Thursday, September 29, 2005

Stop the presses...oh, you already have

Canadians really know how to relax and it is killing me.

The first example of this relaxed attitude is that Canadian journalists get the weekend off. Who has ever heard of giving journalists of any kind the weekend off. The result of this laissez faire attitude is that there is no Sunday newspaper published in Canada. This past weekend I craved the Sunday paper and was forced to relent and purchase the international edition of The New York Times. The international edition of the NY Times cost $10 plus applicable GST taxes. The innternational edition is paper thin (no pun intended) and was not very satisfying. I am not sure what I am going to do next Sunday!

The second example of how this pace of life is killing me is the fact that the post office does not delivery priority mail on Saturdays! I learned this fact today when GF gave me a highly important, time sensitive package to be sent off to Calgary. The package was due in hand by Saturday morning and today is Thursday. GF gave me the package at 10:30am today and I spent the day lolly gagging at two different movies. Even though I had hours to go to the post office I did not rush because I assumed that since Canada is a developed country mail would be delivered on Saturday, or even Sunday if you paid enough.

So when I got out of my last movie at 4pm I waited for the bus. Three buses passed that I could have taken but these buses would only get me within four blocks of my destination. I thus waited for the bus that would drop me off within a block of the post office. When I finally got to the post office I waited in line behind two women who spent 10 minutes talking with the postal employee about a $90 bra that one of the women lost and then found again...don't ask. By the time I got to the front of the postal line it was 4:35pm. I informed the postal worker that I needed the package to arrive by Saturday. She told me that they do not deliver priority mail on Saturdays and the cut-off for pick up of all priority packages was 3:30pm so my package would not arrive until Monday. Needless to say I was nonplussed when I heard this news.

The postal employee could see the shock and amazement on my face and tried to temper my outrage by informing me that the main post office picked up priority mail until 5pm. She then told me she would call the main post office and make sure that this was indeed the case. The phone line was busy but she continued to try. The entire time she is making these fruitless attempts she is holding my package in her hands and I kept trying to interrupt her so that I could get the package and run. When I finally convinced her that I needed to get going she gave me my package back and wished me luck.

The main post office was located 12 long blocks from where I was standing at that very moment. So when I got outside I tried to think of the quickest route and realized the only option was to run. I ran like the wind - I could hear other walkers saying who is that blur in the green raincoat and soaking wet jeans?! I felt like a schmaltzy mentos commercial as I ran
through the rain and the stalled traffic - I even tried to go through the backseat of a stranger's car.

When the post office was in sight I considered stopping to walk so that I might compose myself but I didn't have a watch on and could not risk missing the deadline because GF would be rightly annoyed. Once I got in to the post office I was breathing so hard I could not explain what I needed. After 10 deep breathes I was able to explain my plight. The postal
worker informed me that the cut-off time was not 5:00pm but was 4:30pm and it was now 4:42pm. Then in great Canadian fashion he let me know that they would hold the truck so that my package might make the cut-off for that day. I thanked him and let him know that we would name our first dog after him.

Once I got outside I reflected on the fact that there is a main post office.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Mind, Body, and Pole - redux

There have been many comments about the "pole". So for the enjoyment of all Mini Proportions readers I have included the official "pole" website that inspired the original posting. I believe the photo album on this site speaks greater volumes then I ever could.

The site is:

More MP stories to return tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

My third mistake....

So I woke up with a start this morning to the sound of the weatherman on the radio. The weatherman announced the tempature to be 10 degrees with a high of 20 for the day. Needless to say this jolted me out of bed.

In my morning panic I began to get all of my clothes together for the day. I debated between my polartec and fleece long underwear. I chose the polartec underwear because they breathe better under my jeans. I then found some of my sweaters in the depth of my closet and chose one that was both warm and fashion forward. I also pulled my wool socks from the underwear/sock drawer and found my cutest winter hat - the one with the Boston Red Sox logo. I laid all these clothes on the bed and began to assess how best to accessorize fleece.

GF then came in to the bedroom to tell me that she was leaving for work. When she saw all the clothes laid out on the bed she asked what I was doing. I informed her that the temperature was only going to get up to 20 degrees today. She then took a very long moment to respond. When she did respond she spoke to me with that loud, slow, deliberate voice you use when you are speaking to someone that does not fully understand English.

GF said, "W-E L-I-V-E I-N C-A-N-A-D-A."

I responded with a quizzical look.

