Canada feels… kind of foreign

I have recently moved back to Canada after more than seven years in the UK. It means I have spent more of my adult life abroad than I have in my home country.

ANYONE who has lived abroad or travelled abroad for long periods of time will probably remember what it feels like to come back to Canada.

The sense of openness and the friendliness of the people is one of the first things that will hit you. But it’s the small things that you took for granted when you lived here that seem to really stand out and seem a bit … foreign.

A friend’s Facebook status update is a case in point. On return to Canada from a lengthy tour of Europe, she wrote: “OK, why is there so much water in the toilets here?” (Fresh water is a scarce resource in Europe, so toilets are designed to flush using much less water. In comparison, many Canadian toilets use what seems like buckets of water). It’s hard not to think it’s a big waste.

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Two very different ways to react to rioting: Comparing the English legal system to Vancouver’s slower response

Riots were a huge talking point last summer. Although we saw inspirational images of people rising up against tyranny in Africa and the Middle East, we also saw – in Vancouver and England – people perpetrating mindless acts of vandalism and violence for no discernible reason. In the aftermath of those horrible riots, I think it’s interesting to compare Vancouver’s response with England’s.

CONSIDER this: The first rioters from Vancouver’s Stanley Cup disorder are only beginning to hear what they will face as punishment. Ryan Dickinson, from Surrey, B.C., was the first to be sentenced – eight months after the riots.

He was given a 16-month jail sentence for his part in the riots, which saw him, among other things, throwing a newspaper box at a car.

But some people are speculating that many of the other convicted rioters will get off lightly.

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