Among my random obsessions (Kentucky Derby, Esther Willams, the weather), Canada ranks quite high. I suspect this affinity developed during my childhood in the NoCo where the closest civilized settlements were just over the river. Canada is great for many reasons:
- It is another country. While I am quite proud of the Etats Unis (current administration excluded), I do like me a good foreign country from time to time. Plus, it's very easily accessible and they use cool words like "toque."
- Canada has contributed such delicacies to the world as poutine and beaver tails. I hear you can get poutine at Jreck's Subs up in the NoCo, but that is not recommended as it is technically American poutine, and, well, it's called Jreck's SUBS, not Jreck's Poutine. Don't knock it, it's good stick-to-your ribs stuff. And you can get it totally gourmet now, too.
- It's ok if the weather is cold in Canada. Because you're in Canada, it's charming. I love how Canadians don't need to zip their parkas even in the most extreme winter cold.
Of course, there are so many other wonderful things about Canada (Ottawa, Stratford, Montreal, hockey, universal health care, same-sex marriage), but what prompted me to write today is this: www.amazon.ca
While its tagline says it is "Online shopping for Canadians" I would also add Canadiaphiles and people who want cheap(er) French books and music. Here's what happened: I set out on a quest to get the last Harry Potter book en francais so I could complete my task of reading all of the HP books in French. On a recent rainy afternoon, I popped into Schoenhof's because I was sure they would have numero sept: Les Reliques de la Mort. Indeed, they did, but at a whopping $55!! While I was tempted because I am a sucker for instant gratification, I said non, I will look at Amazon to see if I can find it for less online. Um, not successful. Here my coveted book was retailing for $75 (but, with Super Saver Shipping).
Feeling the pull of the $55-yet-immediately-available book, and cursing the weird self-denial shopping angst I experienced on a trip to Ottawa over Christmas, I reached to click the site closed. Suddenly, I had an epiphany -- what about amazon.ca....? This is what I found: CDN$ 22.47, no joke!
Thank you, Canada.