October 5th, 2012
Just returned from Calgary, Alberta. That’s the view of the city from Air Canada, high above the airport on the way out. I like the big prairie sky and the reassuring sight of the Rockies, but I was never so happy to leave a city behind me as I was in that moment. About six weeks of almost non-stop travel across the globe is brutal on the body and far too challenging for the mind, and so home has never seemed sweeter. Besides, I prefer the east with our persistent sea breezes and low tuition. Our Air Canada ticket agents are way more friendly, too.
I am grateful for all the travel opportunities, of course, and for all that I have learned … such as:
- Academics in Brazil work in broom-closet-sized offices and their staff in almost half the size of those.
- No one gets to anything on time in Brazil because it takes at least two hours in traffic to get from A to B, if you’re lucky. There’s a kind of zen approach to meetings, as a result.
- It’s true, their coffee really is better.
- Germans, like Brazilians, eat a lot of meat with everything. How do they manage to move at all?
- It’s true, their beer really is better.
- Brazilians are afraid of violence on the streets of big North American cities but Canada is still considered a safe country.
- Brazilians seem to know where Newfoundland is.
- Germans aren’t so sure.
- Germany dubs a lot of popular US television.
- The California public university system is in a lot of trouble.
- It takes about two hours to get from A to B in California, too, but they are more uptight about missing meetings.
- It’s true; their salads really are better.
- Alberta is preoccupied with all things big and oily.
- The West is so different it’s not even like the Canada we live in.
- It’s true; their bison really is better.
- Air Canada has more leg room than you think.
- It’s true; their food really isn’t better.
- Canadians have a lot to be thankful for.