I must sadly admit I didn’t know much about Canada before coming here. I blame tv and media for that. We are bombed with all possible information and culture events from the USA but Canada barely ever appears in our TV. All I could recall about this country, besides some famous places, amazing Trans Canadian train journey and big cities, were maple syrup, hokey, Anne of Green Gables and Robyn Schrebatsky of How I Met Your Mother. But that’s good in a way as I arrived here with no expectations at all and I’m taking everything just as it is!
After one full day in Canada I already have some first observations and impressions. I visited only Toronto very briefly (walked all the way of the Yonge Street, one of the main streets in Toronto’s Downtown) and spent few hours in Kingston and so my opinions are based only on these two places. But the very first thing I’ve noticed is how extremely friendly people are! It’s incredible! Every single person starts a conversation, no matter how random, with “how are you today?” and damn, Canadians are so good in these small talks. It’s extremely easy to talk to people as the conversation goes, just like that. Even the immigration officer yesterday at the airport talked to me much longer than it was necessary, already after giving me back my passport, only because he was curious about my job (not every day you met someone who works with the trains schedule) and how easy it is to travel around in Europe. Or the guy in the tourist information in Kingston, even if there was already a line of people waiting he just kept telling me all the Polish words he knew, asking me of some new ones to learn and showing his knowledge of Polish cities. Every person asks me where I’m from (assuming I’m from France or Germany) and kept asking me about my impressions of Canada and my plans for the stay. It was pretty tiring at some point but I still think it’s amazing! Oh, and everyone says how good English I speak – it never happened in any other English speaking country before
Canada is not the most walking-friendly place. I assume everyone here has a car and drives around but there were actually quite some people walking in Kingston too yet the sideways are very narrow and sometimes only on one side of the road (so you have to walk from one side to another and back). There was a bus service in Kingston but not very frequent so using it was pretty difficult too. That’s just the country for drivers I guess.
So far things look like in the American movies I know. There are yellow school buses, yellow-painted traffic lights, everything is just bigger than in Europe and even suburban houses and streets or Toronto metro looks familiar. It’s quite amusing, even if I’m in a completely new country (or continent for that matter) everything looks so familiar. But again, I’ve heard that Ontario is very American whereas Quebec feels more European so maybe I’ll change that opinion after some time in the Quebec Province.
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I need to finally realize that European and North American “old, historic site” isn’t the same thing. Maybe that’s why Kingston’s architecture kind of disappointed me (more about that city hopefully tomorrow), I expected something more from UNESCO site. But I like it here, big time, I enjoy it a lot and I’m really looking forward to exploring more of Canada! Now it’s time for Quebec Province!!
Have you been to Canada? Would you like to visit it?
If you think of visiting Canada or just want to read more about the country take a look what else I wrote about it!
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