Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Northern...Western Canada

So I traveled back from Sweden on Friday the 11th. I was home for all of five days before work asked me to take a trip. It was unexpected to say the least. Before that though I was able to fit in a lot of time with my family. Everyone was in town, so it was a lot of fun. We went to Scofield, shot guns at Newton ranch, Owen went on a horse ride. Ate out, and ate in. Went to a movie. And had a nice breakfast with my grandparents.
Us on the four-wheeler, isn't my wife cute?
It was quite fun. I spent the next week working with Greg on our house. I learned a lot and am very appreciative of him and his talents in helping me out. He is a wonderful contractor and I would recommend him to anyone (

So I am currently in Calgary Alberta. I was asked to visit an operation we have in Alberta, and I made mention of going to "Northern Canada" around one of our executives in the office who is from Canada, and he corrected me and said you are going to "Western Canada". You be the judge.

Northern Sunrise County

When I got here on Monday, it was beautiful 70 degrees. I woke up this morning to a bad snowstorm. It was just like Utah.

My first trip to Canada four years ago had mixed reviews. I went to Montreal, meh, and Nova Scotia, nice place. I was too young and inexperienced to notice really cultural differences. After being in Sweden though I am more sensitive to it. this trip was better. Canadians really are some of the nicest people I have met. I was surprised as I observed how they interacted with people. Coming from Sweden where if you got another person to acknowledge your presence was a good day, to Canada where everyone is so interested in you has been refreshing. 

For example, today I was flying from Grand Prairie to Calgary. Grand Prairie is pretty small and the airport only has two gates and all the planes are prop planes. When I got to security there was a line, and I was shocked and thought, okay who is holding this thing up and I peered around everyone. There was a physically and mentally handicapped person at the front of the line going through security. I quickly relaxed and made a note not to get upset, but what really changed me was how everyone else was reacting. Especially the security folks. This woman had a roller bag and a backpack. She was incredibly excited to be flying and by the time I arrived the security guard had helped her get her bags in the plastic bins. Then the security guard and this lady had this exchange.

SG: "Do you have any liquids, a laptop, or anything in your pockets?"
W: "No....wait I have this in my pocket" pulls out a receipt
SG: "Thats okay, do you have any liquids or a laptop?" there is a laptop visible sticking out of the backpack
W: "No...wait I have a laptop"
SG: "K, let's put that in a bin. Do you have any liquids?"
W: "No" proceeds to the metal detector, "Wait, yes I do"
SG: "K, let's put them in a bin."
W: Pulls out a red makeup bag, and says "what about this?"
SG: "We'll just put it in a bin to be safe."

The entire time being completely calm and friendly. The women then proceeds through security, the person in front of me, and then I do. As our bins go through the scanner, the security guard grabs this woman's bins and starts helping her get put back together. Then she holds up this makeup case and shows it to the lady on the X-ray machine, and says "isn't this pretty?", "Oh my yes that is beautiful". When we got to the gate and sat down I was seated near this lady and she was beaming, and telling her friend how the security guards liked her bag. 

Now maybe it is the cynic in me, but I cannot see any American TSA person ever taking the time to help someone through security like that or have the patience with them. At first I didn't even have the patience to wait in a line. It was humbling to see people care for complete strangers. When I was in Sweden I learned to appreciate other cultures. I am by no means bashing on America, but I feel like there are some things that other cultures do better. I feel like Swedes have a better work-life balance to a point. 

I am hoping to be a little kinder, and more patient after this trip. 

I can't wait to come home to these two. Aren't they just the cutest?

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