In Edmonton again!

In Edmonton again! - Gene Stone

During my last visit to Edmonton, I learnt a great deal of things.  Even from my first minutes there, I was taught the correct pronunciation of the city’s name: Ed-min-tin. Silly me, I was saying Edmonton, like the rest of Canada.

All the other times I went there, I never drove. I took the taxi. This time I thought that I wouldn’t mind to go around the city, and I rented a car. That turned out to be a big mistake. I spent more time on the road then in the city.

Before I used to complain about the traffic in Montreal. Well, I don't complain anymore. I saw that it can be worse. The rush hour there starts early morning and seems to continue till almost 11:00 a.m. At first, I thought it was so busy because it was Monday, but the following days, it was the same. Though the radio station playing in my car was describing the traffic as fluid on certain highways. Probably they gave a new meaning to the word fluid, because being stuck in traffic for hours or driving with 10 km/h doesn't not sound like fluid to me.

Nevertheless, I have to admit that driving at this speed allowed me to take a good look at the huge potholes and craters in the Edmonton asphalt. I heard that the city’s street was notorious for the potholes, but I did not expect such a nightmare. On the bright side, driving so slowly might have changed me some money too, God forbid I would have got stuck in one of them, or damaged my rental car.

During my stay I discovered that the drivers there follow a different version of traffic rules. I don't think I saw anyone stopping at a yellow light. As for the road courtesy, forget it. I had drivers honking at me as soon as the stop light turned green, although I wasn’t the first car in line.

I found out there is a similarity between Edmonton and Montreal: on both the roads are being repaired continuously. There too they close down highways and roads for months. Apparently they used the same method, they place the construction cones and bring all the utility cars on the site, but no workers are to be seen anywhere.

I also learnt that the peoples from Edmonton drivers face a lot more road hazards then we do. They have to watch out for pets, deer, cows, horses, rabbits, coyotes, garbage bags and shredded tires. On my second day I saw two coyotes on the highway, feeding on a road kill. That was a unique moment!

More time I spend away from my city, more I realize how lucky I am!