Ruth's Diary


I've been travelling for a bit more than a week now. I'm typing this in Buffalo Airport in New York State, waiting for a plane to New York City (JFK Airport in fact). Considering my time so far has been in Toronto (Canada-there are at least 3 in the US) you'd think it'd make more sense to get a flight directly from Toronto.'s cheaper here. You see, one interesting thing about visiting another country is learning local customs and one of them is that if they want to go somewhere in the US they often make their way to Buffalo Airport first, since it's cheaper. Makes sense.

Although there are a couple of strange things I want to talk about. One strange thing about Canada was the amount of self-flushing public toilets. Even weirder was the one I used in the Dominion Centre (it's a shopping mall and like many in Toronto, it's completely underground), which had a sensor so sensitive that it flushed whenever I leaned forward on the seat. Happened 3 times.

I've also collected all kinds of alternative words. In the UK, we say toilet(s). In the US, they say restroom. In Canada, they say washroom. I seemed to pick up the last word quite quickly, since the other day, in a winery, I couldn't find the toilet. When I asked where it was, I actually couldn't remember what it was called (as in, I forgot the word toilet). What was the first word out of my mouth? Washroom. It'll be so good to go back to England and see signs saying "Toilets". Better still when I go back to Uni and see the bilingual signs with Welsh on the top saying "Toiledau". (At least I think that's the word.)

What's also odd is that American money seems a bit fake to me. A lot of Internationals agree, since it resembles Monopoly money to a certain extent. But, the bills ('dollar note' sounds wrong to me) all have the same faded green colour. Makes it hard to tell them apart and gives a stronger impression of throw-away money, especially since, unlike most notes, it doesn't have any markers or holograms or fades to show it's genuine. Canadian money is fun, colourful (the $5 has hockey players on it!) and felt and looked like real money (and had spectrum fades). Now both dollars are roughly worth 50p each (making the US dollar feel even cheaper in my hand) but the Canadian dollar looks like it's valued something. Either that or the Canadian currency is proud to put Queen Elizabeth's head on all its coins, thus making me trust it more. The Canadian quarter looks just like a 10p.

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