Canada is a weird place.
At least BC. At least that part between the US border and North Vancouver.
First, after bribing the border patrol with a sixer of Elsinore I started my drive to penetrate their proud land. I quickly encountered some flashing yellow lights on a sign about ½ a block before an intersection warning me to get ready to stop because the light was aboot to turn yellow. Serious? Isn’t that what a yellow light already is? That’s like ordering cheese on your grilled cheese sandwich.
Then, while still in my car, I next encountered a flashing green traffic signal. I could only assume it means to step on it, which makes sense since everyone seems to drive the speed limit or less and could probably use some encouragement to pick up the pace.
Speaking of speed limits, they’re posted in km/h. My car had those listed on the speedometer, but they were printed very tiny in a color called “nearly invisible especially at night”. So I used the rule of thumb to take the km/h and multiply by 6.2 (rounded down to 6). So if the posted speed limit was 50 km/h, then that would be 300 mph. Hmm. That seems high. So I just divided by pi (again rounded down to 3 to be safe). Yes, 100 mph. Unfortunately it was difficult to maintain that speed since most of the native drivers were barely going 30 mph.
To make matters worse, pedestrians seem to expect drivers to yield to them. I can tell you that several of them won’t be making that mistake again.
I had to refuel and gas was only $0.98. I was shocked to discover that my rental Cobalt had a 49 gallon tank. It barely looked 13 gallons.
Speaking of money, they have a bunch of coins instead of paper currency. So you go into a store, pick up a couple dollars worth of back bacon, hand over a $10 bill and get back a handful of coins. So now instead of just sticking a bunch of bills that weigh about the same as a piece of paper the size of a paper bill, you have to lug around a pocketful of coins. I wish I’d have known so I could have brought along my medieval coin bag.
Judging from the languages on the signs, Canada also appears to have a problem with illegal immigration. Except instead of accommodating Mexicans with Spanish signs like the US offers, Canada places French on their signs until they can build that wall along their border to keep the French from illegally entering. Although I heard from many Canadians who would prefer to look the other way since the French take low-paying skate sharpening jobs that might otherwise go unfilled or possibly increase the cost of those services.
Okay, there were a couple cool things. First of all is that every restaurant, bar, school, church, firehouse, doghouse, homeless shelter, barn, library, jail cell, strip club, bus stop, gym, and hiking trail has a high-def, big-screen television broadcasting a hockey game.
And finally, Red Bull gets it. In the US, they just talked us into mixing it with vodka so we could stay up all night to maximize our drinking. In Canada, they take it to the next level by suggesting that after some Red Bull and vodkas it’s a good idea to don some skates and participate in a little competition called Crashed Ice.
I only hope it makes it as part of the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.