After 27 months of living in Winnipeg, I’d assumed that the assimilation/deep integration had more or less concluded, and people would have little cause to pinpoint me as an Outsider everywhere I went.
I no longer need to profess surprise and disgust at the lack of synchronized street lights, absent crosswalks or over-abundance of traffic cameras. I know to make fun of people from Transcona, and avoid Point Douglas like the plague. I have been ritually sacrificed to canker worms/mosquitos/hornets. I band my elms. I know of the Schmoo of which they speak. I do not require GPS to get around.
I still get outed as being an import when I open my fool mouth and talk about streets and locations.
The Problem With Pembina
Me: Hey! There’s a great place right off of Pembina for that!
Pegger: What did you say?
Me: There’s a great place right off of Pembina.
Pegger: You’re not from here.
Me: No. I’m from Vancouver.
Pegger: Ha! Nobody here says “PEM-BY-NUH.”
Me: What do they say?
Pegger: “PEM-BIN-A” You’re so funny! “PEMBYNUH.” HA! HA!
Me: Speed traps! Blah blah blah! Got me on Keewatin doing 61 in a 50 zone one morning…blah blah blah!
Pegger: What did you say? Say it again.
Me: Speed traps?
Pegger: No. The other thing. Say the street again!
Pegger: Did you just say *smirk* “KEE-WATT-IN”?
Me: Erm, yes.
Pegger: You’re not from here, are you?
Me: No. Vancouver. Why?
Pegger: I could tell. NOBODY calls it “KEWATTIN”
Pegger: Try “KEY-WAY-TIN”
Pegger: *cracks up, laughing hysterically* That’s too funny. Ha!
Me: *Giving presentation* Blah, blah, blah mill rate increase to accomodate school board needs because the provincial government will not be kicking in extra in order to maintain the funding for 2013, and the Board of Trustees is requesting that we send a panel of delegates to a meeting on the 29th at 7 pm at Tec Voc on Wall Street. Blah, blah, blah…. *answers questions* *sits down*
Pegger: *smirk* Did you say “TEC VOC”?
Me: Yes. The Trustee meeting is at Tec Voc.
Pegger: You’re not from around here.
Me: Goddamnit. No. I’m from Vancouver.
Pegger: Protip? Next time say TEC VAWK. We say TEC VAWK.
Me: That’s stupid. What’s wrong with you people? It’s VOCATIONAL not VAWKATIONAL.
Pegger: Tec Vawk. Remember that next time. Otherwise everyone will know you’re from The Outside.
Me: How would I know that?
Pegger: Now you do.
Tec VAWK? WTF, Winnipeg?