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Old 05-22-2010, 09:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Cultural Diversities

A long time ago, I created a thread asking our international members whether or not they'd ever actually met an American face to face, and it was a fantastic and eye-opening experience. I learned a lot from that thread, and I'm curious to give it another go. I've been meaning to start this thread for a while, so here it is.

We all know what a culturally diverse family we have here at TFP, often highlighted in some of the discussions we have already had here and there on the forums. I thought we could take advantage of that diversity and learn some things about each others' countries/regions - especially those things that we think are common and may take for granted. No question is too stupid - ask away. How else are we supposed to learn?

So let me start with this one. Do you wear your seatbelt in the car? Are they cumpulsory where you live? Do they infringe on your freedom of choice?
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Old 05-23-2010, 12:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Yeah I wear a seatbelt, and yes it is compulsory. Even if is wasn't compulsory I'd still wear it. I came across an accident that had just happened seconds before where the car went into the back of a truck. The driver and front seat passenger were fine, but the woman who had been in the back seat wasn't wearing a seatbelt and had gone face first into the dashboard, dislocating and ripping her jaw almost off. She was still very much alive, and the moans and cries coming from her mangled face still freak me out. *shudder*

A friend of mine was in a low speed (-30mph) accident, sitting in the front passenger seat without a seatbelt, and just her head went through the windscreen. She's now blind in both eyes.

Sure, being forced to wear seatbelts infringes on your freedom of choice, but for me the choice is a no-brainer anyway.
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Old 05-23-2010, 05:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes I do it and being doing it even before it was made compulsory. We use child seats as well even though those aren't compulsory yet.
Yes they infringe on your freedom of choice, it would be more reasonable to make child seats compulsory.
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Old 05-23-2010, 07:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Yes, seatbelts are compulsory in the UK, although some vehicles are exempt (like trucks)

I've had to pay out £90 in fines over the years for not bothering, so nowadays I tend to.
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Old 05-23-2010, 07:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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A couple of years ago, Grancey and I took a citizens police academy course, and during one of my nightly ride-alongs with a local cop, I asked how he could spot seatbelt use at night. He very quickly veered out slightly from the car he was following and showed me how the oncoming headlights of other traffic silhouetted the driver's shoulder strap. Now that I know what to look for, it's easy to spot.
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Old 05-23-2010, 08:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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im going to answer this one from a few angles

as an Australian - it is compulsory for every person in the car to wear one. I ALWAYS wear one when im in the car as a front or rear passenger.

as an expat in Dubai - seat belts are compulsory for anyone in the front drivers' or passenger seat. People in the back seat dont have to wear one. I'm rarely in the back seat, but when i am i always wear a seatbelt.

as a lebanese in lebanon - people mock you if you wear a seatbelt. the first time i landed in Beirut 13 years ago,i jumped into the taxi and was looking for a seatbelt in the front passenger seat. the taxi driver laughed out loud and told me it must have been the first time id been to lebanon because nobody wears seatbelts. He then preceeded to drive his dented and damaged 1970's mercedes through the city like a madman paying no attention to traffic police or signals. As i found out, apparently everyone drives the same way! CRAZY!

as a globetrotter - since most of my travels tend to take place in countries that are 3rd world or emerging countries, i've found that many countries dont have any seatbelt laws. and people either dont know or understand the importance of seatbelts. Some of those countries have some of the highest per capita death rates on the road. One word...Education.
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Old 05-23-2010, 03:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I wear a seatbelt because it's stupid not to. I support the compulsory seatbelt law because it will allow a driver to stay in control of the car for much longer in an accident, and if they do fly through the window, it's my tax dollars paying firefighters and paramedics to scrape their stupid ass off the pavement.
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Old 05-23-2010, 03:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Front seat belts are compulsory in Utah, but I used one long before the law was enacted. I insist on my son wearing one in the back seat and he knows the first thing to do when he gets in a car is to put his seatbelt on. I'm with MSD - it's not just for the person wearing the belt's safety, it's for MY safety as well.
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Old 05-23-2010, 04:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Seat belts are mandatory here but I am not sure that child seats are. I am always seeing people holding their children on their laps.

