Canada <> US

Just got back from a week in the states. I’m in the US semi-regularly, but for some reason this time I was struck by some substantial things that are different than what we have in Canada.

  1. Trump flags, banners, and advertising all over people’s residences and cars. It paints a very different picture than what the internet has to say (that trump is unpopular). Also, that people would do this routinely. I’m fairly politically active, so during elections I’ll have a small lawn sign for a few weeks, but that’s it. And I stand out - my neighbours rarely do this. They sure as sugar aren’t getting a flag, or a sticker on my vehicle.
  2. Four lane highways are all lanes for any speeds. In Canada, generally slower vehicles on the right and faster on the left. In the US, all lanes are any speed - could be slow or fast in the left lane, slow or fast in the right lane, people passing all over the place.
  3. Vets. People walking around in their daily life dressed up with flair proclaiming they’re a vet, and people recognising this. I have never seen anyone in Canada wear anything suggesting that they were in the forces or that they were a vet. I think it would be viewed as a job in Canada. Like people wearing shirts and hats that say “I’m an actuary” so that everyone knows, and then random people stopping and thanking them for pricing financial products in a conservative function so that life insurance dividends are maintained.

Trump is unpopular, absolutely. And also wildly, fanatically popular.

Highway behavior varies a lot across the country. 4 lane highways are particularly non-standard. Middle two lanes are general travel, and speed can vary. Left and right lanes are if you’re planning to turn off “soon”, where soon has no real definition. People also use either of those lanes to move around cars in the middle two lanes. Some use the left lane as the fast lane – that’s true for interstates, but for 4 lanes highways, that’s not universally true. I moved recently, and there are aggressive drivers (maybe 5% of total, so not many but the ones you need to watch out for) that treat the 4 lane highway as a race track, freely swerving among traffic and cutting across multiple lanes at one time. Not behavior I was used to dealing with.

Vet recognition varies by region. Common to see vet-related hats all over. Visiting my father in Arkansas for a week, someone bought his meal multiple times and he was stopped and thanked a half dozen times – that type of behavior was not as common in the northeast, where vets were respected but not called out as often.

Combining your 3 comments, I’d guess you were visiting a more conservative state, probably in the Southern part of the country, on the outskirts of an urban area.

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So vets get free lunch? I may have to reconsider.

Veteran fetishism has always made me uncomfortable.


So, like I said about the traffic then :). Despite the posted signs that say ‘slower traffic keep to the right’. I mean, it seems to work, it’s just that it’s a cultural difference.

FWIW, driving habits do vary across Canada. Toronto and populated Ontario are fairly aggressive. Go out east to the Maritimes, and four lane highways are leisurely strolls with most people doing the speed limit, everyone stays in the right lane unless they’re passing, then they get right back into the right lane again.

WRT to Trump, it’s not just his popularity. It’s the idea that people will promote any politician to the level of posting it all over their homes and residences. The practice seems a bit divisive or adverserial or something, and in Canada you’d be displaying your anti-social craziness doing this - whereas in the US it seems commonplace and accepted.

To be fair, and I think I speak for both major parties here, people only promote their own politicians so hard because the other side is full of sub-human, braindead traitors who are trying to destroy the country and humanity itself.

Trump is popular with almost half the country. Lots of support for him in the Po and other heavily Republican areas. Very much hated in the big cities, especially along the coast.

As for 4-lane highways, the left lane is supposed to be the fast lane. If you’re not going faster than the cars in the other lanes there is a good chance that some driver will come behind you and flash their lights. There are some drivers who are oblivious and go the speed limit in the left lane, though. It’s common for trucks to be in the right lane so that tends to go slower.

I got pulled over in MO last year for speeding and was also told it was illegal for me to be in the left lane unless I was passing.

No ticket (that’s a funny story) but I was surprised to learn there was an actual law against it.

The laws vary quite a bit by state and locale.

I figured you got out of the ticket by showing the cop your boobs, but I guess the story is funnier than that

I got pulled over some years ago in the US. Explained to the cop that the car was in kilometers so I didn’t have any idea of what the speed was relative to the speed limit. I got a blank look for 10 seconds, then he carried on as if I hadn’t said a thing. Pretty sure he didn’t understand the words. Kiloooooometers. Look it up. It’s what the whole world uses.

I find it beyond ironic that the US is the only country still using british imperial measurements.

If recent politics don’t prove how much Americans enjoy being stubbornly dumb … :woman_shrugging:

Water freezes at 0. Water boils at 100. There’s 1000 meters in a kilometer. There’s a 1000 millileters in a litre. There’s a thousand grams in a kilogram. It’s not hard people. (seriously, the entire metric system fits on a single sheet of paper. It’s nothing more than units of measurement/gram/litre/etc, and then prefixes for 10, 100,1000, .1, .01, .001 etc… It’s alike a one day class in primary school.).

The funny thing is that while Canada’s been metric for a long time, everyone still does height and weight in imperial. 6 foot 200lbs, etc. Everything else is metric, but those two, still imperial.

Britain also still uses miles per hour as a speed measure, even though I believe they quote distance as kilometers.

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I remember being told in 5th grade (40 years ago) that we needed to learn metric because everything was changing to metric.

Never happened. I know the measurements but I don’t think in those terms so …


Celsius makes sense for scientific type uses. I like Fahrenheit for things like the weather since it makes sense at temperatures humans generally experience.

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Can you elaborate? I’m not familiar with Celsius but it seems like people who are have no problem using it for every day discussion.

It’s 100% what you’re used to interpreting.
21C is room temperature.
25 is a nice summer day.
30’s is getting damn hot, full airconditioning weather.
High 30’s and above, you’re in Arizona and don’t go outside.
Anything negative is below freezing, because freezing is at 0. So if you see +2 to -2 or so it’s time for black ice.

It’s mostly just nice having 100 be the difference between “hot” and “really hot”.

F Also has smaller degrees, which makes it nice when you want precision (yeah, I know you can use fractions of a degree, but still).

I accept that I would probably quickly get used to whichever standard though.

I was in the U.K. for just a day or so and figured it out. Probably helped that the weather was actually news at the time as they were experiencing a bad heat wave.

Also learned that AC is not all that common in the U.K. :frowning: