Life around the world

Friday, 4 October, 2013 - 11:37

Differences between Canada and England

by GwynneG

Recently, I moved from England to Canada to teach English in a French-speaking school. Having grown up surrounded by US culture, in music, TV shows and films, I was convinced that North America would be a 'home-away-from-home'. However, despite speaking the same language, it turns out that there are some differences they don’t show you on programmes like Desperate Housewives! Here are the top five differences I noticed between Canada and England:

1) Electrical plugs.
In England, electrical plugs for your laptop, phone, etc. are heavy and solid. In North America, they’re quite delicate and always fall out of the wall. Not great when you’re drying your hair! (Who decided to make British plugs so heavy, anyway?)

2) Water.
Seriously, in Canada water fountains are everywhere! Somebody told me this is because water is Canada’s greatest natural resource. It’s really convenient, especially in places like Walmart. Running around searching for bargains is thirsty work!

3) Deodorant.
It seems that spray-on deodorant is a rare species in Canada. Instead, it’s all roll-on, which can take ages to try and leaves stains on your clothes, but smells ten times nicer.

4) Adverts on TV.
A one-hour TV show in North America is actually only 43 minutes; the other 17 minutes are adverts. That means that for every three minutes of your TV show you watch, you have to sit through one minute of adverts. I’ll never complain about adverts on British TV again, especially when you consider that some British channels don’t have any adverts at all!

5) Stop signs.
Even when driving in the middle of the night, every Canadian I’ve seen dutifully obeys the stop signs in the street. This is definitely not true in England, where (a) there are far fewer stop signs, and (b) everybody ignores them anyway! It seems that Canadians are much more cautious drivers.

In conclusion, I have found Canada to be a better-hydrated and sweeter-smelling country than England. Just don’t work up a sweat sitting through all the adverts on TV!

Language level

If someone from the UK came to live in your country, what do you imagine would be really different for them? 

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