Google is your friend! I just checked and found the following. The punishments for repeat offenders are quite strong.

Quote:

Child Seats

Traffic Police introduced the law for the use of all available rear seat belts on 1 Oct 92, taking into consideration the need for child safety while driving. This rule applies to cars, station wagons or vehicles with double-cabs. If a rear seat belt is available for a child below 8 years of age seated in the rear, that child must be secured in a child restraint. The child restraints are designed to offer maximum protection to your child, should an accident occur.

Traffic Police would like to remind all motorists that any child below 8 years of age and who is seated in the rear, must be secured with a child restraints. The penalty for failing to comply is a $120/- fine and 3 demerit points for the driver. Offenders may be charged in court. A first-time offender may be fined up to $1,000/- or jailed up to 3 months. Repeat offender may be fined up to $2,000/- or jailed up to 6 months.


---------- Post added at 08:29 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:27 AM ----------

QUESTION: what kind of street food does your city/country enjoy?

In Toronto, there is a dearth of street food. For a city as culturally diverse as Toronto, we have BBQ hot dogs... and that's about it.
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Old 05-23-2010, 07:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I live in a college town in the South, and the only time we have street food is when it's part of a larger event. If there's a football game, or arts/crafts show, or street dance, etc., the street food comes from tent-size iterations of local restaurants, tailgaters, or carnival-type travelling generic vendors. However, I have occasionally seen old men set up a fish fry in their front yards.

In other words, we don't have street food on a daily basis.
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Old 05-23-2010, 08:13 PM   #11 (permalink)
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shawarma and kebabs are all the rave here.

small arabic bread pockets filled with a doner kebab style meat and other condiments rotating on a flame.

best food at any time of the day, even at 3am.



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Old 05-24-2010, 02:55 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Seatbelts - absolutely. It's ridiculously stupid not to wear them. When I was little, my mother never wore her seatbelt... so neither did I. When I got my driver's license, I always wore my seatbelt and made anyone who rode with me do so before I would move the car... which remains my policy. I one day asked my mother, who now always wears her seatbelt, why she never used to and why she never made me. She said she never thought about it because no one did while she was growing up. I am glad the two of us got lucky throughout my younger years, and glad the attitude seems to be changing.

Street food - None where I live, but I am very close to NYC and there is a plethora there. I prefer the pretzels, myself. The hotdogs are good, and many people love the gyros. The roasted nuts around Christmas always smell delicious, though I've never tried them. There are many more choices, as well.
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Old 05-24-2010, 03:33 PM   #13 (permalink)
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ACK! YOU POSTED KEBAB!

*tries to regain control of stomach*

The only truly awful thing about my trip to Sweden 10 years ago was being exposed to kebab in every single meal presented to me. I almost cried. Swedish kebab tastes like spam.
I would love, love, love to live somewhere where the only street food was not hot dogs. Seriously in North Florida, that's it. No other street food period. Except at State Fairs and festivals. And then, it's fried. With the occasional meat-on-a-stick option. I was in heaven in New York with being able to stop and buy a pickle, or a wrap sandwich, or various fruits in Chinatown... same with San Fran.

And, on the other topic, my life was saved by a seat belt. I feel weird in a parking lot without one. I was in a '79 Volare and was t-boned by a '78 beemer doing 65 at impact, after 200 feet of skid marks. Without my seatbelt, I'd have slid across those bench seats they don't make anymore and broken my neck sideways on the passenger side door. As it was, I broke off my "sitz" bone, the bottom left loop of my pelvic bone.
I'll always wear one and anyone I care about will wear one or get out of my car.
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:49 PM   #14 (permalink)
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To answer the OP: I wear a seatbelt. All the time. Anyone riding in my vehicle will wear one as well, before I shift out of Park. It is compulsory, and any passenger in the vehicle not wearing one is grounds to be pulled over. While I feel that natural selection can and will take its course, I do not feel my rights are being infringed by the requirement. It really is a safety issue, and many people who were a part of my life in one way or another are no longer a part of my life due in part to their decision not to wear a seatbelt.
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Old 05-25-2010, 04:33 AM   #15 (permalink)
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The only street food that I'm aware of here are taco stands (which are only in the city, not in the burbs). I've never tried them, but my dad has and said they are delicious.
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Old 05-25-2010, 06:59 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Yes, seat belts are required here. Click it or ticket--it's a $118 fine.

