You've heard me say this a time or two already but I'd better say it again, to start: I love Canada and I love living in Canada and it's much better to live here than to live in the U.S.
But Canada has a flaw, and that flaw is that it is just not that great as a place to consume. Some of these failures of consumer culture actually spring from Canada's many virtues. Having all that access to health care and education and unions and all has empowered workers to the point that service in restaurants is frequently crappy. So this is a great thing, though I have to struggle to remember that while waiting half an hour for the damn check to arrive. Similarly, though sales taxes here are very high and that's got to be the least just way to redistribute income, sales taxes are balanced by high-ish income taxes and taxes on land, so that's good, and the government spends our taxes mostly on things we approve of, like health care and education, and not so much on missiles or invading Iraq or supporting Halliburton.
But it saddens and puzzles me, the list of What You Can't Buy In Canada. Aside from strictly illegal things, like handguns and armor-piercing bullets, Ontario stores at least don't seem to sell quite a number of items I have missed: cortisone cream, for instance. Nonoxynol-9 suppositories and a few other forms of birth control. Grits. Good barbeque and country ham. Many, many types of beer. Certain Body Shop products (what? fishwhistle
loves that crap.) Tomatillas. And -- this is what I'm missing right this very minute
- naproxyn. You know, Aleve(tm). Just not available here.
And yes, okay, the border is less than two hours away so we could just pop ourselves into the car and go get some grits and naproxyn sodium. But since the reason I want the Aleve is that my back is paining me today, two hours in the car seems like a bad idea, and I'm cranky. But now that I've explained to you all how much I am suffering, oddly, I feel better. Either that, or the ibuprofen is kicking in.