Canada and Denmark inhabit disparate worlds. Such is to be expected on an exchange; totally different cultures and beliefs. And most of the time I am able to adequately explain my culture to the unfamiliar Danes. “why do you drive everywhere? Why can’t you take the bus?” Well, Canada is massive. Public transport isn’t feasible for most of the country. “You’re from Canada, why don’t you speak French?” For the same reason you don’t. I live just as far from French Canada as you do from French Europe.
But there is one aspect of Canada I cannot defend or explain to a Dane. And that aspect is our hybrid measurement system…
See, Canada is a metric nation, for all intents and purposes we are like most other nations. And perhaps I don’t speak for all of Canada, but where I live, we use metric and imperial in a 50/50 split. If you asked me how tall the CN Tower in Toronto is I could tell you in meters. If you asked the cruising altitude of an airplane I’d tell you in feet. If you inquired how tall I am I’d reply with feet and inches in a heartbeat. Want me to cook dinner? Sure, the water boils at 100 Celsius but the oven will be set to 350 Fahrenheit and I’ll certainly be measuring my ingredients with tablespoons and cups. Want to ask a Canadian the temperature? You’ll get it in Celsius. But, ask a Canadian how much they weigh and you’ll get it in pounds. I’ll pump my gas and measure it with litres, but when I buy a coke it’s in a 16 ounce bottle (591mL). Making things even weirder, when asking a Canadian how far away a city/town is, you’re likely to get a response in minutes and hours, not kilometres.
Why do we do all this? Why don’t we pick a system and commit to it? Who knows, maybe we’re just a little stubborn 😉