She then said, "T-H-E-Y U-S-E C-E-L-C-I-U-S N-O-T F-A-R-E-N-H-E-I-T."

I played it off as best I could. I asked her if she thought I was really going to wear thse clothes? I then laughed at my own question and left the room. I think I fooled her.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Toot Toot; Honk Honk; Beep Beep

When you drive a car in Vancouver you cannot help but hear the endless cacophony of car horns. These honking horns are not the kind of blaring sounds you find in a place like New York City but are much more melodius. It took me several trips in the car before I fully understood the language of the honk.

1) Toot: The "toot" is a light tap on the horn to get another drivers attention. You usually use the toot when you are seeking to get into another lane, enter oncoming traffic from a parking lot, or notice a flat tire or a broken tail light on another car. The toot is genial - everyone loves the toot.

2) Beep Beep: The "beep beep" is a little more aggresive tap on the horn held for one to two senconds per beep. The beep beep is used most commonly by buses and cars running a yellow - soon to be red - light. Everytime I am on a bus and I hear the beep beep I shut my eyes and wait for the impact.

3) Honk Honk: The "honk honk" is held for at least 3 seconds per honk. Drivers use the honk honk to let you know that not only are they running a red light but they are turning left in front of two lanes of oncoming traffic. The honk honk is seldom heard but when it is pedestrians stop and look in case they are needed as witnesses.

4) Hooooooooooonk: The hooooooooooonk is most often used by native Vancouverites annoyed by out of town drivers that do not run red lights. Most native Vancouverites drive by the rule of thumb that at least two, if not three, cars can make it through a red light with ease. Thus, when an out of towner does not abide by the rule of thumb he/she is subjected to the hooooooooooonk.

The first time I heard the hooooooooooonk directed at me I expected the finger to soon follow. However, when the annoyed driver passed by me in his car he just waved and smiled. It was at that moment that I knew I was far from home.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Mind, Body, and Pole?

So let me set the stage. I was hanging out with GF one blustery Saturday and we decided to get a quick drink. The only place near to us was this TGI Friday's type of sports bar. The menu was uninspiring and the clientelle was a mix of nuclear and extended familes, straight couples, and single men. So GF and I walked into the bar expecting very little atmosphere and very expensive drinks.

However, when we entered the bar we stumbled across a portable pole sitting in the middle of the outdoor patio seating area. Yes, you read that right, a portable pole with base stand. The most amazing part about finding the portable pole was that no one but us seeemed to even notice its presence. The patrons at the tables closest to the portable pole continued to eat their burgers and fries nonplussed by the presence of the pole. I, on the other hand, was not nearly as aloof and got up close to the pole and began to take pictures.

Since I am not in the know when it comes to the portable pole community I decided to do a little recon on the web. This is what I found out:

Pole exercise and fitness classes are BIG accross BC.
Portable poles can cost upwards of $200 to rent for an hour.
Portable pole are "in" according to Entertainment Weekly.

Given the demand for portable poles I decided to go to the local 7-11 and pick up two pole kits. Each kit cost $29.99 plus GST and PST. The directions in the kit were not much better than the directions you find in Ikea furniture boxes. Since I am not the most mechnaically inclined my first attempt to build a pole looked more like a rombus. My second attempt was thwarted because GF came home from work and tool my allen wrench away. Alas, I guess my pole business will have to wait.

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Postman Never Rings

Why does the postal carrier taunt us so?! Is it because we secretly covet those cute satchels he/she carries? Is it because we do not recognize him/her by face when walking down the street? Or is it because we do not even know if our postal carrier is a he or a she? Why, oh why, does he/she taunt us like this?

When the mail arrives it typically contains the usual detritus - bills, junk mail, and magazines. Sometimes the mail also contains package slips. These package slips serve as notification that a package is waiting for us at one of the many 7-11 postal branches. GF and I are convinced that the postal carrier uses these package slips to taunt us.

On the face of each package slip it states the time the postal carrier sought to deliver the package. Since I am a haus frau, nine out of every ten times the time noted on the package slip is a time of day when I am home. I am convinced that the postal carrier delivers these slips but not actual packages. I think the slips are a grand ruse to make us appreciate the work of our postal carrier. The postal carrier wants us to believe that he/she broke his/her back lugging these boxes to our house only to find us woefully absent.