As for street food, I give you: Food Carts Portland

This phenomenon in Portland is influencing the rest of the state. While there has always been street food present at our Saturday farmer's market, suddenly there are a lot more people interested in 1) eating it, and 2) selling it. There are more food booths at market now than ever, and some vendors are even expanding to Wednesday night market. That's exciting, as it gives us cheap dinner options in the middle of the week (yum, Oscar's Burritos). Additionally, we had a guy with a hot dog cart set up shop downtown a few months ago, and some business students have set up a cart in front of the business building on campus to sell healthy lunches.
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Old 05-25-2010, 07:15 AM   #17 (permalink)
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In Ontario, if you're 16 or over, you are responsible for your own seatbelt. Drivers are responsible for those under 16 with regard to seatbets and child car seats. The fine is between
$60 and $500, and convicted offenders will receive two demerit points.

* * * * *

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlatan View Post
QUESTION: what kind of street food does your city/country enjoy?

In Toronto, there is a dearth of street food. For a city as culturally diverse as Toronto, we have BBQ hot dogs... and that's about it.
Toronto is currently in the middle of an a la cart street food pilot project.

You can currently get beef bulgogi at Yonge & Eg.

It's small (8 vendors), but if it's successful, we might be seeing a full-scale rollout. *fingers crossed*

Currently, we have:

Nathan Phillips Square East
Central Asian/Persian - biryani and salsa karahi served with pita/chapati/naan/rice

Queen’s Park
Middle Eastern - chicken/beef kebab wraps, tuna wraps, baklava, yogurt

Nathan Philips Square West

Greek - souvlaki, breakfast sandwiches

Metro Hall
Afghani/Central Asian - chapli kabobs and samosas

Yonge Street @ Eglinton
Korean - bulgogi with seasonal kimchi and tokbukki served on or with eomuk-guk and/or japchae

St. Clair @ Yonge
Caribfusion - jerk chicken, mango salad, pineapple with cinnamon sugar

Mel Lastman Square
Thai - thai bbq with salad and/or rice, pad thai with fresh rolls and cashew nuts

Roundhouse Park
Eritrean - souvlaki, injera

But, yeah, all else has tubesteaks.
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Old 05-25-2010, 08:17 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noodle View Post
ACK! YOU POSTED KEBAB!
errr..sorry to break it to you, but thats shawarma. there's a difference!

This thread's about cultural diversity, so im glad to clarify that!

what is the 'traditional dress' in your country of your parents place of origin
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Old 05-25-2010, 05:08 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Baraka G

I was aware of the a la carte program but from everything I hear, it's destined for failure due to over regulation. From what I understand, the whole reason street dogs are the only food available in Toronto is because public health hasn't green lit anything else. All of the dogs need to be purchased from licensed suppliers who are highly regulated. The meat is all pre-cooked and then bbq'd onsite.

It's a travesty that there aren't more options available.
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Old 05-25-2010, 05:23 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlatan View Post
I was aware of the a la carte program but from everything I hear, it's destined for failure due to over regulation. From what I understand, the whole reason street dogs are the only food available in Toronto is because public health hasn't green lit anything else. All of the dogs need to be purchased from licensed suppliers who are highly regulated. The meat is all pre-cooked and then bbq'd onsite.

