if you arent bored by our lack of inactivity, then i certainly am. apologies (hope this helps a little bit sarah ;)).
i submit our canadian observations thus far:
1. in general, the people seem friendlier or at least like they have more time to be helpful. i cant say every person you see will bend over backwards for you, but on average, people are quite nice. the kindness index seems to increase even more once you actually know people (ie. at work, as a regular somewhere, etc)
2. they are very environmentally-minded here. we have to sort our things into 4 different bins: organics, containers (plastics/glass/metal), cardboard, paper, and if it doesnt go in those bins...then it hits the trash. crazy, but it means we only fill one trash bag a week!
3. along the environmental lines, at least one chain of local grocery stores has their freezer section programmed to have its lights off unless a customer walks near that section.
4. when we first arrived in town and had a tv, we noticed a seriously large proportion of PSAs on tv for safety, health, etc. good work canadian government. now we all know how to deal with a seizure, prevent the spread of disease, keep kids safe, etc. kinda cool.
5. you probably are aware that "wash room" is used in place of "bathroom," but its really hard to remember to use on a regular basis. getting use to it...(amy, i wont make fun of you again)
6. they love potato chips here. so many kettle chip varieties and otherwise. and weird flavors like ketchup or pickle. salt and pepper chips are a fav though.
7. they have cadbury brand candy imports here. york peppermint patties just arent as good as cadbury peps.
8. have you heard of poutine? its fries with cheese curds and gravy...i havent had any yet, dont wanna die of a heart attack. they also have a thing called "newfie fries" here. this is the newfoundland concoction of fries with stuffing and gravy on top.
9. they LOVE mazdas here. we have a protege 5 and we are among one of what feels like hundreds of owners of that same car in the city. its kinda nice, i guess, knowing that the mechanic will know how to deal with any issues, but its weird being in a place where every day we see a handful of cars like ours.
10. compared to michigan, the roads here are...only slightly better. bumpy and rough. cant wait for the winter...
11. the pedestrians here rule the roost. cars stop at corners, crosswalks, and even random places just anticipating that a pedestrian will start walking across the street. personally i love a good jaywalking, but i will never put my faith in drivers to stop for me the second i get the inkling to cross the street. it just seems dumb. this place gets enough visitors that i just dont feel safe. but more often than not, im stopped waiting to cross the street (minding my own business) and traffic will just stop for me. freaks me out.
12. drivers have a weird attachment to their horn. they dont seem to use it out of anger, rather, they use it the MILLIsecond a light turns green to let the car in front of them know they can start going. there doesnt appear to be any accompanied road rage or tailgating, but it is a near vital necessity to honk...out of courtesy? i dont know, its still a mystery to us.
13. and, something ive noticed since working. if i leave at 5p, the halls are eerily quiet. people definitely go home early/on-time around here. i guess its a bit of the french leaning mentality rather than the work-to-the-bone american mentality. rush hour starts routinely at around 4p around here. its nice though, seeing people work hard and happy at work and then go home to a satisfying personal life too.