Canada Day, Ikea, Movies & TV

today is Canada Day. everyone is wearing their red and white (no blue here) and there are many gatherings and goings on around town. i get the buffalo, new york news and they’re, of course, getting ready for july 4th. so i hear “celebrate independence day” and “celebrate canada day” the next second and i’m experiencing a bit of vertigo because of it. where am i?

i went to the movies for the first time since i’ve been here. i’m a big movie buff so i was excited to see how they do it here. guess how much a movie is in toronto? $11.95!!! yes, that’s right…eleven dollars and ninety-five cents. i almost fell over.! i saw “knocked up” which is hilarious! and, they make several references to canada in the movie so it was fun to be with the canadians watching it. they’re so polite about it…they just quietly giggle. it was literally the quietest movie i’ve been to in years….oh, how i love it here!

i made a second trip to ikea to pick up a couple of things (they have 4 here, btw, versus 1 in houston). when i was checking out, i noticed a sign that said all credit cards have to be signed on the back. i personally don’t sign the backs of my cards in hopes that the person checking me out will actually ask to see ID in the event of theft. evidently, that same logic does not hold true in canada. it was saturday and the ikea sale. needless to say, it was packed. i think i was actually almost run over by the vw car with the stacks of luggage on top. but i digress. the cashier checked me out and after he had already swiped my card and after i had signed the receipt and start walking away, he literally starts yelling at me that they can’t accept my payment since my card isn’t signed. he really got spun up about it as if i was some kind of escaped convict trying to steal a spatula and dishtowel. i pulled out my temporary drivers license with my name on it along with 2 other credit cards with my name on it that are signed and tried to explain to him that in the States, we have theft and so don’t sign the cards. it didn’t matter. the man actually pulled out his manual to show me that Visa/Mastercard don’t allow purchases with cards that aren’t signed. there were literally 20 people in line, all glaring at the stupid american. the manager, of course, was eventually called over, who refunded every item i bought and RERUNG everything using a different card. new experiences every day.

last thing – TV. canadian television does not censor like the US does. really, no other country censors like we do, and one could argue that censorship actually incites people to crave what they can’t have. well, i’ll argue that anyway. in canada, they don’t bleep out the curse words on the sopranos, nor do they grey out nudity, etc., etc. it’s full on here. interesting. just so you know.

New Word of the Day: Humidex http://www.qc.ec.gc.ca/Meteo/Documentation/Humidex_e.html

Coming this week – the Toronto Fringe Festival (http://www.fringetoronto.com/)

New Restaurant Tried = Cafe Crepe (Nutella crepes…yummmm!)

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