Tag Archives: Canada

What’s the Difference?

A friend sent me the following joke:

A Jew and a Chinese man were seated next to each other at a bar when suddenly the Jew punched the Chinese man hard on the shoulder.

“Ouch,” said the Chinese man: “Why’d you do that?”

The Jew answered: “I just remembered, today’s the day Pearl Harbour was attacked.”

“But that was the Japanese,” said the Chinese man.

“Chinese, Japanese – what’s the difference?” the Jew asked, whereupon the Chinese man punched him.

“Hey, what was that for?” the Jew asked.

“That was for the sinking of the Titanic,” said the Chinese man.

“But it was sunk when it ran into an iceberg,” said the Jew.

“Iceberg, Goldberg – what’s the difference?” said the Chinese man.

When I was in college I took off for parts known. I went to England and Scotland. My friend Lyn French and I traveled for one week to the west of England and one week to Scotland. The last week I spent in London bopping about.

We stayed in hostels and went to pubs and met many people. We were invited to a few parties and were at one too late to get back to the hostel. This guy, trusting two unknown Canadian girls, gave us the keys to his flat and said we could stay there as he was staying at his girlfriend’s. We spent a night freezing with no blankets and no heat in a typical cold and wet April.

It might have been that party or another one, where the following conversation relates to the joke above. In Scotland we were at this party and of course people asked us where we were from. From Canada, we said. “Oh, hey I have a friend/relative in Toronto. Jimmy, do you know him?”

I would pull out a map and say, “Here’s is Canada, and this is Alberta, one province. It’s the same size of all of Great Britain.”

Then this one guy kept saying I was American and I said, no, I’m Canadian. “What’s the difference?” he asked.

So I put it in words he could understand. I said, “Okay, you’re Irish.” I didn’t have to say it too many times before he started calling me Canadian.


Filed under Culture, Ireland, Writing