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Thursday, May 31, 2012

OH Canada!!!

So, I just got the opportunity to spend a day in Victoria, BC, Canada with my two aunts and their friend. I had a blast. We went and saw beautiful  Butchart Gardens, we saw the Parliament building, and the Empress hotel. We ate some decently good food. I was pretty happy to be in Canada, and hear their slightly different than ours accents, and all the politeness.  
  You know what the most fun parts of the trip were though? First was taking BC Transit buses to Butchart Gardens. I love nothing more than going to a foreign country and trying to blend in and be as local as possible. One of my aunts has an opposite philosophy, she likes to stand out and proclaim her conservative Americanness at the absolute top of her lungs. It makes for an interesting trip when you mix those two philosophies, but if you learn to roll with it, it can be very fun. 


  Any way, so the fun part was taking the buses, and it was very fun. The bus drivers were all very helpful and polite. We had to transfer buses many times, and it was fun, we navigated it, and didn't get lost once. Part of the time we didn't even have to ask for help because I got the route down.  And, that way, we got out of tourist traps for a bit and got to see what real people are like. I love people watching, so that was great. In fact everyone agrees that our greatest moments were people watching.


  We saw some teenagers pull out their Ipod and set it up and  did some dancing on the side of the street. It was really good hip hop dancing too.  The most interesting thing though was 20 minutes of watching a couple try to parallel park. First the guy attempted. We were sitting at the bus stop across the street  on Government street right by the Parliament building.  My aunt noticed first and commented on how polite Canadians were contrast to Americans because traffic was way backed up and they were waiting for the couple to back into there spot. That is something I personally have never witnessed in this country, so, my aunt and I were amazed.  In fact, none of the four of us there had seen that before. 


  Well, Kudos to the Canadians on their patience with Parallel parkers, and for parallel parking correctly and not going in forward.  That patience lasted for about two minutes. That's a very long time. Traffic was very backed up. Then they gave up and drove around the man. Yes, the man was driving, trying and failing to parallel park. He had made about four attempts at that point.  
  Finally working with a clear street, the man made a few more attempts. FAIL. He wound up parked on the curb. So he went back and forth for another five minutes trying to get off the curb, but remain parallel parked.  Seven minutes later, his girlfriend/ wife/ significant other?  had finished paying for parking and was tired of trying to direct him how to park, so she made him switch places. 
  This is the point where I am nice to the couple and say, it was a large pick up truck, and I can understand it would be difficult to park it. Points to you for trying.  So the woman trades places with the man. Immediately she shows much more promise at getting it done right. she pulled forward even with the car in front and backed it. First attempt looked like it was going to succeed, right up to the point where she should have turned sharply to the right, and she turned left. After four tries, she was in and was almost successfully parked except she was about a foot from the curb. 


  That is where our people watching ended, and our bus pulled up and we didn't get to see if they ever got parked. Very determined people, I am sure one of them eventually succeeded or gave up and called it good.  they probably had to pay for another hour of parking at that point though. 


 The rest of my trip consisted of me buying loads of candy. I love Canadian candy. way better than American candy. Smarties, Lion bars, Aeros, and of course those hard maple syrup candies. I got a few bags of those. I also got some maple syrup chocolates, and this morning after we all got breakfast at our hotel, We got some packets of Canadian peanut butter that was very tasty and creamy, thank you Kraft. mmm. And of course, I got me some maple syrup.  It was a very pleasant trip, and I kind of wanted to stay in Canada, right until that time I crossed the Hood Canal Bridge, into Kitsap County. Looking around, I though, Wow!!! I get to live here!!! OK, I am happy with that. Wheres my dog?!!!

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