I could probably pulverize these dime-sized locks between my thumb and forefinger. And the keys are so paper thin I could chew through them. All the same, these luggage locks have clocked a lot of hours and kilometres. And I spent an embarrassing amount of time picking them out.
For an introverted nation, Canadians are surprisingly eager to showcase the national brand abroad. Like any other twenty-something Canuck roaming the Old Country I had a flag patch on my rucksack, a Canadian flag luggage tag, and yes, these low-quality luggage padlocks. I even wore a red-and-white Roots shirt emblazoned with “Canada” from time to time.
I don’t think this low level patriotism is to differentiate us from Americans. I mean it is, but not only. I think, like the bookish girl from homeroom that wins a wet tee shirt contest while in Cancun, Canadians break out of their shell a bit when outside the country walls. When asked where I was from, my answer was a loud and proud “Canada, eh?”, to be followed by a deliberately over-pronounced “toe-ron-toe”.
Back at home, like the aforementioned heroine of Señor Frog’s, I have reinstated my typically Canadian mode of understatement with a touch of passive-aggression. You won’t find me wearing a Roots shirt unironically. (Unless of course, it’s Canada Day.)