Posted by: Andy | September 5, 2005

quick thoughts on Canada (Vancouver)

So we drove up to Vancouver, BC this weekend – it was only about a 6 hour drive from Portland. Border crossing took over an hour to get in, and about 30 minutes coming back. Here are some quirky things I noticed:

1. The flashing green & yellow traffic lights are about as fucking obnoxious as you can get. They apparently have 5 traffic light settings – our standard 3 + flashing green which indicates that you are at a controlled stoplight (pedestrians can push the little cross light to cause the light to change) and flashing yellow, which I never figured out, and thus suffered much paranoia.

2. In general, the people there are in better shape than Americans. I saw a much lower obesity ratio. I’m wondering if this is related to the real sugar vs. corn sugar thing. Or if they just aren’t as lazy and stupid about health as we are…
3. More places to eat than you can possibly imagine. I’m serious. Blocks and blocks and blocks just full of restraunts, cafe’s, coffeehouses and more tiny ethnic food places than you could hit in a lifetime. Obviously, eating is a serious recreational sport there. And yet the people still aren’t fat. What the fuck?
4. Starbucks must be stopped.
5. The mountains are fucking beautiful. The outskirts of town (North Vancouver, etc.) are also very scenic. Vancouver itself is pretty scenic, but there is enough big city nastiness (especially where our hotel was located…hello dirty prostitutes!) to make you forget about it most of the time.
6. The squirrels are black instead of grey. Discuss.
7. If you are single, and into asian women (or men), this would be an excellent place to relocate to.
8. Everything is either about the same price as it is here, or more expensive. The US dollar was worth about 1.16 Canadian dollars during our stay. Meals ran $20-30 Canadian, and it cost $36 to fill up about 3/4 of our gas tank (they are metric so the display says 1.18/liter…so you think you are getting a bargain for about half a second).

Maybe I’ll think of more later. All in all, a place worth visiting, but I’m not particularly motivated to go back.

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