Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Musings about Canada

We found Montreal to be a very active and congested city, very cosmopolitan, and ethnically diverse. Some of the things we learned:

Parking is hard to find. You have to pay for parking everywhere. Parking is expensive.

The parking meters are in French. The traffic signs are in French.

Distance is in kilometers. Time is posted on traffic signs using the 24 hour clock.

Gas is sold in liters. The price is about $1.25 per liter or $5 per gallon.

Most of the streets are one way.

You cannot turn right on a red light.

Starbucks coffee doesn’t taste the same.

None of the cars have bumper stickers. They don't sell bumper stickers anywhere.

People will speak to you in French first and then English.

Everyone speaks English.

They accept US dollars, no need to exchange any money. You can use cash, credit cards, or a debit card as a credit card.

A lot of people ride bikes, there are bikers everywhere. There are special lanes for bikes. Bike riders don't always stop or slow down at corners to cross the streets.

At the border, we spent no more than 5 minutes at each crossing. The line went quick both times. Customs only glanced at our passports and asked a few questions. No one looked or inspected our vehicle or any of our belongings.

The whole drive took half a tank of gas. We filled up right before entering Canada, we were there for 3 days, and by the time we got back to the US border, we had used exactly half a tank of gas. We went approximately 180 miles. We entered in NY via I-87 and exited in VT via I-89.


  1. yeah, I think bumper stickers are very American. Christophe was and still is SO surprised that people put those on their car. He also thinks it is a sign of American efficiency that we can turn right on red, it is illegal in France as well.

  2. And this is why we don't go to Montreal or Quebec!!!
    Louise in FLA

  3. hello to both of you
    you are invited to our little piece of paradis east of montreal on the st laurence river with power and wifi heated pool and two grand-mothers please write at