Friday, June 09, 2006

Think Metric!

On Day 2 of my visit, Ru and I decided it would be cool to cross the US/Canada border and drive up to Vancouver, BC. I was a little disappointed to see that the Border Patrol vehicles up there look exactly the same as along the US/Mexico border.

This is the Peace Arch:

Does anyone else remember the push to switch over to the metric system? I just remember that one year in math class, my teacher insisted that we learn the metric system as “the changeover is sure to occur any day now.” Was this a national phenomenon or just the quirk of a particular teacher of mine? I mean, it was the mid-1980s and I was attending a parochial school in south Texas, so who knows what was really going on!

I hate the metric system. I still can’t tell you whether a quart or a liter is bigger. I can convert pounds to kilograms, but that’s about it. And as for speed limits, while it sounds cool to be barreling down the road at 80 km/hr, that’s really only like 55 mph. Even worse, is when American doctors start pronouncing the word centimeter as son-ti-meter…apparently it’s some bizarre right-of-passage that goes with the degree.

As for the actual border, they were reluctant to even let us into Canada. I had my passport with me, but Ru had only her driver’s license. We also had the misfortune of choosing the slowest entry lane, so poor Ru got grilled about who owned her car and what our plans were, etc.

Once in Vancouver, we crossed the bridge and made our way to Stanley Park.

This is perhaps the world's tamest peacock:

We walked around a bit, and then made our way back to the city, where to our horror we discovered that even the cheapest room in a Holiday Inn cost $215. The Canadian dollar is also pretty much equivalent to the US dollar right now, so there were no deals to be had.

Frustrated, we had a very late dinner and drove off into the dark night, headed north towards Whistler. We drove for well over an hour along a windy, unlit road that at the time we believed was a highway. Visibility was poor, and it had begun to rain. Signs for falling rock and truck crossings did not soothe our nerves. Our maximum speed was probably 60 km/hr and our only company was a pair of distant red taillights. Eventually, we merged with an actual highway. Exhausted, we settled into the first available nonsmoking room in Squamish that we could find. Apparently there was some sort of movie being filmed in that area and hotel rooms were not easy to come by.


Anonymous said...

I can leave comments again!

Those are great pics.


Chris said...

RU must look suspicious....:) Where you guys trying to smuggle in cigarettes and milk?

Maybe the canadians should start a voluteer force of people watching the border or build a fence....oh wait, that's been done.


Kate said...

I think she looks suspicious.

Also, she admitted to me that the last time she attempted to cross the border, fireworks were found in her trunk and she had to "surrender them to the Crown" and drive all the way back home. She claims it wasn't her car and had no idea they were there, but I have my doubts :)

The Analyzer said...

The article listed below talks about the US-Canada border threat

US Canada border security threat

Pretty sneaky!