Sunday, September 1, 2013

Edmonton Diaries - Fin

"Fins to the left, fins to the right..." Sorry! Must have been listening to too much Radio Margaritaville this last week!
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The view from my window seat at SFO

Finally flew home from Canada (or Canadindiana*, as the natives call it), and boy, are my arms tired! A few final thoughts on our friends from the Frozen North. One, the weather was really nice this time of year, even a little warm. The fact that I could see a ski lift on a hill next to one of the highways made me suspect that it might not be a temperate climb all year 'round.

That, and I gather that occasionally, a fight will take place and a hockey game will break out! I went into one sporting goods store, looking for a gym bag or small pack to carry some stuff back across the border, and the hockey section of the store was larger than my first house!

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Another oddity I noticed in Edmonton, was the price of gasoline, and not just that they advertised it in "liters", (An imaginary unit of measurement. It takes two of them to make a good sized bottle of pop!) Knowing I was going to have to fill up the rental car with gas before I left, I took note of the price of gas: $1.149/ liter. I suppose I should break it down for the "metric impaired" (or "muggles" as they call them up here!), it takes 3.78541 liters to make up what we here in the States call a "gallon". Much easier! Thanks for clearing that up, metric system!

So, figuring 3.78541 liters to a gallon, and an exchange rate of $.9495 to $1 US , (I'm doing the math in my head) makes gas about $4.13/gal American for everyone in Edmonton. And I mean everyone. I did not see any variation on that price anywhere in town. Major oil companies and smaller independents, all were $1.149 a liter, every day that I was there, morning, noon and night. By contrast, here in California, I might see the price at an Arco at $3.499 a gallon and a Chevron across the street at $3.719, or anything in between. The price could vary with the proximity to the freeway, or the city or county it was in, but, there's a lot of variation. Plus, it might be $3.499 when you drive by in the morning and $3.569 when you pass by again in the afternoon. Seeing the Stepford gas stations all across Edmonton, unchanging every day, was a bit disconcerting to this California boy. Actually, there was one station with a different price listed, but that price was $0.000, and there was a high chain link fence around it.

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A picture of the White Spot and Denny's, to show "I'm not making this stuff up!"

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

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The last thing of interest that happened on my Canadian sojourn, took place in...San Francisco! I hit SFO with about an hour layover, after having been delayed an hour getting out** of Edmonton. Seems the geese have priority take off and landing privileges! It was a tad early for dinner, or not, depending on which time zone your stomach was in, so I wandered the concourse not knowing if I was really hungry or what I might be hungry for. I was perusing the signboards at this one establishment, when the fellow behind the counter asked me if I'd like a "free sample". (Fiendishly clever!) He offered a variety of soups and...clam chowder. Always a sucker for a good clam chowder, I said, "Why not?". It's like drug dealing (or so I'm told) but the first taste is free until they've got you hooked.

I ordered a deli ham sandwich on a sourdough roll and a large order of clam chowder. The soup came with a sourdough roll on the side and the sandwich had a small side of cole slaw. The sandwich was probably in the top ten best sandwiches I had ever eaten. The chowder was very, very good and well worth the somewhat inflated prices you pay within the confines of an airline terminal.

The establishment, which I did not choose on the basis of their name, was Max's Eatz and Bakery. Had I been driving by on the highway, I would not even have slowed down for anything that said "Max's Eatz", but my words of advice, are twofold: If you find yourself in SFO around mealtime, try Max's. Really! It's that good! Second, if you go with the large chowder, just get half a sandwich, or vice versa. It was simply too much food for one meal, so I packed half a sandwich out to eat later. (Just as good after I got home!)

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So, it wasn't my intent to give you a restaurant review from SFO as a part of my Edmonton Diary, but there it is, you hosers! Deal with it! I picked up a little bit on the Canadian attitude and I think I feel a hockey game breaking out...

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* Not to be confused with "Canadiana"
** Pronounced "oot". Canadians in general do talk funny. I talked to one fellow who worked in chicken processing. (Long "O" like "tennis pro".) He talked about whole chickens and the "roosters", and I couldn't for the life of me think of anyone preferring roosters over a nice, plump juicy hen, when I finally realized he was saying "roasters". When you say it in Canadian, it comes out (oot) "rooster".
See the things you learn here??

The other Edmonton Diaries can be found here.

4 comments:

  1. Extremely Educational series on Edmonton. The only thing I ever knew about 'Canadindiana' I learned from those two hosers, Bob & Doug, of 'The Great White North' & 'Strange Brew' fame. They were also Extremely Educational, eh?

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    Replies
    1. My goal was to be very educational, even with the parts that weren't true!

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  2. Oh sure, I'm away for a bit, and I come by to see you've been giving geography lessons. Now I have to go back and catch up. It's kind of like that soup sample.

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    Replies
    1. It's like it says in the Bible, Odie: Thou snoozeth, thou loseth!

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