People always ask me if there is something different about American culture in comparison to that of Canada. Even though you would think there couldn't possibly be a difference since we're on the same continent, I've discovered otherwise. There is a contrast between the Montreal I know and the United States I've come in contact with. Although at first I was really excited to come to the US because everyone spoke English, I now really cherish the bilingualism of Montreal. There is something to be said for not knowing which language to use when you meet a new person. Walking down the street and being bombarded by two languages really gets your mind going. There is a certain vibrancy that is excited when two cultures that are kind of different coexist. My experience at college has also shown me a thing or two about young people in the US. Although there are those awesome kids who dress in an unusual and artistic way, on the whole, most will slap on a polo shirt and call it fashion. That bothers me. There is a certain aesthetic in the United States that lets me know this isn't Montreal. It may be the lack of subtlety or the Coca-Cola but something indeed is different here.
This isn't to say I don't enjoy my American counterparts! I've cherished getting to know some truly wonderful people here. The US has given me educational opportunities I don't think I could have found in Canada. The US has employed me (I'll be filing taxes with the IRS this year, oi). People here are proactive, they care, they want to change things, they want to make a difference. (Well, that might just be the ivory tower bubble) But there is a work ethic here- a dedication to the job at hand that is honourable (note canadian spelling). Even though I don't think I'll be raising a family in the US, I will travel here, see what this country is all about and then launch myself to the rest of the world. When I come back and am sitting at home in Montreal, I'll let you know what I think then, when the world has been put into fuller perspective.