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Friday, 13 January 2012

Likes and Dislikes in Canada so far....

I would like to preface this one by saying that I understand that these points may not necessarily apply to the whole of Canada but you can take that up with someone who gives a rats ass.....

  • Like.... the public transport system. The TTC (Toronto Transit Commission), as far as I'm concerned provides an excellent service, particularly when coming from the likes of Dublin Bus and Irish Rail. The subway and streetcar schedules are super frequent, I'm rarely waiting too long for one (except in the middle of the night, when you could be waiting half an hour.....when it's -15 out. Not that pleasant). My favourite thing has to be the drivers though. Maybe it's a public transport driver trait across the world to have an amazingly sarcastic sense of humour. Case in point; on a streetcar one evening and a woman got on talking on her mobile phone. Well, she was shouting and she had the other person on speaker phone so it was a very annoying conversation to have to listen to. Next thing, the driver gets on the intercom 'Excuse me lady, no one wants to hear your conversation. Please either hang up the phone, or get off the streetcar. Thank you'. I nearly wet myself. No one else seemed to think it was that funny though......
  • Dislike..... milk. At home we've got full fat, low fat, slimline, whatever. They've the same stuff over here but they also have 'percentages'. As in 2%, 1%. That's not milk, it's a percentage, as Tracy would say. Also, it comes in bags as well as in cartons. Plastic bags of milk feel so weird. I can't even describe it if you've never felt one. Everyone seems to have these special plastic jugs that they use for them. You cut a wee corner out of the bag and plop it in there. Why you don't just empty the milk from the bag into the jug, I do not know. Strange.....
  • Like.....the Plummers. I've had a few issues with the odd crazy Canadian since I got here, and haven't met a huge amount that I would be able to admit that I was overly fond of. Apart from the Plummer family. I don't think that there could be a more welcoming or easy going family within the entire North American continent. They should be on the Canadian Tourism Boards advertisements for reasons to come to Canada.
  • Dislike.....HST. Harmonized Sales Tax in other words. Nothing, NOTHING that you buy is actually the price that is listed. You get to the counter and realise that the exact change that you've scoured your wallet for is no use to you as you forgot to consider the taxes. According to Wikipedia (the bible of completely accurate information), when they were introducing the HST in Ontario in 2010 was opposed by 74% of the population. Nice to know it matters what the public think!
  • Like.....my job. Not many people get to say that these days but I thoroughly enjoy my job. Not that I don't have my off days and I have met some crazy people (not the good kind either) but working at Global Village has been an extremely welcome break from the office work of the last 3 years. I've met some great people, there's a bar on the premises and a smoking patio. And, although I complain about it sometimes, I've learned that I really enjoy folding sheets!
  • Dislike.....lack of chicken fillet or breakfast roll availability. Snack food is very different here. It's all pizza slices and pizza slices and more pizza slices. They don't have the same kind of deli vibe that I'm used to where you can get an ol ham and cheese sandwich made up (or the legendary chicken fillet roll). Some of the convenience stores do have counters with samosas, meat pies, imitation cornish pasties, sausage rolls, etc. Even they're not the same. The only sausage rolls I've been able to find are beef ones, not even pork ones!
  • Like.....poutine. Yes, I do love poutine. Let me explain it for anyone who may not know about it. It's basically gravy chips with cheese curds but the Canadians consider it very precious and unique to them. Before I tasted it for the first time, I was advised that I had to be very careful where I tried it to ensure that I was tasting high quality poutine. Apparently, the cheese curds have to be really squeaky, the gravy should be chicken or turkey (with a hint of pepper), and the chips should be thin cut and crispy on the outside. I tasted it in the BierMarkt and was very happy with it!
  • Dislike.....LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario). The LCBO and the Beer Store are the only places that you can buy alcohol in the province of Ontario apart from licensed premises like bars and restaurants (where you can't get take out). If the opening hours don't suit you or you don't have one too near to your house, it can be very awkward. Which I found out to my detriment last Sunday when I discovered that most of them close by 6pm at the latest. Shocking.
  • Like..... Steamwhistle Brewery. I've mentioned them in a couple of blogs before but I cannot get enough of these guys. Not only is the Brewery a great attraction and good fun, the beer is really tasty and has been made in the most efficient and green ways. As their motto goes 'Do One Thing Really, Really Well'. Too true, too true. 
  • Dislike.... there's no Fitzgeralds. It's been really hard to find a bar here that I can call home. I have searched high and low (which is really tough here considering how expensive it is to drink over here). Lennie and co have pretty much ruined me for any other bar. The closest thing I am likely to find is the bar at Global Village; I know the staff, I know the regulars, I get good prices on the beer. If I could get Totally Wired over to play there, it would actually be perfect.....
Moral of the Story - Moving to a new place is exciting....but sometimes it's just fun to make a pros and cons list!
 

    2 comments:

    1. To be fair, we agree with all your observations so far, especially when it comes to the milk in a jug craziness. But please admit it Murphy, you loved that 6am sausage roll on the balcony, regardless of the lack of pork. Much love my little bruised peach, Jen and Cliff xxx

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    2. PS - You have inspired me to also make a blog, of my random nonsensical observations :)

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