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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Tsk, Tsk, People

On my (very very crowded) train ride this morning a number of people where trying to squeeze on at one of the Burnaby stations. A young black woman unavoidably bumped into a guy facing away from the doors.

"Sorry" she said.

"Fuck you 'nigger'" he said.

Complete stunned silence from everyone. We all looked at the ceiling, out the windows, at the ads; anywhere but at the young woman and the racist asshole.

After a few moments people went back to their books, their ipods, their conversations, their lives. as if nothing had happened.

What a bunch of chicken shit weenies.... And yes I mean me too.

Canadians have such a reputation for being polite, but I think the rest of the world is very, very, wrong. And now that I've thought about it, I don't think we were ever that polite, I think we are just very timid (or scared? or stupid?) and won't stand up to anyone or anything.

This is probably the only place in the world where people apologize for being RIGHT! I've seen this a million times. Person A will bump into person B. Person A is clearly at fault and person B will say "sorry"

If you want to see some examples of the increasing levels of rudeness in this city - from the petty (very little door holding going on anymore) to the truly nasty (see above) spend an afternoon in the downtown core, or take a ride during rush hour on skytrain.

Today I looked for some examples of America's perceptions of Canadian politeness. I found a lot of material, but this once stuck out.

Reader's Digest did a field study in a bunch of cities to see who was the politest.

The article is interesting, but the graphic sums it up:

Yup, mean, nasty, violent New York City won hands down.

Vancouver wasn't a test city, but Toronto was number 3. Either Toronto is a hell of a lot better than Vancouver these days (haven't been there in a few years) or they spiked the drinking water that day.

But just to balance things out you can see that Montreal scored pretty "good" in the least courteous category too. Ya - we suck!

Can't we all just get along?

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