All that is wrong with the world…

March 1, 2011

Not in this country…

Filed under: Issues...the world...etc.., Travel — Tags: , , , , — allthatiswrong @ 3:02 pm

Often when traveling around in a country that is not my own, I may argue something with someone that is common across many countries. Often instead of arguing their point or providing proof they resort to using “well not in this country” or some variation as their closing argument. Hasty generalization much? It’s annoying because these people generally don’t know what they’re talking about bur rather than conceding they may be right, prefer to implicitly dismiss me because I am a foreigner. A great example of an Ad Hominem attack. They wouldn’t be able to resort to such an argument if it was a native making the same argument, so it is always frustrating when they do instead of actually considering what is being said.

Some people get offended that I as a foreigner dare to question a native resident about their own country. Often they become downright indignant. Some people would accuse me of arrogance for daring to do such a thing, however there is nothing arrogant about it. If you have done the research then it’s downright reasonable. What I’ve found out is often people simply don’t know everything about their countries. For example, I spent just over a month trying to find an alternative to paying for a notary public in Canada simply because I was broke. Even if I wasn’t broke I would not have paid for it because I know it is not necessary. Most people I asked had never needed the service of a notary so had no idea about it, yet there were still the few who were convinced it was the only way to get documents certified.

In my home country it costs nothing to have copies of identity documents certified, and there are many different professions that can do this, while some may charge a fee it is entirely possible to have copies certified without paying anything. It was a similar situation in Canada, which I found out after doing research. I first found the Service Canada website setup by the Canadian Government that lists a variety of cost free alternatives to a notary public. The first experience was with the RCMP, who at various offices denied that they were able to witness identity documents, despite the website and their supervisors saying so. I then contacted a legal aid office and was informed a commissioner of oaths could witness my documents for next to nothing.

Of course, the commissioner of oaths I happened to get had no idea what she is talking about. She was convinced that she was unable to certify copies that would be leaving Canada. That is utterly ridiculous. A commissioner of oaths is the direct equivalent of similar positions in many western countries, and there is no such limitation on what they may certify in Canada or elsewhere. I was curious to know if in fact there may be such a limitation and asked for a reference, although she simply replied with the “in this country this is how we do it” argument. I was unable to find any such limitation in the legislation or from any source, and ended up going to a different commissioner of oaths once I realized they were the easy alternative to a notary public.

It happens in the states a lot, where people who have never left their home state are convinced that the rest of the country is exactly the same save perhaps weather. Despite my having actually been to other states where I know something may not be the case, they resort to the “not in this country” argument. It’s a frustrating experience. It’s bad enough when you meet people who can’t accept that they may be wrong, but when they use the fact that you aren’t from their country to dismiss you…that makes is more worse.

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