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October 2020
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Whatchamacallit 140: Canadian $5 Bill (Reverse)

Canadian $5 Bill, Reverse

If all had gone according to plan, right now I would be in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Vancouver is, hands down, one of my top ten cities globally: it is a place worth visiting incorporating great scenery, great food, and a great friend.

Alas, I’m not – instead I look at the reverse side of a 2006 “Canadian Journey Series” five dollar bill. This is not the current $5, rather it is the previous iteration.

This imagery is probably my second favorite piece of currency after the Dutch 50 Guilder.

I love this because it is quintessentially Canadian to feature children playing ice hockey, ice skating, and tobogganing – a winter montage that embraces the Canadian stereotypes.

Further, there is an excerpt from a short story called, “The Hockey Sweater:”

Les hivers de mon enfance étaient des saisons longues, longues. Nous vivions en trois lieux: l’école, l’église et la patinoire; mais la vraie vie était sur la patinoire.

The winters of my childhood were long, long seasons. We lived in three places—the school, the church and the skating rink—but our real life was on the skating rink.

I cannot tell you how much joy I get whenever I look at this imagery.

The newest version of the $5 features an astronaut in space using the Canadarm2; the part of a US space shuttle that Canada built and stuck their flag on. Woot. It does nothing for me: I have never balked at spending a Canadarm $5, where every single time I spend an ice hockey $5, I smiled.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

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