My younger son has been reading Hemingway short stories in his English class. We read The End of Something and Indian Camp together last night. My older son is traveling in the Middle East, on a semester abroad, in Cairo now. We’re at a Hemingway moment in our lives. Here’s a poem by the restless Hemingway, a reflection of travel-perception of another place and another people. I often read Hemingway on vacation.
I Like Canadians
By A Foreigner
I like Canadians.
They are so unlike Americans.
They go home at night.
Their cigarettes don’t smell bad.
Their hats fit.
They really believe that they won the war.
They don’t believe in Literature.
They think Art has been exaggerated.
But they are wonderful on ice skates.
A few of them are very rich.
But when they are rich they buy more horses
Than motor cars.
Chicago calls Toronto a puritan town.
But both boxing and horse-racing are illegal In Chicago.
Nobody works on Sunday.
That doesn’t make me mad.
There is only one Woodbine.
But were you ever at Blue Bonnets?
If you kill somebody with a motor car in Ontario
You are liable to go to jail.
So it isn’t done.
There have been over 500 people killed by motor cars
In Chicago So far this year.
It is hard to get rich in Canada.
But it is easy to make money.
There are too many tea rooms.
But, then, there are no cabarets.
If you tip a waiter a quarter
He says ‘Thank you.”
Instead of calling the bouncer.
They let women stand up in the street cars.
Even if they are good-looking.
They are all in a hurry to get home to supper
And their radio sets.
They are a fine people. I like them.