Sunday, September 4, 2005

Canada

I recently went to Canada on a business trip. I stayed in London, Ontario for a few days and came to notice a few things to which I'm not accustomed. These aren't bad things, mind you. I'd actually consider most of these to be a big plus.

Black Clothes

While I don't like to buy into stereotypes (except when they're true--j/k ;)), I couldn't ignore that everyone seemed to be wearing black t-shirts. While my coworker had many interesting and potentially offensive names for the local residents, the fact remains that four out of five people that I saw walking the streets were wearing black t-shirts. I guess it's the style.

Metric

Yay! Why, oh why hasn't the US adopted the metric system!? It would be a pain in the ass for about two years, but after that it would be so nice. Why is the US the only stubborn country left using the English system of measurement?

Speed Warning Signs

Every so often, we saw a road that had the speed limits listed along with the penalties for breaking them, in 10 km/h increments. For example, in a 110 km/h zone:
  • Going 120 km/h = $100 + two points
  • Going 130 km/h = $200 + three points
  • Going 140 km/h = $300 + four points

  • Ouch!

    Beer

    I didn't believe this until I checked it out. Beer is only available at the US-equivilent of a liquor store, known in Canada as the "Beer Store." I'm not kidding, that's what the sign says. You, apparently, cannot walk into your neighborhood Canadian grocer and purchase beer--instead you must go to the beer store before 6:00pm and buy it there. hmmmm...

    Currency

    First, Canadian currency is neat! It is colorful with shiny ribbons on it. Cooler than that though, is that they have coins in $1 and $2 denominations. That is really strange at first but a system I am all in favor of. Here in the US we have $1 coins but they are not used anywhere. In Canada, I bought a sub for $5.50 and paid with a $20. I expected to get a bunch of bills back. Instead I was given a $10 bill, two $2 coins, and two quarters. It was a very weird feeling at first, but something that I'd like to get used to.

    The accent, eh?

    I couldn't leave this out! I'm a big fan of the accent. When working in close proximity with a bunch of Canadians it's nearly impossible not to pick it up. I was there only three days and found myself slipping. It was so bizarre.