It's a travesty that there aren't more options available.
I think as long as there's a market for it, it will come. I haven't tried any of the offerings, but I think it's the kind of thing people want, even if it's just reheated.
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Old 05-25-2010, 07:19 PM   #21 (permalink)
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We don't have street food around here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grasshopper Green View Post
Front seat belts are compulsory in Utah, but I used one long before the law was enacted. I insist on my son wearing one in the back seat and he knows the first thing to do when he gets in a car is to put his seatbelt on. I'm with MSD - it's not just for the person wearing the belt's safety, it's for MY safety as well.
This reminds me, when passengers in the rear seat aren't wearing seatbelts and the people in the front are, something like 80% of front seat fatalities are from the person in the back flying forward hard enough to kill the person in the front.
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Old 05-25-2010, 07:20 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSD View Post
This reminds me, when passengers in the rear seat aren't wearing seatbelts and the people in the front are, something like 80% of front seat fatalities are from the person in the back flying forward hard enough to kill the person in the front.
Ah, yes: blunt force trauma resulting from the unsecured human cargo.
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Old 05-26-2010, 01:55 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlish View Post
what is the 'traditional dress' in your country of your parents place of origin
My father was born into a family of businessmen, so for him it would be a suit. My mother was born on a farm, so for her it would be overalls.
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Old 05-26-2010, 07:34 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Traditional dress this summer in my dad's country of origin:
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Old 05-26-2010, 07:49 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Isn't Cultural Diversity one of the BEST and most interesting things about tfp? I think so. Thanks You All!!!

It made my many years of living in California so much fun & I know it made me become a better person on many levels. Currently I'm living in Ohio (few street vendors BTW) and I miss my friends who are Asian, Thai, Mexican, Aussie and from other places far & wide.

Yes, We have to wear seat belts here - by law. A good law, I believe. Sadly there is no law in Ohio, that requires motorcyclists to wear a helmet. I have met people maimed or are now physically dissabled due to crashes. In California helmets are required.

Also, I find people in Ohio are proud that they have never travelled out of the USA. That really upsets me, because they are also the type of people who tend to dislike foreigners (they don't know many) and are verbal about that. Pretty damn sad.

Yes, they think I'm a raving Liberal Peace-Nik.

I am.
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Old 05-26-2010, 08:05 AM   #26 (permalink)
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If you peel back the top layers, you will find that there are many cultural diversities even between Americans and Canadians. I think we're erroneously considered similar simply because we share economic and political ties.

One great study is found in Michael Adams' book Fire and Ice: The United States, Canada and the Myth of Converging Values. You might know Adams as the Environics guy. He's spent decades interviewing and surveying people on personal values and he's been mapping them long the way. In this book he compares Canadian values to American values.

What you see is quite interesting. Have a look at the matrix below:


The green dot more or less represents the shift in consensus values amongst Canadians from a more or less central position on the chart.

Americans, however, have shifted from the lower part of the top-right quadrant well into the bottom-left quadrant (from Authenticity & Responsibility to Exclusion & Intensity). All of this happened over the period of 1992-2000. I'm not sure if this trend continued, but it was a fairly marked shift. I'd be interested to see if the trending continued in the same direction over the last 10 years and whether they've become established in their respective quadrants/positions.

So what you have is this difference (generally) between Canadian values and American:

Canadians value fulfillment and individuality / idealism and autonomy / exploration and flexibility.

Americans value survival and individuality / exclusion and intensity / stimulus and attention.

If you want to know what all this means, exactly, I recommend reading the book. It's very interesting.

From this summary, however, you can see a cultural diversity of core values. It's a consensus/generalization, mind you, so this doesn't apply to all Canadians and all Americans, but it's a good snapshot of just how different we really are.

