Day One in Canada

I crossed the US-Canada border today.

The process was fast and simple enough. However many of the "facts" on my visa were wrong and the gentleman at the border had to fix them. Evidently my last name was "Dustin James Webb" and I had no first or middle names, I was listed as a mechanical engineer not a computer scientist, and I was destined for Calgary, Alberta, not Montreal, Quebec. Oh, and I came to Canada in 2002, not today. I guess all the paper work we submitted to the NY consulate was for show as was the processing time for our visas. And no, my identity was not stolen. I won't go into the details on how I know this though.

Shortly after leaving the border I stopped for food. Ironically the first place I saw was a Tim Hortons. Naturally I had soup and a coffee to combat the cold. Even given all the warnings from friends and family about just how cold it is here I was still not prepared. It is insanely cold. And yes, I consider 30-40 degrees + large windchill factor to be insanely cold. I don't look forward to sub-zero temperatures.

Unfortunately I lost internet access on my phone at the border. Apparently T-mobile does not offer it to their US customers through their local partner. Worse yet I have had horrible cell reception. Google maps cached the info to get from the border to Toronto. But that took me downtown and I was unable to get direction anywhere else at that point. As such I set out to find a gas station and a hotel which are both very difficult tasks without reliable means of communication. This would not have been a problem if I had actually let my wife book my hotel when she had intended. As it is I am paying nearly twice what I should be for a hotel tonight. C'est la vie!

I also had fun trying to fill my tank. For reasons I still don't understand the gas pumps at the station I found would not accept our credit card. So I went into the store to pay in advance. The attendant asked how much I wanted so asked the price. He said it was 1.50 CAD!  I was astounded. I have been paying about $3.50 on average throughout this trip. But I shrugged it off and asked for $12 because our Prius only has an 8 gallon tank. It turns out they measure gas in litres here. Duh! Place this one in the category "should have seen that coming." Oh well, my tank is currently half full which is better than the gallon or so I had when I found the station.

Tomorrow, Montreal!