The postal carrier further taunts us by delivering our packages to 7-11 postal facilities throughout the city seemingly without pattern. It is not uncommon for two packages to arrive on the same day but to be located in two different 7-11s. At first we tried to figure out the pattern. We conjectured that all the packages from male senders go to one facility and packages from female senders go to another; all international packages go to one facility while packages from within Canada go to another; packages with bad handwriting go to one facility and those with good handwriting go to another...oy, we hurt our brains trying to discover the pattern. We finally figured it out - postal carriers just like to toy with us.

Oh postal carrier I plead with you - how can we make you stop these games? Should we leave you candy in our mailbox? Should we leave secret postal notes? Would you like milk and cookies? Tell us, we will do anything to make you stop.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Canada's Love Affair with 7-11

Prior to moving to Canada my experience with 7-11 was quite limited. I would stop into the local 7-11 for a cherry slurpy, a faux Krispy Kream donut, a can of soda, or a delicious chilli dog but that was about all. I never thought of 7-11 as a destination place until I moved here.

I can safely say that GF and I have gone out on at least 6 outings with the specific intent of going to the local 7-11. We have had many conversations that have started with "What do you want to do today?" and ended with "I know, let's go to 7-11." I know it must seem strange but let me tell you, if there is anything you could need or want in this city then it is a pretty safe bet you can find it at 7-11. Here is a short sampling of the types of items/services that can be found at any and all 7-11's in this city.

1) Monthy/daily bus passes
2) Healthy foods including salads (There are even tables where I have seen people sit down and eat while taking a break from shopping.)
3) Yearly/daily lift tickets for the local ski/snowboard resorts
4) Three day ski and snowbaord rental packages including lessons
5) Measurements for ski and snowboard euiptment
6) Cell phones
7) ipods
8) Sushi

Not only can you find the services listed above but you can also find local post office branches. I am not talking about those mini-service postal facilities but I am speaking of full service, mail a letter, pick up a package, get a passport, purchase a money order, post offices. These are post offices with real postal employees that sort and deliver mail and are run by the Canadian government.

Let me say it again - there are post offices inside the 7-11! I am so baffled by this that sometimes I go to 7-11 just to marvel at the fact that there is a post office inside. I guess I am beginning my own love affair with 7-11. Sorry GF, I know this must be a terrible way to find out about my other love.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

A Slave to the Bus Pass

At what point do you have to stop and admit that you are addicted to the bus pass? I think I am at that point right now. I picture myself entering a room full of people brandishing bus passes and saying, "Hello, my name is Little G and I am addicted to my bus pass." The addiction is not about the ease of riding to and fro but the addiction is about making sure I use all $69 worth of bus pass rides over the course of the month.

It has gotten so bad that I find myself waiting at a bus stop for close to 15 minutes to go 4 blocks on the bus when I could just as easily walk. Tonight for instance I was coming home from a volunteer event and was 6 blocks from home when I suddenly realized that I was on a bus line. Ok, I admit it, I didn't suddenly realize I was on a bus line but actually went three blocks out of my way just so that I could be prepped and ready to take the bus.

When I arrived at the bus stop and there was no bus in sight. I looked up at the monitor and realized that the bus was not coming for at least 11 minutes. I did the cost benefit analysis and thought to myself I could walk home in less than 11 minutes and see GF before she went to bed or I could wait for the bus and feel satisfaction that I was shoving it to "the man". Well, as you can imagine I decided to shove it to "the man" and catch up with GF when she woke in the morning.

I faced another dilemma when the bus finally arrived. When I looked at the bus I realized that it would only take me within 3 blocks of my house instead of 2 blocks. I hemmed and hawed about whether to take this bus or wait for the next bus. I finally decided I could take this and then wait for another bus to take me one more stop. Now wouldn't I be showing "the man" - two bus rides for the price of one...well, um, actually, two rides for the price of a bus pass.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

World Famous Lumberjack Show!

Yes. You read the headline correctly - GF and I had the privilege of watching the "World Famous Lumberjack Show" atop Grouse Mountain. Ok, Ok, I admit that I had not heard of the "world fame" of the lumberjack show prior to that day nor had the Brittish visitors sitting in front of me but I chalk our cluelessness up to the fact that neither I nor my GF are in the lumberjack loop. We were so exicted to see the show that we paid $30 a piece, $34 a piece if you count the GST, for the "Skyride" trip to the top of the mountain. At the top of the mountain we were greeted by large wood carvings of random people and animals. It was at that point that we knew we were in for a good time.

