Because I Can

June 18, 2001

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133-3379.jpg (48802 bytes)133-3381.jpg (33451 bytes)We slept in and Essan reported to be feeling much better. So we packed, filled up Pot, pressurized his tires, and went for breakfast at the local family restaurant. I got a rather interesting interpretation of chicken pasta, and Essan's fish sandwich was only slightly less innovative. With that survived, we got in the car and headed to Canada, me finally finishing the travelogue of the past few days.

133-3384.jpg (160100 bytes)133-3387.jpg (78712 bytes)The friendly Canadian border officer asked us where we came from, how long we planned to stay, and more humorously, if we carried any firearms. At that point my humor was showing. When she asked if we were US citizens Essan could say yes, I for the first time uttered the "permanent resident", and that somehow settled the issue. We were in Canada.

133-3392.jpg (94460 bytes)And Canada it was. Metric everything: speed limits, distances, even the cows were giving litres of milk, not some measly gallons. The gas was once again to be had below a dollar - per litre, of course. And signs were pointing to the colourful city centre. Then, Essan pointed out that it wasn't all that different here in Canada - Burger King, Arbys, Chevron, Dairy Queen - don't they have anything of their own?

134-3408.jpg (65176 bytes)134-3405.jpg (73787 bytes)Another thing was remarkably different: the "Deer" sign. Being the elitist European who thinks my people do everything better, naturally, I was amused and bewildered by the American "Deer" sign. It seemed to me that it was designed / drawn by people who have never seen a deer, except in a couple of states which I traveled but in the meantime forgot. Here, in Canada, the deer actually looked like one. Homework, kids: go out, find a deer, and compare it to the traffic sign, and note what's wrong.

133-3400.jpg (84851 bytes)134-3401.jpg (116835 bytes)This was my 3rd time in Canada, Essan's 1st. To me, Canada was living up to expectations: trees, nobody here, and of course rain, at least rain showers. And because we had no specific plans for Canada, other than go there just because now I can, we drove on BC-3 heading west, until we decided to call it the day in Grad Forks, just centimeters away form the CDN/USA border (or, 0.22 km, as my GPS said). 

In Grand Forks, which at 19 hours looked rather deserted, we found a restaurant. The billboards entering the town promised that the town was renown for it's Russian cuisine; Essan, on the other hand, after her initial comments about everything being American, wanted some genuine Canadian food. This restaurant promised it all: "Russian and Canadian food". Of all people, Essan should know better, from the "Chinese and American food" signs, but no. A brief look at the menu showed that the Russian food selection is rather grim, and the "safe looking" steak which I eventually ordered took a while because it was initially frozen. 

We pulled into the first available motel and wondered what happened to good old Canadian TV. After seeing a retired marine (rightfully) win in "the weakest link" we called it the night.

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