The other day, Fenton commented in the post about retirement that we other Baboons sounded as though we were “highly motivated ” in regard to our activity levels. My first thought about that was “of course we are, we are maniacs here in the US!” My subsequent thoughts were about the culture shock I experienced when I moved to Canada for graduate school in 1980.
It was very disconcerting for me to realize that in Winnipeg, no businesses opened until 10:00 AM. There was no mail service on Saturday, and no Sunday newspaper delivery. The collective good was emphasized over personal ambition. Speed limits were lower. People were very polite. People took lots of coffee breaks. Lots of tea was consumed. Hardly anyone had a firearm. In the summer, it was more important for people to spend time out of doors than to work. There were no drive through coffee shops, only drive through beer stores. No one worried about paying their medical bills. In order to drink in a pub, you had to sit at a table and there was no standing at the bar. There were very few fast food restaurants.
I often found myself frustrated with the slower pace. It seemed nothing got done expediently. Looking back, I sure would welcome that slower pace again. I know workers in the US are far more productive than in Canada, but at what cost to health and sanity?
What trends and customs from other countries would you like to take hold where you live?