Not A Holiday Here

Happy Canada Day! Or, if you are of a certain age and prefer the old usage, Happy Dominion Day. If you are not Canadian, feel free to join in the celebrations. Everyone loves a party, right?

Canadians are not celebrating our nation’s birthday by using legal marijuana to get stoned, which had been the government’s plan for Canada’s 151st birthday. The politician in me thinks that the present government, sagging in the public opinion polls, led by a feminist now accused of groping women, a two-time loser in complaints to the federal Ethics Commissioner, is hoping that marijuana will cure their ills. After all, bread and circuses worked for Caesar, for a while anyway. Legal marijuana is just the 21st century equivalent.

I’m not sure what celebration is appropriate for 151 years, it’s not one of those milestone birthdays. In Germany most people won’t be celebrating at all. I did consider hanging a Canadian flag out our apartment window, but then I would have to keep explaining why. These days the flags here are all Word Cup related, and everyone knows Canada doesn’t have a team playing in the tournament. Neither does Germany any more, though it is probably not polite to mention it. IMG_20180630_1824514

Knowing I was going to be in Germany this year affected how I spent my July 1 last year. I went to Parliament Hill for both afternoon and evening concerts. The much publicized access problems didn’t affect me as I had Parliament Hill ID and could avoid the lines, despite having been told the ID was not valid for the party. I guess no-one told the RCMP that.

Last year there was rain, this year excessive heat. I don’t think I would want to stand for hours in the heat, so even if we were in Ottawa I would be passing on this year’s event.

Somehow it doesn’t feel like Canada Day to me. How do you feel patriotic when you are far from home for an extended period? Should you be expressing nationalism somehow?

Certainly, living in Germany, I don’t feel as connected to Canada as I did at this time last year. I don’t pay anywhere near as much attention to the news as I did then. Mind you, I’m also not working in politics anymore, so I don’t have to be as on top of things.

Sulzburg is a sleepy place. City Hall sent out a notice asking people to respect quiet hours from 1-3 p.m. and after 8 p.m., all in the name of neighbourliness. I haven’t noticed much noise here, so I don’t know if it was a standard beginning of summer message or whether someone was being rowdy. I guess setting off my own fireworks for Canada Day would be frowned upon.

It’s the afternoon quiet time that I don’t understand. I know the stores are closed: I guess everyone takes a nap then. Except those who must work of course. Or people like me who are in language classes.

I don’t know what the children do or how they are supposed to handle this quiet time. The school day ends at 12:30. I guess loud outdoor games are frowned upon until after 3 p.m. Or maybe they are frowned upon at any time – Sulzburg doesn’t strike me as chid friendly, but maybe I just don’t realize it since I don’t have children living with me.

I don’t know what I will do to celebrate Canada Day. Go to church, but I do that every Sunday. Maybe spend time with friends. I thought about playing some loud Canadian party music, but even if it wasn’t during the quiet hours I’m sure that would annoy the neighbours. I think that sort of thing just isn’t done here.

So please, feel free to be loud this Canada Day in my place. Enjoy the party, wherever you are. I’ll be with you in spirit.

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