1. The postal service. So far, pretty poor. For a while we weren’t getting any mail at all, then we started getting mail very late. We figured this must be because things are getting forwarded to us from the US, so I decided to run a little experiment: I mailed 2 postcards from the post office on our block — one addressed to our place in Canada, one addressed to our old place in the US. Then I mailed 2 postcards, addressed the same, from the US. This is all ten days ago. I just got the first postcard, from the US. So far no hint of the one mailed from a block away.
2. Credit is different here; it’s as if the industry is run by adult humans, rather than children or vampires. In the US, credit card companies will try to give cards to criminals, infants, dogs… anyone whose name will fit on a form letter. In the US, we each have credit cards with credit limits that exceed our annual income.
But in Canada, we had to apply, hats in hands, at a bank. The woman who interviewed us wanted to know why we wanted a credit card. Then after we explained, we went through a long application, listing all our assets, educational attainment, personal references, and so on. She looked it over dubiously, and submitted it to the credit card company… and four days later, we got a call saying our application had been denied. She said we were free to apply for a “secure card”, where the company holds a sum of our money equal to our credit limit for the entire time we have the card, so we can’t just skip town without paying the bill.
It’s a shockingly primitive form of life… It’s as if they want to be sure you can pay them back, rather than hoping you will fall into inescapable debt.
(It’s actually heartening, even though it’s inconvenient for us at the moment… Maybe Canadian bankruptcy laws actually protect you from your creditors?)
3. I’ve noticed a general tendency to shorten routine expressions to fun nicknames; I feel like I’ve joined a cool club. “Cash register” becomes “the cash”. (“Take this slip up to the cash, and someone will help you there”.) “Changing room” becomes “the change”. In keeping with this trend, the standard way of referring to my country of origin is “The States” — never “the US”, which is what I was expecting for some reason.
And finally: Our milk says “tastes like homo!” in big bright cheery letters on it*. Yes, the rich taste of homo would be a selling point in the States too.
*I assume this means “homogenized milk”, as a name for what I would call “whole milk”? Can anybody solve this for me?
Howls of outrage (5)