The stage for the lumberjack show sits in the middle of semi-ciruclar row of seats - much like what I expect the Coleseum in Greece looked like in its early days before the deterioration of the structure. On the stage in the center of the semi-circle could be found typical lumberjack type objects including axes, logs, saws, and tall trees. I was impressed with the realism of the setting until I took a moment to listen to the music on the radio and heard Harry Conick Jrs. voice emenating from the speakers. That is when I thought to myself, no self-respecting lumberjack listens to Harry Conick Jr. do they? Of course, as I mentioned earlier I am out of the lumberjack loop so maybe I am just not in the know.

As show time approached all the bleachers quickly filled up with people as far from Tokyo, Sydney, and Jakarta which made me think that maybe, just maybe this show was world famous. The show began when a spry woman in her early 20's came to the center of the stage with a microphone and a perky voice. She split the audience into two teams - we were part of the "Green Mountain" team. We were told that as "Green Mountain" lumberjacks we were histrocially thought of as hermits who lived in the woods and only came out to drink and get drunk. I was about ready to switch teams because I hate the woods but thought better of it because I like the drinking.

We soon met the lumberjacks. The lumberjacks were men in their late 20's who were both highly skilled in lumberjack type activities like log splitting, wood cutting, tree climbing, and log rolling. The most amazing aspect of the show was not their physical prowess or their skill with sharp implements but the fact that they were both in this show. How did these two lumberjacks become convinced to participate in such a corny, goofy, and over the top show? I guess lumberjacking doesn't pay like it used to.

Monday, September 12, 2005

L-day: my day as "background"

A little treat for all those miniproportion readers...GF adds her own version of our L-Word experience....

So, the day began like any other. Woke up, had oatmeal, surfed the net, had a fashion crisis. As I was told to look casual, I of course had to deliberate over how casual, what kind of casual, and what would make me look the cutest in the potential 3-seconds I might be on air. Miniproportions steered me away from any loud colors, and I settled for the usual uniform of grey
tshirt, black pants, and a little splash of color on my feet with my loud red floral shoes.

We drove to the location, way east in Vancity, almost in Burnaby. The site was an abandoned large building and parking lot, made to look like some place in LA. All the cars in the lot had fake CA license plates, there were palm trees placed strategically on the grass, and other random plants scattered around. Lots of people running around with walkie talkies. We
found parking, grabbed a guy with a headset, and asked for the publicist. They were in the middle of shooting a scene at that moment, so we had to hide out of the way for a sec until they cut, then we were ushered to a spot in the center and told to wait until the publicist showed up.

The publicist was great -- she gave us the skinny on what was going on, what all the huge machines did, what the director was doing, what an AD was, etc. Then she talked to one of those ADs and got me situated for my moment of (non)fame.

This is what I did for 3 hours:
listen for someone to yell: roooolling! background! action!
walk from one corner of the parking lot, behind the actors, and into a building.
wait for someone to yell cut.
go back to the other corner of the parking lot.

at some point they mixed it up a little to get a different point-of-view shot. this led to some excitement, as instead of going straight into a building, I got to manoeuvre around 10 people and massive cables and wires and cameras, inches away from
the camera, then into the building. this we did about 5 times.

then one last variation, where I got to manoeuvre around a moving car and walk towards a girl who I was to pretend to know and strike up a conversation with. three times. I got to know her pretty well.

yes, who knew the life of an extra (aka "background") was so complicated. every move is choreographed with precision. there was no random lollygagging behind the action. everything was planned.

While all this was happening and I was working hard (keep in mind all the other extras were getting paid while I actually shelled out money for this), miniproportions was lounging with the publicist chatting up some cast members, looking at the live video feed and listening to the dialogue...

afterwards, we had a lovely lunch -- definitely good catering here -- and were joined by some of the lovely, friendly, and down to earth members of the cast. Also, we have new respect for Betty -- one of the Bettys joined us and she was hilarious! She introduced us as the new Bette and Tina for next season.

So, if my 3 seconds of walking makes it on air, it will be on episode 10. You folks in the US will see it way before we do in Canada. Look for the figure in black with red shoes, a blur in the background. You may need tape it and watch it frame by frame to actually see me.

Lessons Learned for the L-Word

There are so many lessons to be learned from the L-Word. Those not in the know should be made aware that the L-Word is a lesbian themed drama filmed in Vancouver which airs on Showtime in the states. My girlfriend pruchased the rights to be a "walk-on" on the L-Word at a silent auction and we recently spent a day on the set of the show. Since I cannot share any plot points for fear of ex-communication from the L-Word community I will share other lessons learned on the set.

