Canada – Good things and bad things

Toronto Island. Literally 10 mins from the heart of Downtown. Beach! Lake! Ice cream!

Toronto Island. Literally 10 mins from the heart of Downtown. Beach! Lake! Ice cream! Goats!

It’s time to pack up my belongings in my ludicrously over-sized suitcase (at least wool makes handy padding material) and get ready to go back home to Blighty.

I’ve had a brilliant time here in Toronto vising my sister, her family and friends, and I’m really sad to be leaving. Time to start saving for another plane ticket, I think, instead of spending it all on yarn…

Good things about Canada

  • Lucy, Dan and baby Chloe!
  • Spelling. As a spelling pedant, it pleases me no end that Chloe will be brought up in a country with colours and neighbours, and the letter Z –  pronounced “zed”, not “zee”
  • Cinnabon cinnamon roll store. Oh my God these are good. There is a Cinnabon on Oxford Street in London, but they don’t taste the same (I went there purely in the name of research, you understand…) Cinnabon is probably the main reason I can never move to Canada. I would become so fat they’d never let me fly back home.
  • A knitting-friendly society with great yarn shops, helping me to get my knitting mojo back
  • A reasonably favourable exchange rate (I hope…) enabling me to buy cute shoes, lots of new clothes, cookies cutters and – of course – yarn

    Cute shoes - very cheap too

    Cute shoes - very cheap too

  • Toronto Island (see pic) – a sandy beach right in the heart of Downtown. Such a great day out, and they have a children’s farm with goats, pigs, donkeys, horsies and bunnies.
  • Lucy’s basement. It’s cool, dark and comfy, and I sleep like a baby while I’m here. Not a normal baby, as they hardly sleep at all. A very, very heavily-sleeping baby – maybe like a baby with narcolepsy.
  • Raccoons. I know they’re a massive pest in Canada, but as far as vermin go, they’re so much cuter than our British rats and manky urban foxes. Apparently Toronto is also facing a possum invasion – how cool is that?
  • Calmer drivers. After living in London for 8 years, I expect to narrowly escape death every time I step onto the streets. Over here, pedestrians have right of way, and don’t they just know it?  Also you get all-way stops, where everyone at a junction has to stop, and whoever got there first gets to go ahead, which makes for a very polite motorised society.  Dan has just got back from China, and apparently over there, the bigger car gets right of way at a junction, which sounds like crazy talk to me.  And what happens if they’re both the same size? Do you have to play scissors, paper, stone or something?
  • Ice Wine. Delicious dessert wine that’s sticky and sweet, with an aftertaste of gasoline. I can’t get enough of it.
  • Cheap sushi. My all-time favourite food.
  • A whole shop dedicated to selling Hot Sauce
  • Awesome meat. I highly recommend Lucy and Dan’s barbequed Tri-tip, a cut we can’t get in Britain because they cut up the cows differently there. Remember – meat is murder. Tasty, tasty murder.
  • Laughing at the Americans – practically a national sport for the UK and Canadia. (Edited to add – of course I don’t mean all Americans, including good friends and family from the US of A. I mean the ridiculous stuff. A great source of hilarity for us this week has been the “Birther” movement in the US right wing, and in particular, the “generate-your-own-fake-Kenyan-birth-certificate industry“)

Bad things about Canada

  • The price of alcohol. It’s all good stuff, but good grief it costs a lot
  • The toilet paper is too soft. I’m not going to go into grisly details, but Lucy and I had quite a prolonged discussion about Canadian vs UK loo roll. I find it too soft here, and lacking in substance. At least it’s not the kind of tracing paper stuff we used to have at primary school that wasn’t even remotely absorbent
  • A six-week garbage and recycling collection strike. The streets reeked by the time they finally came to collect it.
  • I have to go home :*(
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10 responses to “Canada – Good things and bad things

  1. Toronto is ok, next time make sure to hit Montreal… wayyy cooler.

  2. My love for the British is exceeded only by my legendary love for Canada and Canadians. My Canadian postdoc instilled in me how to write the date that funny way and she made me realise that I had no defence against doing otherwise. Truth be told, she was my favourite and her labours were instrumental in my being awarded promotion and tenure.

    Travel safely – with the length of a trans-Atlantic flight on your hands, I expect to see a formal treatise on toilet paper posthaste.

    • Cheers 🙂
      I’ll work on the TP thesis – I’ll certain have some time to kill over the next half a day…

  3. the big problem with caca-land is the stultifying national character of being obsessed with canadian identity. i find the flag used more like an advertising symbol than a true flag.i wish the whole place would lighten up!

    • I find it quite helpful that Canadians abroad identify themselves with the maple leaf – unless you’r familiar with the subtleties of their accent it’s all to easy to offend them by asking if they’re American…

  4. hey tony lighten up ,, its me tone poor old cAN ADA .jUST KICK yorselves up thje bum..Whaaaaaa forgettit .

  5. Pingback: Top posts of 2010 | You do too much

  6. taylor stipancic

    i live in canada…… it rox! stereo types think its always snowy, and cold, but our summers get up to 35 degrees celcius! but our winters are as low as -29 celcius or more…. but anyways, its pure beauty! i was driving to buffalo, i look behind me at niagara, all trees, look ahead at buffalo, all old buildings. still… not saying america is ugly…. i just love canada better

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