Written by Trevor McNeil
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Topics: London, Canada

Monday, 24 March 2014

Most of us have heard of culture shock. That sense of unease that comes from being immersed in a new culture. Something visitors to Quebec know all to well. One group who should have no problem with this when visiting or living in Britain are those from Victoria, British Columbia.

Perhaps not surprising for a city with the name of a Queen in province that sounds like an old-world colony, Victoria, British Columbia Canada, has a reputation for being "the most British place outside of Britain". Not real world Britain either, with its economic troubles and youth unemployment.

No, it is a clean, carefully engineered, seemingly perfect vision of the best parts of Britishness, with faux, and some authentic, Victorian architecture, quaint tea-houses, a grand hotel, double-decker buses (bought from London), no shortage of "theme pubs with names like the the Beagle, the Sticky Wicket and the Bard and Banker, the alleged "colonial clock" proportioning to show the time in all of the old colonies (built in 1990) and, most bafflingly of all, a replica of the birth-house of the wife of William Shakespeare, complete with faux-Tudor architecture, tea-house, gift-shop and a full-sized set of prop stocks that vacationers can photograph each other imprisoned within.

It is almost as if someone learned about Britain by reading old British literature and decided to build a city-sized theme park around it. On the up side, once they get past the large size and roving gangs of Chavs, most Victorians (that is actually what they call themselves), should be able to negotiate their way around olde London with little to no bother.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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