Deep Throttle's Guide to Canada
Rochester, N.Y., July 15 — Canada has always been very good to Champ Car. Some of the most successful events in the series have been held in our neighbors to the north -- Toronto, Edmonton, and Vancouver. Montreal was also a good event with only politics forcing the end, and Mont Tremblant had a strong debut.
Canada is also a wonderful country to visit with extremely nice people, a good exchange rate (well, not anymore), and they speak English (well, mostly). Living and having gone to college near the border has allowed me to visit the Land of the Maple Leaf many times. I attended the Montreal F1 race twice, Mosport in Bowmanville, Shannonville in Belleville, Ottawa a few times during Winterlude (the best time to visit one of my favorite cities), Hull, Cornwall, Prescott, Kingston, Toronto countless times for all sorts of reasons, Niagara Falls, Hamilton, St. Catharines, and Niagara-on-the-Lake. (I also flew out to Kelowna, British Columbia for a ski trip.)
With Canada firmly entrenched as a prime destination for Champ Car and the newly established Canadian Triple Crown to cement the country's place in the series, many Americans travel to the Great White North, especially Toronto, to get their racing fix.
Although many Americans consider Canada the 51st State (or, as Homer Simpson said, "Why should we leave America to visit America Junior?"), it does have it's own unique culture, lingo, and rules. Thus, for those who are planning to travel to Edmonton or will be going to Canada next year, we bring you the definitive American's Guide to Canada.
- There are no $1 bills in Canada. They do have a $1 coin. It is called a Loonie. Seriously. Their $1 coin is called a Loonie.
- Canada also has a $2 coin. It's called a Toonie. Thus, providing the one-two punch, Loonie Toonie. Trust us, you can't make this stuff up.
- The smallest paper bill is $5. And, their money looks like Monopoly money.
- Canada's "yard stick" is longer than America's.
- When you see a speed limit sign of 100, it means 62 and change. However, the Canadian drivers translate that into about 80. Sometimes higher.
- When you hear the weather report is going to be 32 degrees, don't panic. Yes, this is Canada and you probably expect that sort of weather year round. However, 32 means to wear your shorts and not your parka.
- Canadians are much more gentle than Americans. They don't "knock on wood," they "touch wood."
- Canadians know much more about American politics than Americans do. Thus, if you get into a conversation with a Canadian about American politics thinking you will teach them something, it will be the other way around.
- Never, never, never get into a conversation with a Canadian (French or English) concerning the Quebec issue. Never! If you think you are well prepared by years of engaging in the Champ Car vs. IRL debate, you are wrong. That's child's play compared to the Quebec issue. Don't ever bring it up. Trust us.
- If a Canadian ever tries to claim cultural superiority, just remind them they have Canadian Idol.
- In America, we have bowling which is more of an excuse to socialize and drink than it is to play a sport. The Canadians also have bowling -- it's called curling.
- If you see a Canadian missing a bunch of teeth, they are not a NASCAR fan heading to Montreal. They are a hockey player.
- Yes, it's true Canadians put skates on their kids before they can walk.
- The Canadians don't put ketchup on their french fries. They put vinegar on them.
- Canadians don't call Canadian bacon, Canadian bacon. They call it back bacon.
- If there is only one thing you remember from this list, it is this -- Canadian beer is better. There is no debate. I'm not talking about Canadian brands. I'm talking about beer purchased in Canada. The reason is very simple. In Canada, beer has a higher alcohol content than most beers in America. Case closed.
There you have it. Everything you need to know to fully enjoy your visit to Canada.
Copyright © 2007 by Russell Jaslow and Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.