One particular example is the disparity between the values surrounding the statement: The father of family must be master in his own house. By 2000, 49% of the American respondents believed such a statement, while less than half that number of Canadian respondents (18%) believed such, and over the course of the 8 years (1992 to 2000), the trending showed that the percentage of American respondents was growing (from 42%), while the percentage of Canadian respondents was shrinking (from 26%).
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Old 05-26-2010, 08:52 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlatan View Post
I was aware of the a la carte program but from everything I hear, it's destined for failure due to over regulation. From what I understand, the whole reason street dogs are the only food available in Toronto is because public health hasn't green lit anything else. All of the dogs need to be purchased from licensed suppliers who are highly regulated. The meat is all pre-cooked and then bbq'd onsite.
It's a travesty that there aren't more options available.

Fit in with this this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru View Post
....One great study is found in Michael Adams' book Fire and Ice: The United States, Canada and the Myth of Converging Values.....Canadians value fulfillment and individuality / idealism and autonomy / exploration and flexibility.
Regulation is certainly not always bad, but it always closes out some options. You give up the freedom for the safety, right? Torontoans (Torontoites?? Torontese??) can feel properly protected against the hazards of street vendors.
Of course the government could always (after regulating the vendors to death) provide a government subsidy to keep them in business.

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Old 05-26-2010, 09:03 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Torontonians are protected from food borne pathogens by the Government of the Province of Ontario. It is the Ontario Ministry of Health that has created the regulations for food that has created issues with purveyors of street food, unpasteurized cheeses and sushi.

Torontonians just cry whenever they travel the world and see the vast array of street food available elsewhere. I know I did when I was last in Vietnam.

There are farmers that have staged protests to get the regulations changed so unpasteurized cheese can be offered in Ontario as they are allowed to do in Quebec (you have to love the French!).

The sushi thing happened when the idea was floated that sushi should be frozen to prevent bacteria, etc. You don't want to mess with good sushi chefs. Their knives are very sharp. This regulation fell by the wayside before it was put into effect thanks to public ridicule of the idea.
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Old 05-26-2010, 10:47 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dlish View Post
as an Australian - it is compulsory for every person in the car to wear one. I ALWAYS wear one when im in the car as a front or rear passenger.
To add to this, the penalty for not wearing in NSW (the state where I live) is huge. You + 1 passenger not wearing = loss of licence + a significant fine.

Also they've recently upgrade laws relating to cars seats/capsules for children and babies, such that they have to be in compliant capsules/booster seats until 7 years of age/29kilos (whichever comes first, I think). It does make ferrying a bunch of kids around a pain in the arse (our car can really only fit two boosters, as they aren't allowed to ride in the front seat). But I think it is worth it.

Is my 'freedom' being impinged? Of course, but I'm not likely to raise a fuss about it.

---------- Post added at 04:47 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:42 PM ----------

RE Street Food. Pretty non-existent really, except at specific events. I'd guess the regulation thing is also a bit of a killer here too.

Regardless, there is just about always a shop open from which you can get food if you want it, regardless of the time of day.
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Old 05-27-2010, 02:41 AM   #30 (permalink)
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My dad's



My mom's



I grew up weird.


edit: and my bad on the epic meat fail... I'll tear up some chicken schwarma any day... yesterday, actually. Kebab is the devil.
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Old 05-27-2010, 04:44 AM   #31 (permalink)
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I think Grancey and I posted this before somewhere, but our friend who owns a couple of restaurants tells us that their code word for people who don't tip is "Canadians." Whenever any server gets a table full of people who are incredibly complicated, never satisfied, and likely to stiff the server, they all refer to them as "the table of Canadians." The implication is that since Canadians are notorious for not tipping well, then anybody else who doesn't tip is called "Canadian" no matter where they're from or what color they are.

We mentioned this to some other people who work at the Gulf Coast and deal with a lot of snowbird Canadians, and they all said, "Oh good God yes. They never, ever tip."

So, how is tipping in your culture? And what about this, my TFP Canadian brethren? Is this a fair derrogation?
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Old 05-27-2010, 04:51 AM   #32 (permalink)
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There's a whole thread on this question of tipping: http://www.tfproject.org/tfp/general...-tip-less.html
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Old 05-27-2010, 05:05 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru View Post
There's a whole thread on this question of tipping: http://www.tfproject.org/tfp/general...-tip-less.html
Yeah, thanks for the heads up. As I said, I'd already discussed this in a thread I created even before that one which can be found here: Do you take tipping seriously?

