Earlier this summer, I travelled to Canada, whipping through the west from Vancouver to Williams Lake, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg, all in search of unusual journeys and festivals to tell you about. Along the way, aside the in depth stories, I noticed plenty more.
So, just for fun, here are 33 things travel to Canada taught me. Back with the rest on the Canada page soon enough.
1 – That hotels have DIY waffle stations. Squeeze batter from a machine as you would a soda. Pour it into a waffle iron, flip and wait until it beeps.
2 – The wait for the beep takes a disconcertingly long time for a first time foreigner (but that all’s well that ends well.)
4 – On the subject of food, bannock (s) pop up at breakfast time too. They’re First Nations fried bread often served with cinnamon and sugar.
5 – First Nations is the “correct” term when talking about people who descended from the people who lived here before the Europeans arrived. Not Native Canadians, which you might guess at from the USA.
6- There’s a song about how much Canadians love hockey And people sing it.
7 – That “Western culture” extends to this fine land in the tradition of rodeo.
8 – That rodeo has rules.
9 – And so does wearing a cowboy hat.
10 – That Canada claims all kinds of celebs I hadn’t realised were from these parts like…
11 – Shania Twain
12 – Celine Dion
13 _ Ryan Gosling
14 _ Justin Bieber. Enough said.
15 – There are rodeo princesses and queens
16 – And Indian princesses
17 – And British princesses. (Liz is still the head of state and she’s on the printed money.)
18 – Some coins, meanwhile, are called loonies and toonies. This phrase is said with a straight face and serious manner.
19 – When it comes to wildlife, there really are bears.
20 – They can apparently outrun a horse
21 – There is hunting but ever so strict gun control
22 – Strangely, Vancouver oozes with marijuana
23 – Yet still has the nickname of “the no fun city”
24 – As well as being labeled the happiest place to live in the world
25 – Though I’d give reward it for the most scenic landing view on arriving in a big city
26 – That Canada shares plenty with its neighbour south of the border, like…
27 – Filling glasses with more ice than water. Cold teeth, head colds and thirst all round.
28 – Setting the air conditioning to sub-arctic levels
29 – Forcing arithmetic into every single purchase. Thought you’d agreed a price? Oh no. There’s sales tax to be added on (at some mystical figure) and an arbitrary (whopping) 20% for service. Ouch! Just pay people properly, businesses, and then we can all avoid this debacle!
30 – Calling Britain England.
31 – But unlike Independence Day in the US, Canada Day marks a different road to independence. The day itself, 1st July, commemorates the enactment of the British North American Act. Signed in 1867, this joined together the three colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the province of Canada into a single country called Canada within the British Empire. While Westminster still kept some control, Canada’s road to independence came in slow but steady steps until all power was surrendered in1982 with the passing of the Constitution Act.
32 – With varying degrees of success, Canada claims to have invented the zipper, the Wonderbra, peanut butter and even basketball
33 – And they’re very pleased to be Canadian! But, then again, maybe I knew that anyway. Didn’t you?
Disclosure: I travelled to Canada as part of the #mustlovefestivals projectwith sponsorship from Expedia and Destination Canada. As ever, as always, I kept the right to write what I like. Otherwise, it’s just no fun!