Lesson 1: Lesbians who attend silent auctions in Vancouver are cheap. My girlfriend won the rights to the walk-on role for under $400 but we learned that other's in LA and NYC have paid as much as $10,000 to $20,000 to be on the set. Who knew we got such a bargain...

Lesson 2: The cast and crew eat often and well. My menu for the day included: a tuna snadwich with swiss cheese, potato chips, fruit cup, salad, tomato salad, veggie chili, cornbread, pineapple, and kiwi. My girlfriends menu for the day consisted of gourmet coffee, roast chicken, salad, pumpkin pie, and many of the items listed above.

Lesson 3: It does not pay to be an extra. Extras are second class citizens. They eat last and are relegated to a sperate dining room area.

Lesson 4: Abandonded government buildings make for great lunch rooms.

Lesson 5: It pays to be a stand-in. Stand-ins, who literally just stand-in for the actors to make sure the lighting is accurate, are paid $1400 a week.

Lesson 6: Everything, and I mean everything, is carefully choreographed. All those seemingly innocuous people moving behind the scenes are very carefully directed down to the second. The continuous replay of all the behind the scenes moving made me feel like I was living in a constant state of deja vu.

Lesson 7: Not everyone looks like or acts like they do on TV. Some do, and they know who they are, and others are extremely down to earth and kind.

Man, it is hard to keep all the dirt inside but alas I made a promise....

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Our Second Mistake

Our second mistake was our decision to go to Dusty's to check out the "queer open mic night". We arrived at Dusty's after a 20 minute walk, a 20 minute bus ride, and another 15 minute walk. A total of 55 minutes in commuting time all for the promise of a "good time".

When we entered Dusty's we were greeted by a slight woman, with a bright blue mohawk, singing Joan Baez type songs. The performer had quite a good voice but we had a hard time wrapping our head around the juxtaposition of Joan Baez and a blue mohawk. After the first performer sat down we met our emcee.

The emcee was an extremely sincere, and serious woman. Her comedic timing was so far off that it was painful. As she spoke there was a lot of nervous laughter in the audience and a great sigh of relief could be heard when she took a seat. Before taking her seat, however, she introduced the next performer, Eli.

When Eli stood up he immediately launched into his poem about accepting his femme identity. The poem was so long that I would not do it justice to try and recreate it but I can tell you that it had two parts - the first part was about Eli as a self-hating gay man and the second part was about Eli as a self-loving gay man. In between those two parts were very earnest phrases about being part of a gay comm-u-nity, a g-a-y fa-mi-ly, and attending a fe-mm-e con-fer-ence. (Please note - the dashes are for effect so that you can get a true sense of the innotation of the po-em.) The po-em continued for 20 minutes. In that time we saw two buses pass by on the street and considered leaving Dusty's to chase them but we had $10 beers to finish.

When Eli finished reading and sat down there was sparse applause. The emcee then got back on stage and chastised the audience for our lack of applause. She told us we better applaud more because what Eli had shared was im-por-tant. We then applauded more loudly under duress. When the applause ended the emcee informed us that we were to be treated to a 15 minute intermission. We stayed to finish our beers and tried to sneak out before running in to Mary Jane but we were not successful.

Mary Jane spotted us and sat at our table. We tried to sound enthusiastic about the evening but were speaking through gritted teeth. We were both so glad that we did not see her poetry reading for fear that it would be equally ernest and we would not know how to respond if/when she asked our opinion. I can only imagine what kind of poetry a leather jacket, chaps wearing, moped riding dyke would recite...

The primary lesson we learned that night was that a queer open mic night in Canada is not a "good time to be had by all".

Friday, September 09, 2005

Dyke on Bike

My girlfriend and I finally unpacked all of our 85 boxes. Or I should say I unpacked my 10 boxes and my girlfriend unpacked her 75 boxes. Once the boxes were unpacked the question became what do we do with all this cardboard? In Vancouver it is illegal to throw anything away that is recyclable - carboard, cans, newspaper, bottles, maqazines, etc. etc. There are some seriously facist recycling laws in this city.

However, when it came time to recycle the boxes we realized that we had a problem....the recycle bins outside our apartment were completly full without a smidge of space for us to even fit one box in the container. As a result we were faced with a kitchen full of boxes. The boxes were so pervasive that we could not get in to or out of the kitchen without caribeners, helmets, crampons for our shoes, and rock climbing rope. Whenever I had to go in to the kitchen to get a glass of water I would make sure to tell my girlfriend to come in on a search and rescue mission if I was not out of the kitchen within 5 minutes.