I just thought that since we weren't supposed to point out that earlier similar threads had already been done, it would be okay to bring that topic back into this newer thread that I created.
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Old 05-27-2010, 05:17 AM   #34 (permalink)
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I would wear a seatbelt regardless of regulation. As I would a motorcycle helmet and as I wear my seatbelt pretty well continuously while on an airplane. I just like being strapped in. Not sure what can be read into that, however, it just seems to be common sense. The odd time that I drive the car beltless, I get this anxious feeling and need to buckle up.

There is also financial incentive to use them as explained early by other Ontarians in the thread.

As far as street food goes, I always thought that it was ironic that the streetmeat in the form of dogs and sausages were the only foods available due to health concerns by the Ontario government. A healthy hot dog!

A typical hot dog cart in Toronto:



I do remember the days of plentyful carts which had heated chestnuts, popcorn and candy apples that (usually) older Italian men usually pushed around the streets of Toronto. I have only seen a few carts these days, near the museum or the Eaton Centre. I guess the tradition is dying off with the proprietors (older men) in favour of the blander hot dog cart. It was hard to find a picture of these chestnut vendors:



I should mention that almost every Canadian city has at least one chip truck, dispensing french fries from a vacant lot, a parking lot, or just parked at the curb (as is evident outside the city hall in Toronto). Nothing like a heap of fries and gravy or poutine from one of these if you have the munchies. Here's the blue chip truck that I always saw in front of the city hall:




I hope that street food starts to take off and become more diverse. I would love to be able to get donairs, shawarmas, funnel cakes, crepes, even dim sum if I could.

The strangest (to me) street food that I know of is deep fried tarantula that I saw on a documentary about Cambodia. Lovely women office workers purchasing a big juicy spider, battered lightly, deep fried and wrapped in a newspaper at a street corner. The entire transaction enacted from their car window at red light. Personally, I have had the pleasure of enjoying egg hoppers from a street vendor in Columbo Sri Lanka. To me this was as safe as local food got, plus it was tastey and cheap:




Now for the clothing of my parent's homelands:

My father:





My mother:





Tipping:

I hate it. I'm a skinflint. So I tip grudgingly, calculating the exact 15% of the pre-tax amount of my bill. Or I get my wife to do the duty so I don't grind my teeth while adding this surcharge to my already hefty dinner bill. Often, feeding a family of 5 at a restaurant is made easier at a Pho joint rather than a Boston Pizza or Keg and so tipping is easier. But man, do I hate the concept.



I have a question: How do folks around TFP make use of public libraries? I recently got an e-reader and am looking into 'borrowing' electronic versions of books. Looks like this is possible if I have a library card, which I do. There is a time limit on the borrow of about 21 days. The Toronto Public Library is quite expansive and our family makes extensive use of the p-books both for supplementing school work research - as teachers (rightly) insist on resources beyond the internet and wikipedia, and for novel reading. I know that as y ou progress on towards post secondary education, the use of public libraries dwindles in favour of the resources provided by one's university or college, but post graduation I have found that there is an uptake on the use of the public library's facilities.
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:08 AM   #35 (permalink)
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As a US resident, I hate tipping. I double the tax and that's it. I LOVED my trip to Japan because their prices have tax already calculated into them, and there is no tipping. Simple.

I am wondering about nudity in other countries. Could one get away with being nude? Here in NY, there are a couple nude beaches, but they are primarily gay hangouts. Women are allowed to be topless in the city, but NOBODY exercises this right (much to my dismay).
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:12 AM   #36 (permalink)
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As a US resident, I hate tipping. I double the tax and that's it.
See many of us in Canada, that would be 26 - 30%. Before the HST in Ontario came in, the common thing would be to tip at least the same amount in tax (which was 15% for the longest time before GST was reduced), maybe rounding up to the nearest dollar. The HST is 13%, but I'm not sure how the practice of tipping has changed since overall tax dropped from 15%.

