Monday, March 2, 2009
I've always felt grateful to be a Canadian. I've never understood the inferiority complex some people seem to have regarding our neighbours to the south. I mean, come on, we've got a lot to celebrate here: Access to healthcare, education, and all the snow you can eat.
However, there is one thing that makes me wish, just a little, that I was proud to be an American instead.
Sure we've got Timbits galore, but they've got the opportunity to compete in the worldwide travelling adventure that is The Amazing Race.
For the uninitiated, the Amazing Race is a TV game show where teams race around the world, competing various tasks related to the region they're in, kind of like a giant scavenger hunt. It is also the best thing ever.
Despite the fact that I can't really, you know, run, I am wholeheartedly convinced that given the chance and the right partner, I would totally dominate the race. I'm a good traveler, for one thing, and I'm decent at problem solving. I'm competitive but I'd like to think I'm also quite patient.
Family and friends disagree.
"See! Don't you think we could totally win that?" I once questioned my boyfriend after a particularly exhilarating episode, which I may or may not have narrated by saying "I could do that! I could totally do that!" every three minutes.
"Are you kidding? You'd power-walk everywhere and volunteer to do EVERY task." was his doubting Thomas reply. (For the record, he walks extremely slowly, despite having legs twice as long as mine -and really, why wouldn't you walk quickly during a RACE?).
He then went on to paint a picture of what that might look like if we were asked which one of us wanted to complete a sword-fighting task, for example. According to him, I'd have grabbed a sword (possibly by the wrong end) and scampered madly off before he could say, "but, but I'm trained in stage combat!"
Admittedly, that sounds about right.
To be clear, for the most part I try to avoid "reality" television, but something about the televised race around the world inspires me to set up the rabbit ears once a week and watch the grainy picture that comes up, commercials and all.
It's partly because I love to travel and learn about different cultures, but it's also because unlike the plethora of shows that exist solely to showcase the worst of human behaviour as entertainment, the race doesn't make me feel like I probably became a slightly worse human being just by watching.
It's fascinating to see how people adapt to new situations and handle the stresses of travelling, It's certainly entertaining, But to me, the best part is watching people's eyes open to both the wonder and the tragedy that the world is host to when they wander outside the comforts of home.
So, if anyone has a brilliant plan to open the race up to Canadians, let me know. The position of my Amazing Race partner is also clearly still open.