It is amazing what you get used to. After 10 days of living with the boxes I began to think of them as a furniture and found them quite comforting. My girlfriend, however, decided we needed to get rid of them. I suggested to her that we make "box art" and hang the boxes from the wall, build a cardboard chair, add an addition on to the apartment, and elevate the bed by putting the boxes under the mattress. She was having none of it so I suggested we skirt the law and live on the edge by throwing the boxes away. My girlfriend, being much more sensible and law-abiding than I, said no. Instead she placed a posting on the freecycle website offering anyone and everyone the free boxes.

Within two hours of the posting we received an e-mail from Mary-Jane. We thought we had found our ticket out of the mountain of boxes only to learn that Mary-Jane was coming to pick up the boxes on her moped. She, however, assured us that she had the ability to handle our mountain of boxes.

Mary-Jane arrived in her leather jacket, moped helmet, steel toe boots, and leather chaps. Moped or no moped we knew she was going to be able to take our boxes. She grabbed a pile of 45 boxes with ease, put a bungee cord around the boxes, and was on her way. On her way out the door she invited us to Dusty's for a queer open mic night that night. She informed us that she would be performing and assured us that there was a good time to be had by all. We trusted her and that was our first mistake....

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Trying to be More Canadian

My girlfriend, hereafter referred to as GF, reminded me today that my previous sarcastic postings on the blog are not very to apease her Canadian identity here is a posting about all the things I like about Vancouver. This list is in no particular order:

The beaches. There are at least 8 beaches within the city limits one is within walking distance of our apartment and the others are all within cycling and busing distance.

The public transportation system. Yes, you read that right - I am now a regular bus rider. I am even considering selling my car - any takers?

The flexipass. Ah, the flexipass is such an innovation. This pass allows me to go to any of the 14 fitness centers throughout the city. The fitness centers have indoor and/or outdoor pools, cardio equiptment, weights, saunas, and whirlpools. How much you ask for a flexipass? I paid $174.40 for a 6 month pass and that already included the GST fees.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation - although the reporters are locked out at the moment.

NHL Hockey. Yes, I am one of 5 Americans that was upset that the hockey season was cancelled last year. I guess I have finally found my people.

The mountains. The trees. The public parks. The aging hippies who came here in the 1970's to avoid the draft and/or as draft dodging sympathizers. The artistic community. Enjoying a beer on a sun soaked patio in the middle of the afternoon. The bustling foot traffic.

Don't worry there will be more sarcasm tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Land of the Cheap and Thrifty

Have you ever paid more than face value for an ordinary stamp?! I just bought a stamp to send a letter within Canada. The face value of the stamp was $.50 but I paid $.54. Ah, Canadian taxes....

Here in Canada there is a tax on EVERYTHING. Some items are taxed with a GST Tax, others with a GST and PST Tax, and yet others with a GST, PST, and a liquor tax. So, when you are out to eat an $11.00 burger will end up costing you $20.00 after all the taxes. Case in point, I was out for food and drinks with some folks the other day and the bill pre-tax was $60 but post-tax the bill was $80. We paid $20 in taxes. I am not sure who decides when to impose the GST, the GST and PST, or the GST, PST, and liquor tax but it seems darn willy nilly to me.

You know what I could have done with that $20.00??? I could have bought a $12.00 six pack of "cheap" beer, seen a $13.00 movie or a $9.50 matinee, ate an $11.00 cheeseburger, bought an entire book of $.54 stamps...ah Canada - definitelty not the land of the cheap and thrifty.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Metric Proportions

Well, I am now in Canada after spending 33 years of my life in the United States. People in the U.S. often assume Canada is an extension of the U.S. but I can tell you that when I crossed the border from Washington State I knew I was in another country. I knew because within .01 miles suddenly everything was in metric proportions - kilometers, litres, killograms, etc. I have to be honest, while I was growing up I always thought of the metric system as something people used in far, far, far away places. I know in my rationale mind that just about everyone in the world, with the exception of the U.S., uses the metric system but until 2 weeks ago when I was confronted with the metric system I never bothered to wrap my brain around the math.

Now when I go to the grocery store eveything seems so cheap because prices are by the 100g not the pound...I made this mistake a few times and ended up paying $10 for a few apples. I also made this mistake at the gas station. Gas is sold by the litre - $1.16 a litre which is close to $4.00 a gallon which then needs to be converted back to US dollars, oy the confusion.

Just wait for me to go on my rant about Canadian taxes.....

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