In 1987, my parents announced that we were moving from New York to Montreal. I adapted quickly, as kids do, but in truth the cultural gap between the U.S. and Canada wasn’t THAT wide. The radio stations still played Madonna, I watched “The Cosby Show” on NBC broadcasting from Vermont, and I learned to put the “u” in “colour.” I also came to love figure skating, like my Coffee Crisp, and tolerate schools’ obsessive demands that students write in Hilroys (google it).
What I also come to appreciate about my time in Canada was the perspective it gave me on the United States. With distance, I could contrast life in two robust countries, both with strong commitments to democracy, rule of law, rights and liberties, but which have expressed different societal priorities.