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The World Over | Bedlam Bests (7 things the world does better than Canada)

Don’t get me wrong, I like paved roads, public libraries, access to education and infrastructure. I also acknowledge that such luxuries are a direct result of governance and taxation. But sometimes Canadian legislation is a bit uptight in the Fun Department. 

The annoying moment when you have a full beer and the group wants to move along

Common Canadian occurrence: quickly downing your beer because it’s time to move along but you still have half left. Everyone knows what I’m talking about.  I will even admit to encouraging a friend to sneak an entire pitcher into the cab because it was time to go. The jug is still in the cupboard. 

What pleases me to no end about drinking in more liberal jurisdictions, is that I can order a beer in a restaurant and should I please, leave with said beverage. In fact, I can bring my beer into the street and finish it there. Just take it with yah bra. I can even get away with bringing it into another restaurant if I am discreet enough. It’s just not that big of a deal.  Poverty and clean drinking water around the world is a problem, but beer mobility is not.

Help me, I’m poor and thirsty

While we’re on the subject of cranky Canada’s sidewalk prohibition, let’s address the obscene amount of taxes levied on alcohol. A satisfactory bottle of wine in France will run you €4, a 600-ml bottle of premium beer in Thailand amounts to about $3.50 and 1-L of Smirnoff vodka is $9.99 USD in Cambodia. Cheap wine in Canada is at least $12, a bottle of beer in a restaurant is $6-8 and a 26-oz Smirnoff is $25.99. I’m over it policy makers. I’m. Over. It. 

Beers Anywhere I Please

From Southeast Asia through to Europe, I’m able to buy a beer in a convenience store (or from a street vendor) and set up shop on the beach, in a park or in front of a church. There’s no ‘brown bagging’ it or pouring anything into an opaque travel mug.

While I was socializing in Germany, I once prepared a ‘roadie’ for the cab ride to the club. (I poured the remainder of my wine into a water bottle.) This naturally attracted the attention of my Deutsch counterparts. When I clued in, I dumped the wine back into its bottle and took it with me. That’s right folks, I drank from the neck of a wine bottle in public

Wider distribution

It’s 10:50 p.m. and you need to make a critical decision: do we need wine before the liquor store closes?

If you were standing witness at 10:58 p.m. at a Canadian liquor store, cars literally dump their passengers who break into a full sprint, racing the clock to buy some party provisions. Why? Whhhhhhhhy?

The rest of the world observes this crazy phenomenon whereby alcohol is sold in supermarkets and convenience stores. I know, totally progressive. And the best part about it, is that these distribution channels typically operate more than 12-hours a day. It’s time we entered the new millennium Canada.


I tip, even when I am unemployed. But what really boggles me is why Canadians are so eager to do so. Nobody else tips as enthusiastically as us – even when the service is mediocre. I’m sure the rest of the world is thinking, “Gee, these people are already getting paid to do their job.” I mean really, what is going on here? A reward for exceptional customer service? Hi, I worked in retail and went above and beyond for many terrible members of the general public. No one thought to tip me. Okay, okay, it’s not all about me. I could indeed choose to become a server, but we have to stop and wonder when servers are making more money than university-educated people. Stop the madness! But tips provide incentive for good service right? Funny, I’ve never had a crappy server either…


One of the coolest things about Thailand is renting a motorbike, learning to drive it, perhaps crashing it and going on a road trip. Bikes are so liberating. They give me that same feeling I get when I walk out of a really badass action movie. Technically you have to possess a motorcycle license to rent a bike but the Thais seem to practice a widespread Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell policy. I don’t want to suggest that I think it’s a phenomenal idea to abolish driving regulations here in Canada, I just want to point out  that Canada does a lot to protect stupid people. There is no survival of the fittest. Anyway, my  point is it was really cool to not be inhibited by driving theory tests, road exams and driving lessons. But please wear a helmet. On an unrelated note, I find that Canadians are terrible drivers…but superior to those in Washington.

Can’t You Read the Sign?

I accompanied a friend to a medical clinic in the days following my return from Asia. Toting my coffee and reading material, I selected a chair in the empty waiting room and chose to ignore the sign that read, “No food, drinks or cell phones.” Apparently I was a bit too cavelier about the clinic rules given my recent foray into the developing world. I was strictly reprimanded and told to leave. Who could blame me? 40 hours prior I had been walking streets where people openly urinated and people sold street food in the hospitals. ‘First world problems’ as they say.

Things are funny when they contain truth. But all in all, the things that make other countries awesome just serves as the basis to travel to them.

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