There was a slight-ish angst lifted as I passed the border patrol in Buffalo to return to the United States. Canada is only barely a foreign country, but I found myself uneasy about consequences I was unfamiliar with. I’m generally a rule-breaker, and make my decisions based upon logical reasoning instead of laws and warnings. As such, I turn left on the occasional red light and make u-turns whenever I need to. I’m also likely to chit-chat with border patrol and police officers, especially when in a foreign country. I’m curious.
It turns out Canada is more foreign than I had imagined in some respects, and much less in most others. As we entered into Canada from Buffalo on our way up, we were immediately assaulted by the metric system and new road signs. It’s not as though the signs are more difficult to follow, but there’s a certain subconscious acknowledgement of road signs in the States that we take for granted. When you see all new symbols on signs, you’re somewhat taken by how much you actually have to look and concentrate on signs. Speed limits are much lower in Canada too. They’re stuck at 100km/hr or 80km/hr in many places. As you may suspect, people follow limits in Canada about as well as they do in the U.S., but not having an “Ontario” license plate kept me within 10km/hr over the limit. I cant imagine that my Georgia driver’s license would impress a Mounty (which, by the way, I saw 0 of. Utterly dissappointed. Not only were there no Mounties on horseback, there were no horses – except for the 250 horses in those Chevy Malibu’s, that is.). The other differences came by way of bilingual signs everywhere. Although no one spoke french, there was much of it around for my listening and reading pleasure. The french cartoons were amusing. I had no idea of the story. Had I, they might not have been as amusing. I also caught a movie while I was there – Mr. & Mrs. Smith – it was rated PG in Canada. Most movies are PG there. War of the Worlds was the only movie rated higher, 14^, which I presume is similar to PG-13. Nothing in the R category.
On my way to Canada, I had dinner at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo. It’s the home of Buffalo Wings, which was really cool. Between the three of us there, we went through most of 50. Very tastey. Worth a trip back. We also caught a look at Niagra Falls. Very nice, as you would imagine, though less so from the Buffalo side. You look at the falls from the top, which while impressive, is not exactly the magnificence of looking at them from the ground up. To do that, you have to see them from Canada or from the Maid in the Mist. We did neither. I want to go back with my family and actually learn about The Falls, but it’s a crappy place to visit for just that. We’d definitely want to be on our way somewhere rather than just going up there to see Niagra Falls. Then again, it took less than two hours to fly from Atlanta to Buffalo. It could be a day-trip if we chose. I might like to continue north well into Canada. See Toronot and beyond. Getting out to Newfoundland would be a great trip in my mind.