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Thinking of Escaping to Canada? Here are Seventeen Tips for Americans Crossing the Border

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What are some things not to do in Canada? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Chrystal Van Winkle, Canadian, on Quora:

What are some things not to do in Canada? I had to think long and hard about this question because everything I initially came up with was more of a "duh, you shouldn't do that anywhere." I could not find twenty things that are unique to Canada, so I'll throw in some that are obvious to me.

  • Do not tell Canadians that Quebec should separate. It's a touchy subject for some, just don't do it.
  • We are, for the most part, a polite society, but if you act like a dill hole then expect to be treated like one. I know a guy that assumed he could talk his way out of a speeding ticket because our signs were posted in KM vs. miles. When you drive across the border, it tells you 100 KM/ph is approximately 60 MPH. The guy spoke down to the cop, and the cop slapped him with the fine. Be respectful.
  • Do not assume that everyone will take your currency. This is mostly for the Americans coming here; while your money may be worth more, it may not be possible for a vendor to scan for counterfeit bills. I've found that most vending machines take US coins, but I also live close to the border. It may or may not be like that everywhere you go.
  • Don't assume you'll be automatically allowed in! Having a previous criminal record may make you ineligible to visit and in some cases require you to have permission beforehand. Ever hear of what happened to Chris Brown? We're not kidding.
  • Don't order Canadian Bacon. I was born and raised here; I have no idea what it is. I think it's supposed to back bacon? I used to work at a diner, and whenever some American would ask me for it, I'd smile and nod and give them ham.
  • Do not bring a gun to Canada without proper paperwork. Declare all weapons at the border, failure to do so comes with some massive repercussions.
  • Don't come without proper attire. We have four, full seasons in almost every part of the country, but it will also depend on where you live. I once lived in Northern Ontario and it was -1 Celsius in July (30 F).
  • This is for the Americans again; don't discuss politics or even history. Ever hear the adage "those who win the war, write the history books?" Well, let's just say that some of the books you wrote came without winning. Just remember, we once burnt down the White house.
  • Don't be racist. Canada is a cultural mosaic. We do not seek to create a "melting pot" like other countries do.
  • Don't be homophobic. Same sex marriage is legal in Canada. Transgender reassignment surgeries are paid for by our health care. Don't discriminate; it's gross.
  • Don't put down someone based on their religion. Just don't, okay? We accept diversity. Women in Ontario are free to walk topless.
  • Don't assume we're all liberal hippies, either. We had a conservative government for ten years until Trudeau came in. I love him, but he's not without his faults.
  • Do not call our Aboriginal people "Indians." Nor are they "Native American."
  • Do not assume everyone plays hockey. Most people I know don't even like it, myself included (sorry not sorry). However, even when your American team wins, most of the players came from Canada anyway.
  • Don't mock our military. We are only 35ish million strong, so naturally, our military is smaller. We're also generally sent as peacekeepers. We're small, but we're mighty. And proud.
  • Don't mock our money. Okay, maybe you can, but only a little. We have a one dollar coin called the "loonie" and a two dollar coin called the "twoonie." We abolished pennies and so should you.
The final thing I want to note is that if you do visit, get
there. Don't
go to Toronto and Montreal and Vancouver; there's so much to see!

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