Still Enjoying a Little Free Time

Today we went to the movies. At 10 AM, that is. The Van­cou­ver Inter­na­tion­al Film Fes­ti­val is this week (and next week, too). We saw two doc­u­men­taries, back to back. The first was the extreme­ly grim (and powerful)“The Oil Fac­tor: Behind the War on Ter­ror”, and the sec­ond was the sweet and quirky “Sou­venir of Cana­da” by Dou­glas Cou­p­land (based on his book of the same name). I real­ly like like Cou­p­land, for his light-heart­ed but sophis­ti­cat­ed sense of humor, his knack of putting his fin­ger on social move­ments and trends (he is the orig­i­na­tor of the term ‘Gen­er­a­tion X’), and of course in this case, the sub­ject mat­ter he’s been writ­ing on late­ly (Cana­da). I also envy him; He and I are near­ly the same age, and now he is liv­ing in Van­cou­ver as some­one return­ing home. As fond as I ever grow of this place, I fear that I will not feel com­plete­ly ‘at home’ here for a long, long time. I always feel as if I’m walk­ing on eggshells: Did I cut in line with­out real­iz­ing it? Did I say the right thing to the clerk at the reg­is­ter? Is my accent not native enough? Do I know enough about hock­ey, Ter­ry Fox or Cana­di­an pol­i­tics? Do I know too much about Amer­i­can pol­i­tics (actu­al­ly, Cana­di­ans on the whole know more about Amer­i­can pol­i­tics than the aver­age Amer­i­can does!) I feel as if I’m often on my guard, try­ing not to stick out too much. The open­er for con­ver­sa­tions, which is that I’ve recent­ly moved here from Boston is always good for a few exchanged sen­tences (that’s what a con­ver­sa­tion piece is for, after all). After that, it seems to be dif­fi­cult. Peo­ple are anx­ious to under­stand the why of it, and then when I explain that, things can get qui­et. Maybe peo­ple are just wary of those Amer­i­cans who come up here and are nasty to them because they (the Amer­i­cans) need to con­vince the Cana­di­ans that they’re wrong, etc.
All I know is that Dou­glas Cou­p­land is a lucky guy. He gets to move back here, live in Van­cou­ver, and (I assume) feel per­fect­ly at home.