There are a few universally accepted stereotypes about Canadians. Probably none more widespread than our penchant to end each sentence with the word "eh". Hunh?
We are also reputed to be extremely polite. Whatever.
Apparently we say sorry a lot. No apologies here.
But the truly common bond that unites all Canadians is one that very few non-Canadians would recognize. We Canucks refer to it simply as 'Timmies'.
'Timmies' is the true lifeblood of Canada. It is a little-known fact that at the heart of every warm-blooded Canadian lies a cuppa.
You can take away our snow, our tuques, our maple syrup, our moose, and even our ice hockey, but I rue the day anyone would try to mess with the Roll Up the Rim to Win contest. That is a line you simply do not cross with a Canadian.
I doubt there is actually a Canadian City in existence in the 21st Century that doesn't boast a 'Timmies'. If it does, its inhabitants must only come out at night, listless, disoriented, disgruntled and disenchanted.
For it has been rumored that without 'Timmies', Canada would simply fall off the map, likely collapsing into Middle Earth. Because we are the nation that made Tim Hortons famous. In fact, since 2002, Tim Hortons' sales have surpassed McDonald's in Canada. That is no small feat.
Yet Qatar remains 'Timmie-less'. Despite the fact that even Kandahar boasts a franchise. Despite the fact that there are over 4,000 outlets world-wide, including 20 in the UAE and 3 in Oman.
As spoiled Canadian expats in the ME, few burdens are as hard to bear as 'Timmie-lessness'. The absence of pork on restaurant menus, the impossibility of ordering a glass of wine at Chili's, the inability to wear a tank top to the shops on a really hot summer day ... these are all minor inconveniences that can be overcome. But we really miss being able to pop by the drive-through window and order a large double-double on the way to work.
However, we remain hopeful. It's been rumored for months now that there are three outlets set to open shortly in Qatar. Granted, a few months here can easily translate into years, but we are keeping our fingers crossed.
So imagine our delight this past Thursday when we saw advertised in a local paper that Tim Hortons coffee would be made available at the Qatar Canadian School Annual Spring Fair. Well ... you can be sure that these Canadians were lined up to fill up our cup of joe. Our daughter was waiting with bated breath to see if they would be serving up her favorite lunch sandwiches. Our excitement was palpable.
We toured the fair grounds and food stalls three times before finally giving up hope. There was no 'Timmies' to be found, not a single ground bean. The volunteers on hand were as clueless as us as to 'Timmies' whereabouts. We'd been duped. Our dreams dashed, our spirits crushed, our morale deflated, we returned home ... Tim'ME'-less.
Someone's having a laugh. What a cruel joke. No Tim-'ME's for us today. Sigh....