Quote:
I am wondering about nudity in other countries. Could one get away with being nude? Here in NY, there are a couple nude beaches, but they are primarily gay hangouts. Women are allowed to be topless in the city, but NOBODY exercises this right (much to my dismay).
In Ontario? Women can be topless in outdoor public places. And there's one nude beach in Toronto that I know of.
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:58 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leto View Post
I have a question: How do folks around TFP make use of public libraries? I recently got an e-reader and am looking into 'borrowing' electronic versions of books. Looks like this is possible if I have a library card, which I do. There is a time limit on the borrow of about 21 days. The Toronto Public Library is quite expansive and our family makes extensive use of the p-books both for supplementing school work research - as teachers (rightly) insist on resources beyond the internet and wikipedia, and for novel reading. I know that as y ou progress on towards post secondary education, the use of public libraries dwindles in favour of the resources provided by one's university or college, but post graduation I have found that there is an uptake on the use of the public library's facilities.
I use my public library on a regular basis. I see it as free entertainment. Ours has a load of books, movies, magazines, video games, graphic novels, etc. I can also access language learning software via the library's website, as well as a bunch of other things (I haven't even fully explored the possibilities, to be honest!). I like that if I come across a book that appeals to me somewhere, I can log in to the library's website and put a hold on that book, and if it's in the library, it will be on the hold shelf for me within a couple of days.

The library in my community is very, very popular, even though we do have a top-notch university library in the community as well (and it is open to community members). The stacks of both contain very different things, although the university library does have a section of children's books.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Halx View Post
I am wondering about nudity in other countries. Could one get away with being nude? Here in NY, there are a couple nude beaches, but they are primarily gay hangouts. Women are allowed to be topless in the city, but NOBODY exercises this right (much to my dismay).
You don't have to go to other countries to be nude. The laws covering nudity vary widely from state to state. Here in Oregon, municipalities are allowed to set their own laws regarding nudity; until recently it was fair game for people to walk down the street in Ashland, OR nude. Now you must have your genitals covered downtown. The public indecency law states that you cannot be nude with the intent to "arouse the sexual desire of the person or another person".

We even have some official clothing-optional beaches: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collins...(Sauvie_Island)
Rooster Rock State Park - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As for the tipping: tipping in the United States would not be necessary if servers were paid a fair wage. I think many people who come from countries where servers are paid a fair wage underestimate the importance of tipping in certain states in the United States.
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:58 PM   #38 (permalink)
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here we have to use seat belts- the one serious crash I was in it was not a factor, but I do anyway, to avoid the fines- and my daughter is always properly secured into her car seat, as she is irreplaceable to me.... As to the earlier post about lebanon and its aversion to seat belts- I wonder if the large amount of violent conflict they have had is a contributing factor- when the bullets fly, getting out of the all too bullet permeable car in favor of better cover is always good, did it perhaps grow put of that? ..... I may well (likely) be reading way too much into this, but i am genuinely curious.....
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Old 05-29-2010, 05:13 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru View Post
There's a whole thread on this question of tipping: http://www.tfproject.org/tfp/general...-tip-less.html
Quote:
Originally Posted by warrrreagl View Post
Yeah, thanks for the heads up. As I said, I'd already discussed this in a thread I created even before that one which can be found here: Do you take tipping seriously?

I just thought that since we weren't supposed to point out that earlier similar threads had already been done, it would be okay to bring that topic back into this newer thread that I created.
The more I read this, the more it looks like the ravings of an asshole. Baraka Guru, you're one of the coolest people around here, and you didn't deserve this reply. I cry your pardon, Wordsmith.
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Old 05-29-2010, 05:11 PM   #40 (permalink)
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No worries. I wasn't implying that you couldn't/shouldn't discuss tipping here; I just wanted to point that thread out to you or anyone else who wanted to know how that discussion went.
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