Y’all, Canada is cold, and other reasons not to leave America post-election

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, November 10, 2016

Every four years in this country, precisely after midnight on November 9, the Canadian emigration website crashes.

As it did this year.

The top Google searches revealed last Wednesday, when the winning candidate was declared, were “The end of the world” and “How to emigrate to Canada.”

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If the world is going to end, it seems that Canada would be a part of that, but Americans desperate to flee their country, desperate not to live among “people who were so stupid, they voted for (fill in the blank)” are busily typing away, figuring out how they can make new lives in a new country that seems rational.

Now, I get when liberals do this, but it made absolutely no sense to me, whatsoever, with Obama’s re-election. Leaving a then progressively run America to embrace a country with thriving universal healthcare and extremely strict gun regulation seemed like a really bad hook up on Tinder. What would you possibly have in common?

And, y’all, Canada is cold. I’ve had the great pleasure of working in that country several times. I found Toronto, glorious Montreal, eco-friendly Vancouver and yeehaw Calgary all clean, attractive, friendly areas. The restaurants were terrific, the countryside gorgeous, the people very well informed, both politically and topically.

But it’s too damned cold.

So this time, your Aunty Pam thought she’d do some international real estate scouting for you because, really, what’s more fun than playing real life House Hunters with complete strangers’ money? And to make it particularly palatable, when I went to online real estate sites, I plugged in a maximum of $100,000 to spend. Now, keep in mind you’ve got to have documented health insurance and savings. None of these countries want you draining their healthcare and pension system.

How about Italy? I started there because it’s my favorite, and is there any place more romantic than Tuscany? The place is lousy with choices, all under 100k, with multiple photographs showing sweeping views of olive groves, mountains, lakes, and the most charming villages.

Listen to this one: “Fully-furnished, RENOVATED APARTMENT in ANCIENT Tuscan stone-built FARMHOUSE. The apartment is full of character with EXPOSED wooden BEAMS, TERRACOTTO floor and ceiling tiles, exposed stone work on the walls and wooden doors and window frames. Private COURTYARD.” They added all the capital letters, yelling how oozingly picturesque it is and it’s on the market for $94,000. All this and a Mediterranean climate!

The French countryside is super cheap, too. You can’t believe what you can get in the mid to high five figures, and fully restored, too. Adorable stone cottages with gaily painted wooden shutters on either side, rolling countryside with streams and amazing fishing. But a friend of mine said the taxes for ex-pats are pretty tough, so I crossed France off the list.

And Spain is as cheap as chips, too, but they still embrace bull fighting and other awful things to animals, so while you can get a ridiculously inexpensive villa or flat within walking distance to a beach, we’re not going to consider them, either.

My niece and her husband returned recently from a trip to Croatia and absolutely raved about it. Wonderful people, several places near the beach from which to choose and cheap, cheap, cheap. Nearly as cheap as Bulgaria which, seriously, you can buy a turn key property for the price of a 6-year-old Accord.

And then there is spectacular Budapest or Prague, all full of young, successful entrepreneurs, making a name and a bank account for themselves. But it gets pretty cold there, too. Great coffee, though.

Or you can just stay where you are. Look around, there’s not much wrong with it, is there? And you know something, no matter where you live, there’s always going to be people and things that drive you nuts. I mean, I adore Italy and I would love to have a little bolt hole there, one day, but I’m nearly 6 foot 2 inches and their towels are the size of handkerchiefs and I look like a preying mantis trying to fold up into one of their Fiats. Plus, they drive like maniacs. I was yelled at for stopping at a red light, which is, evidently, more of a suggestion than an order. So I think that might get to me after awhile. And I think I’d miss my mountains, farms, and when the cider mills open in September, not to mention Folly Beach and my beloved Lake Lure.

Wouldn’t you?

Running away is a fantasy and everyone dreams about it at least once in their life. I get that. But staying where you are and falling in love with it all over again? That’s even better.