culture and entertainment such as video games and I wonder if it is possible for you to view it and tell me what you think about my blog:


  23. Well you know what I think, you’ll only be 5 hours away, by car or train!!!!!!!! Can’t wait, blog away…….


  24. Ang says:

    More Canada jokes! As a native Minnesotan, I appreciate a good Cannuck rousing. 😉 Good luck!


  25. Michi says:

    I’ve always wanted to be Canadian! Aaaand, one of my secrets (now revealed to you) is that I want to live in Little Portugal (located near Toronto).


  26. Dana says:

    CANADA!!! I was all excited, thinking you might be on the west coast and within reasonable meet-up distance of yours truly. Alas! You will be almost as far away from me in Montreal as you are in Japan… and the costs of a flight are about the same, too. Oh, well! Can’t wait to read about your experiences in beautiful Quebec. Montreal is great!


  27. Sharin (Holly's mom) Harbeck says:

    Hi Emily, Please keep writing from wherever you are!!! We, of the AOC contingency, miss you all so much and it’s almost like being back at the timing table with you and Tom every time I get a “Hey from Japan”. Dasher’s meets just aren’t the same, but I’ve so enjoyed following your experiences from the other side of the world. My all time favorite was your “confessions of a light packer”. I have gone from 2 suitcases for our 7 days of National Meeting to 1 with room to spare employing your tips. Anyway, wherever you end up, please keep the blog going!!!! Give my best to Spouse 🙂


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