Canadian men have that Gilbert Blythe "Pardon me?" quality - soft spoken mouth ... mischievous eyes. They'll infuriate you to the extent you'll want to wring their necks ... as soon as you've received the roses they've hand-picked and sent to you, they'll break your heart the next minute. And I should know - I've read every book or short story Lucy Maud Montgomery has ever written. I even fancied myself to be quite the Anne of Green Gables for a while - oh wait, that was also when I realised my nose would never be as prim as the one Anne boasted of.

It seems to me God knows very well I have a soft spot for Canada's menfolk. Maybe it's because I spent the formative years of my childhood in Alberta, Canada. When I came back to Malta, everything looked way too hot, tight ... small. I dreamt of going back. I told myself that once I was done with school, I'd pack my bags and cross the Atlantic one more time. It's funny how much importance a mere year and a half could have on the psyche of a child. Perhaps, I thought of Canada as a place where I could actually speak the language children my age were speaking. No well-to-do five year old from the South of Malta would dare speak English ... at the risk of ending up like the pasty girl with messy hair sitting at the front of the class. I associated my time in Canada with happy times. Canada was a part of me.

Well, the little girl grew up, lost her Canadian accent completely and can chat away in her mother tongue as well as the best of them. To be quite honest, her spoken English has been getting a bit rusty. Still, she needed to resort to it when she was asked ...

"What are you doing here? Ooh, poor girl from Malta ... never gets to play in the snow. Like I'm going to feel sorry for you... you and your golden beaches."

We were in an Irish bar. Canada boy was very drunk ... very friendly and went on and on about how well he could play the bass guitar. I signaled to my friend that the guy was bothering me but was stopped when he volunteered his name. Same first name as my boyfriend's. Fancy that.

I told you I stopped in my tracks. I stopped in my tracks because I was surprised by my own unwillingness to tell him of the coincidence.

He had piercing blue eyes, jet black curly hair and an oddly shaped mouth which seems to squint to one side whenever he spoke. And like many of the Canadian men I've met he had a manner of speaking which in the Med would come off as flirting. To him, it probably just boiled down to sheer politeness. The way sobriety could help him shift between a courting scoundrel at night and a charming gentleman by day was sincerely alarming.

I could go on and on and fill these pages with little anecdotes that would keep you all at your seats wondering "Will they? Won't they?" Faithful Canada boy also had a lovely girlfriend. We never did. May they be sploshing white paint over their picket fence at this very instant. We seemed to have a similar effect on the members of our little self made community up there. One day a friend of his looked at me squarely in the face and said "You two obviously like each other very much. Just go for it." To which I laughed. I laughed at myself - how obvious I had been. The way I followed him every where with my eyes or yelled at him as he apologised for not making it to one of my dinner parties.

"I'm not going to apologise. I have nothing to be sorry for. I'm the one who missed out on a great meal."

This is exactly why, O Canada, you infuriate me. A statement like that is enough to knock any Maltese/ Italian/Greek woman off her feet. We are not accustomed to this gentlemanly politeness. We are used to being pushed aside by a man who swears off your mother, says he has no time for this, and will you please shut up so he can watch footie? We are built to break plates and start fires.

It took me a while to get over that man. I still don't know whether I've made up every little thing he did or said in my head - whether intoxication heightened my receptors and made me believe he felt the same way. I think I've managed to forget him... almost two years have passed... why am I writing this again? Oh yes, God has a way of reminding me He knows I have a thing for Canadians.

Only last Friday, I met another handsome Canadian... a musician, who not only shares the same name as my present boyfriend, but he managed to swindle his surname too. Damn!



allseeingeye says re Canada boy: yes, we Canadian boys are nothing but trouble. Polite, soul scarring trouble.

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