LETTER FROM CANADA

What is one life worth?

Have Canadians, insulated from the cruelty of life elsewhere, become too sentimental? Or have Slovaks been made callous to the fate of others by decades of cynical misrule?

Bratislava For Decent Slovakia protest March 16, 2018. (Source: Braňo Lengyel & Nina Nováková)

Moving from Slovakia to Canada can be profoundly disorienting. It’s more than the sudden sense of human space (4 people per square kilometer here compared to 113 in Slovakia); the sea and the immense dark woods; the fact that police patrol the streets rather than ambushing drivers at hidden stops; or that in Canada you can visit one office to get a driver’s license, public health insurance or unemployment benefits, quickly and pleasantly, rather than pry these services from disgruntled clerks at multiple government offices.

No, it’s more than the greater freedom and convenience of life. It’s that life here seems comparatively uneventful, even – sometimes – a little boring.

Take the example of Teddy.

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