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August 07, 2006

on canada...the B sides

I thought since I was so mean to Canada earlier, that it would be nice to tell you all some of the good things about her. The first time I ever came to Canada was in June of this year, and the images that will always stay with me of my first few days are all a lot like this:

moving_to_vancouver_june_2006_038.jpg

If you have ever seen anything more beautiful that that, you are a lucky dog. (The scenery, silly. Not the baby. Yes, I know, she is the most gorgeous baby girl alive today. Let's not harp on such vain things.) It is seriously beautiful here all the time. Sometimes, on our walks, the boys and I are left speechless by the sheer beauty of this place.

And to the credit of the people here, once they get past you being an American, once you win them over with charming children and the sweet smell of cakes and pies, they get nice. Really nice, in fact. My neighbor lent me her car the second day I was here to get to the grocery. My other neighbors offered their car after knowing us for one day. (I still don't have my car, can you tell?)

They are viciously proud of their province and go out of their way to support local businesses and use local products. There are billboards everywhere encouraging people to shop locally. The market has produce labeled by USA grown, (insert other area here) grown, or BC grown. The BC grown, invariably, is the juiciest, the freshest, the yummiest and the cheapest.

There are no highways through the city, so you can drive if you want to or you can use public transit. The public transit system here is f'ing brilliant and EVERYONE uses it. The skytrain (monorail thingy that runs through the major parts of the city) can get you almost anywhere you need to go. The buses run really late, are well lit, clean and safe. It is cheap to ride and one fare covers you on the skytrain, the buses or the seabus, with a large window of time to use a transfer.

They recycle here. They REALLY recycle here. The city that I live in implemented a city-wide recycling push a few years ago, and in the first year the city reduced its waste production by 42%. Forty. Two. Per. Cent. That is a ton of trash not going into a landfill. They have neato little pamphlets they give you outlining what is garbage and what they expect you to recycle. In Denver, at least the downtown area, if you chose to recycle you had to pay the city a fee for the privilege and then rent the little purple box from the recycling company. Here, everyone is happy to do it. And it feels good.

You know when you buy a can of tuna and after you squeeze out all the water, you have, like, 1/3 of a can of tuna left? Not here. Those little tin cans are f'ing FULL.

There are more nice things, but I don't want to ruin it for you. You should come visit Vancouver sometime. I'll take you out for pancakes & maple syrup.

Posted by Shannon at 10:04 PM





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