My Canada scarf in Chile..


photo by Chandra

I’d just finished my exercise class and was feeling noble. I strutted over to my bus stop where a beautiful young couple were hugging. I asked for a hug too. (I can do silly things like that.) The young man looked at me with question marks all over his face. He hadn’t understood a word I said. That was embarrassing — for a moment. He spoke only Spanish.

How to explain or translate such nonsense? I hadn’t used Spanish in years, not that I did well with it to begin with. When daughter Susan studied Spanish in high school, she declared I spoke Spanish totally in infinitives. Did I even know what an infinitive was?

Nonetheless, between the young man’s few words of English and my terrible Spanish with French words thrown in, he got it. Immediately I was given a happy, enthusiastic hug from him and another from his young lady who wanted to join in the fun. What followed was a hugging fest.


What followed was a hugging fest

Our trilingual conversation continued. He had spent three months at UBC researching  mining and that very night they were reluctantly going home to Chile. They loved Vancouver and Canadians and had enjoyed every moment in my beloved city. NIce….


The Canada Scarf my friend Joe sent me

When our bus arrived, they chose to sit with me.. It was cold out. I was wearing one of those wonderful, warm scarves with CANADA and the maple leaf proudly displayed in  red. My kind, thoughtful friend Joe, who lives in Beverly Hills, CA, had sent it after I’d complained about having been caught out in that devastating, cold wind storm we had recently.

When the young woman admired it, I impulsively took the scarf off and gave it to them. Surprised and delighted, they thanked me again and then again and with delight, stuffed it into their backpack.

As for me, I love imagining the conversations this lovely young couple are having with their friends back in Chile when they tell them the story of this crazy old woman they met at the bus-stop in Vancouver who asked for a hug and gave them a CANADA scarf.



My friend Joe sporting the Vancouver T-shirt I sent him

And, what did Joe think? He has a generous soul and a fabulous sense of adventure. He was just delighted and declared he’d have done the very same thing himself! Yeah!

Meanwhile, I know my CANADA scarf is busy learning Spanish.


****The following is another scarf story……..


** This is the scarf which won’t let me lose it


To read about the scarf which won’t let me lose it or give it away, go to:


14 thoughts on “My Canada scarf in Chile..

  1. I am sure that couple thinks of you whenever they think about Vancouver, and that you did your part in perpetuating the reputation Canadians have of being among the nicest people in the world!

  2. Hello Muriel! Just found a newspaper column you wrote in 1997 – and we were mentioned in it. Made us wonder what you are up to, which led us to the internet and this blog. So happy to see you are still writing! So sorry that we have lost touch with you. We are well and happy and still living in New Westminster. Would love to hear from you/see you sometime 🙂
    Bruce and Sandra

  3. Hi Muriel,
    I am flattered that the scarf was happily given to visitors from Chile. I can imagine how that wonderful hugging couple is enjoying talking about the eccentric lady who asked for a hug and became a friend for life. If the scarf could talk it would be saying: Que buena vida (what a wonderful life). The next time I get a compliment from a stranger on any one of my musical ties which I enjoy wearing I will give it away with a song and a smile. As the song goes: When you smile the whole world smiles at you, etc. etc. Thanks Muriel for giving this couple from Chile a smile and a hug. Your dizzy friend, Joe

    • Indeed Joe: I loved the scarf especially because you sent it to me. It didn’t surprise me at all, what with your generous personality, that you approved of my sudden impulse to give it to these young visitors to my country. Thank you so much for being you! (I wish you weren’t dizzy though.)

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