An Exciting New Country and We Just Wanted to go to Bed

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August 10th 2007
Published: October 8th 2010
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Calgary at NightCalgary at NightCalgary at Night

View of central Calgary
Our first introduction to Canadians, on this holiday at least, was as we were coming in to land. I’ll admit that it was a smooth landing, but I‘ve never known a spontaneous round of applause on a plane before.

Once we arrived in Calgary airport, the first thing we had to do was collect our hire car. Rather than the UK-sized car that we’d ordered, they tried to push us to take a huge great pick-up truck. That was way to intimidating so we settled for a people mover, which was still large by our standards.

One thing that was evident that moment we hit the road was that the Canadians could show the Americans a thing or two when it comes to large cars - if that can be believed. Our people mover was quite the smallest vehicle on the road and that pick-up would at least have been marginally closer to what everyone else was driving. There were camper vans - or should I say “Recreational Vehicles" - that were the size of coaches.

Another thing that we noticed, was that the French speaking Canadians had no hint of a French accent. My memory of French lessons at school was that it was as much about saying the word the way that the French do as the words themselves. The French speaking Canadians, as so far as I could tell, had the same accent and pronunciation as the English speakers.

It was quite late by the time we got to our hotel so all we had time to do was go and get something to eat. The receptionist in our hotel recommended a place called Joey Tomatoes, so we gave that a try. This was an excellent recommendation, but we had the problem that we were still on UK time, so we were extremely tired. In fact the kids fell asleep in the restaurant.

Our last observation about the Canadians washow trusting they are. Two girls at a table near us went to the toilet (or should I say "rest room") together and they left their handbags on the table without giving it a second thought. If they did that in the UK, there would be an extremely high possibility that they wouldn't be there when they got back. I guess that says more about us than it does about the Canadians.

The restaurant was in the Riverside area of the city and this was extremely happening. Lots of people about and lots of food stalls and other things to buy. It was Friday night though. We were of course on our last legs so we didn't hang around.


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