Sunday, August 8, 2010
Exactly Like America (Except Not Quite)
So up here in Canada, they have a whole country of their own, with roads and money and everything. Instead of Dollars, they have Canadian Dollars (which are worth almost as much). Instead of miles, they have kilometers (which are about half as much). And instead of Outback Steakhouse, they have Turtle Jack’s. But there are a few differences, which I sort here into those that I like and those I do not:
-Cars are generally more polite around bikes. While they are willing to pass you, they usually do so in a safer way.
-The baked goods (breads, mainly) at grocery stores are of much higher quality. I attribute this to the French influence in Canada.
-Stores no longer ask “Credit or Debit”, since they apparently don’t have a distinction on the retailer side in Canada. I like this mainly because I have never understood why there is a distinction made on the retail end and the question has always annoyed me.
-Campsites in Canada seem to be generally so high-class (which also means $$$) that you are forbidden to put up clotheslines. You guys need to rein that in a bit.
-The town/city system is absolutely baffling. We frequently are welcomed into towns/cities that are several miles (sometimes dozens of miles) away, on the other side of 2 closer towns. Or welcomed into a city, then into a second city, then the first city again. What is up with this?
-The junk food distribution system is second-class. They don’t seem to have adopted the super-sized gas station model of the US (at which you can find everything from breakfast cereal to donuts). Also, their McDonald’s are lacking some of our favorite things: fruit smoothies and sweet tea.
In the end, the Canadian bit has provided us with some of the most fun and interesting parts of the trip, as well as some challenging biking. Overall, I give the country an “A-“. Work on the roads a bit, get me better access to junk food, and that will come up a bit.