Thursday, March 17, 2011

Being quietly American (and southern) on the Toronto subway

I take the subway to and from work every day, and from my front door to my office comprises 45 minutes of walking to/from the station, elevator rides, transfers, etc.  After a couple of days of boredom with only my ipod to turn to for help, I decided to start reading on the train.  My first conquest was the very southern novel by very southern writer Flannery O'Connor entitled Wise Blood.  I first read Wise Blood in high school for class, and my notes are still scrawled in hot pink pen in the margins.  I couldn't help but think to myself that it was quite a wonderful thing, bringing something that was so innately southern into the subway system of the largest city in Canada.

Since then, I've become somewhat of an American rebel.  I downloaded Pete Seeger's American Favorite Ballads, Vol. 1, put it on my ipod, and have been bouncing away to favorite childhood songs ever since.  Pairing those with Roger Miller songs makes for a merry time, and they make me want to be out in the middle of America in a field, strumming away on a banjo.  Or listening to someone else strum.  String instruments elude me.

I eventually come out of my reverie and get off at my designated stop, but those little times with America and songs reminiscent of small-town America are pretty valuable to me.  They remind me that America ain't gone.... she's 140 miles away if I really needed to go, and it would only be a few hours until I'd be back amongst either family or friends.  I can be all business in Canada, if you'll just let me have my subway ride with "Oh, Susannah."

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. I never feel the need to grab a little piece of Canada while I'm here in the States. It's not for lack of pride or patriotism - I guess I just enjoy experiencing another (fairly similar to be honest) culture. Canada does have an equivalent of the South - Maybe you should've thought about going to Alberta? ;-)