Friday, April 30, 2010

The Culture of Driving in Canada

Yesterday I had to drive to Midland, Ontario, a small town 2 hours north of Toronto. This is not the first time I drive Canadian highways to the country, but yesterday I more consciously reflected on how different it is from driving in Mexico. The geography is so different, that it forces there to be a culture for drivers.

Ontario is a very flat place, so when you drive, you get a very weird feeling of things repeating over and over again and the road seems neverending. It can get so boring that at some point I felt like falling asleep. I guess this doesn't only happens to me, and a great way to avoid it and get distracted is taking a smaller road where speed limits change every minute. Then it is not so boring, you are driving at 80 kms/hour and suddenly you have to slow down to 50, then it changes to 60, then 80 again... but you are just starting to gain speed, when you have to slow down again. And then the scenery also changes a lot, you go from nothing, to a little town, to a lake, etc. It is a great way to discover new places to visit in the future.

When my husband first came to Canada and drove in a highway, he couldn't stop making all sorts of comments about how different it was even from driving in the US. To me, it seemed very irrelevant, I have always enjoyed road trips, and at that point I didn't see too much of a difference.

The reason for my trip was business. I drove there and back on the same day and it didn't seem too much of a hassle. In Mexico it is not very common for people to just take their cars and drive to the next town and come back on the same day. I am not saying people don't do it, in fact lots of people do, even on a daily basis. A lot of people have apartments and houses near the beach and drive there every weekend. However, in general this is something that is not seen as convenient and easy to do as it is here, and highways here (most of them at least) are free and in excellent conditions.

So all in all I enjoyed my experience yesterday and it is something I definitely recommend. It is just one more way of knowing the place where you live and its culture!
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