One of the best parts of travel is noticing the differences. Here are some things that we have found of interest in Nova Scotia. (Some of these may be countrywide, but we discovered them while here in NS.)
Road signs in Cape Breton are in English and Gaelic.
Sales tax is 15%! But since high tax means everyone has health care, we don’t mind a bit.
The penny is gone. They really have done it. Change is now rounded up or down. (This is probably countrywide.)
Pedestrians have the right of way. I seem to only think about crossing the street and drivers gladly stop.
Moose also have right of way. (This is also probably countrywide.)
In the food store, you slice your own bread. Can you imagine food stores in the sue-crazy U.S. allowing people any where near a slicer?!
National Parks charge a day use fee even if you are camping there. So instead of $38.00 per night, you have to pay an additonal $6.80 per day per person fee (senior price). An angry resident here aptly called it “double dipping”.
Provincial Parks are cheaper than Ontario. Here a serviced site (usually with electric and water and sometimes a sewer hookup) costs $32.00, whereas in Ontario the price was $42.00. Private parks too seem to follow suit and are about the same price. An unserviced site is one with no amenities. However, unserviced sites are usually much more picturesque and closer to the beach.
Alcohol and beer are sold only in state run stores, called NSLC. But at least, unlike in PA, alcohol, wine and beer are all sold in the same store!
A Bloody Mary here is called a Caesar. Motts’ Caesar is delicious right out of the can or bottle!
The expression “if you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes” could have originated in Nova Scotia.
The Cape Bretonians have held onto their Scottish heritage more fiercely than the Scots.
They still use pounds and ounces but understand kilos and grams, so you can order 1/4 lb of meat and be understood.
There is no “American” cheese.
Some people here call French toast “eggy bread”. A by-product of Franco-Anglo dissension, sort of like the U.S. Congress banning the term “French Fries” when the French vetoed the war on Iraq.
Donair is a pressed meat usually cut from a large hanging slab, like meat for a gyro.
McDonald’s sells a “McLobster”!
There has been no ferry service between Bar Harbor, Maine and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia since 2009. Good news! Ferry service will start again in May, 2014, between Portland, Maine and Yarmouth. (Poor New Brunswick who already thinks of itself only as a shortcut to Nova Scotia.)
A favorite Nova Scotian food is, understandably,
Nova Scotians are extremely friendly and always have time to help out a stranger. It was reminiscent of the U.S. in the 1950’s.