Sounding Off – Provincial quirks

Last week Wayne Benedict wrote about some of the provincial quirks ( he noticed in moving from British Columbia and Saskatchewan. I responded, in my editorial, with some of Alberta’s oddities ( I asked readers to write in with some fun facts about their own locales, and a few of you did! Anyone who would still like to send in their own list should feel free to do so. Send to

What it is like living in Vancouver

“¢ When on public transit during rush hour, no matter how close you are to other people (full body contact), do not make eye contact with anyone. Also, never talk on public transit or have your discman/walkman loud enough that anyone else can hear it (no matter how close they are to you).
“¢ Never believe the sob stories homeless people tell you, those are for the tourists to fall for.
“¢ Always face front when in an elevator, even if you are the only one in there.
“¢ Stand on the right and walk on the left when on an escalator.
“¢ Never give another driver The Bird, no matter how close they came to killing you with their horrible driving skills.
“¢ Always appear impressed when someone tells you they frequently work 60+ hours a week.
“¢ Never question someone’s logic when they tell you they stay at a job they hate for the vacation time, and then tell you they haven’t taken a vacation since they started there, ten years ago.
“¢ It is ok to tell everyone you have a drinking problem, as long as you are laughing when you do it and then buy a round of drinks.
“¢ It is prudent to secretly question the sexual orientation of every man you meet in certain areas of downtown and every woman you meet on Commercial Drive.
“¢ Wearing heels while walking the sea wall around Stanley Park is rarely ok.
“¢ Don’t make eye contact with the celebrities you spot shopping on Robson, they prefer it that way. Collecting autographs is so passé.
“¢ Never admit you don’t like food from other countries or ethnicities.
“¢ Drinking beer from large national breweries is for the suburbs; local microbreweries only.
“¢ Paying $10 to enter a bar or club is normal. Be suspicious when it is free to get in (there might be a reason).
“¢ It is ok if you can’t walk even a block in your high heels, as long as they match your outfit and are in style this season.
“¢ It is also ok if your fake nails prohibit you from doing most ordinary things, like typing, dialling the phone, opening cans, picking up change or tying your shoes, as long as they are painted to match your handbag and lipstick.
“¢ Cell phone rings that are a mechanical version of any theme song are great as long as they ring loudly, frequently and at inopportune times.
“¢ Even though every street and avenue has a word name and no apparent system to it, and many change names for no apparent reason, don’t use a map or ask for directions (driving around lost is not just for men anymore).
“¢ The neighbourhood you live in can be held against you or taken as evidence of your good character.
“¢ Never leave home without your umbrella AND sunglasses.

Submitted by Lindsay Jardine

Alberta vs. Saskatchewan

“¢ In Alberta speeding tickets are due 2 – 3 months after the speeding infraction, in Saskatchewan they are due in one month and they supply you with an envelope for mailing it.

“¢ In Alberta roads are smooth, in Saskatchewan it’s like going through an obstacle course trying to evade potholes that appear to sink deep into the earth’s inner crust.

“¢ In Alberta politicians speak out against gay and lesbian lifestyles in BC politicians march in gay and lesbian parades.

Submitted by Sandra Moore

What it’s like in Small Town Saskatchewan

“¢ Is Saskatchewan the only place where hoodies are called “bunny hugs”?
“¢ In Macklin, Saskatchewan (and surrounding areas) most of the people, even teens, speak in a German accent even though it was the great-great grandparents who immigrated
“¢ Same town, the only place where at a high school dance, the kids requested polkas
“¢ Yet again the same town. There is a giant sculpture of a horse ankle bone, representing the German-Russia game “bones” or bunnock (a game where different coloured horse ankle bones are tossed to knock down other horse ankle bones). They also have the world’s only bunnock tournament.
“¢ In Viscount, Saskatchewan they have a curling bonspeil, not so unusual, but they call it the Rock’N’ Rye, where getting sloshed is the main event.
“¢ Almost every small Sask. Town has a Slowpitch or Softball tournament where getting sloshed is the main event.
“¢ ” ” ” ” ” has rec hockey tournaments where getting sloshed is the main event.
“¢ Farm kids routinely take time off school in Sept. for harvest. In fact, we don’t use the words spring and fall.. its seeding and harvest.
“¢ Most farm kids learn how to drive at around age 10, ( at least the ones I knew)
“¢ Any town with a population larger than 5,000 is referred to as “the city”
“¢ In Saskatchewan, gopher shooting is fun (PETA be damned!!)
“¢ High school grads graffiti Grad ’03 (or whatever year) and their names on abandoned buildings, highways, backs of road signs and just about everywhere. Check it out in Kerrobert, Saskatchewan.
“¢ Small town bars have weird contests like “Party ’till you Pee” (you can win a t-shirt)
“¢ A lot of drinking goes down in Saskatchewan.
“¢ Farm kids think city kids are lazy
“¢ City kids think farm kids dress bad.
“¢ The Guess Who’s greatest song is “Running Back to Saskatoon”
“¢ We have Buffy St. Marie and Joni Mitchell
“¢ The Riders are the greatest football team ever!

Submitted by Stacey Steele

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