It was good. The weather was, anyway. Very nice. It was actually bloody ‘mawvelous, dahling’ when you consider what most of the continent went through these past two months- still are. Still, I am pleased to be heading home. But first, a few more observations:
Our American neighbours, the ones around me in southern Phoenix, seem to have it a lot better than we Canucks. Economically speaking. Gasoline is $2.30 a US gallon but, if you have a ‘club key’ or XXX card or a ‘swipe’n go thingy you can get as much as 20 cents off that per gallon price. That means that a swipe ‘n go member down the street fills up for $2.10 a gallon on a good day. Mind you, their gallons are approximately 20% less than is our Imperial gallon (and 4 liters is 1.05 imperial gallons) so one could use 2.10 plus 40 plus to get about $2.50 a Canadian gallon for gasoline. BUT!!! Our dollar is also worth less by about 30% so it would take another 80 cents to get the equivalent or $3.30 give or take a few cents. As gas prices sat when we left, we were paying damn close to $5.40 cents per four liters and so – doing all the math (roughly) means a straight-up comparison between Canadian car drivers and American car drivers means we pay $2.10 a gallon more. 40+% more for the same thing.
But who cares, eh? It’s only money. Let us look, instead, at housing. A brand new 2200 sft home in a stunning sub-division, NOT packed in tight, and enjoying numerous parks and several community centres with pools and all the amenities you could imagine costs the American maybe $250,000. They enjoy 30 year fixed term mortgages and similar if not slightly higher interest rates but with virtually no money down deals. I worked it out. Twenty percent down ($50K) and the monthly payments were just over $600/mo. NOT quite true…..the ‘gated community’ fees were $127.00 for everything….and so say, with any and all bells and whistles I don’t know…say about…$750.00 a month for a fancy new home (Can$1000). That payment is tax-deductible, by the way.
Average income in this here neck of the woods (cactus): US$85,000.
I won’t bore you with the price of produce or groceries or even scotch which was $17.00 for 1.75 liters or half what it is at home. Like the wine..sometimes less than half. Do not even ASK about cell phone costs! Doesn’t matter how you cut it, living in Arizona is about half the cost of living in say, Victoria or Nanaimo and maybe a third of the cost of living in Vancouver.
But – you knew that. Most people know that. And yet, we prefer Canada. Right? Why do we? Why do we prefer paying twice as much for everything and sometimes more? Why do we prefer harsher weather? Why do we prefer less free time, less rules and even much less ‘disposable income’?
Why do we prefer our trans Canada highway to have two or four lanes instead of 16 or more?
Surely it is NOT because we believe our government is any less corrupt than theirs? Surely it is not because we like our ‘way of life’ more than theirs – they are pretty similar except, perhaps, their MAGA contingent is larger.
I don’t know the answer for most people. I know the answer for me. Oddly, I prefer cooler, wetter and wilder environments WITH ocean but, of course, that doesn’t apply to most people who live in cities. I know I feel safer in Canada but that makes very little sense….I do feel safer but there is no real statistical difference. It’s just me. I like the basic Canuck…..but, then again, I like the basic ‘Merican….they’re mostly pretty OK, too.
I really do not have a good answer for you on this…..but I will repeat: I AM HAPPY TO BE GOING HOME!