A Few Observations About Winnipeg

So I’m in the ‘Peg for a couple of days, and I thought I’d run down a few things that I’ve noticed and or seen while here.
The Red River
This is literally outside my door.  The hotel that I’m at is less than fifty steps from the Red River, which is all fine and dandy right now, but during flood season…well who knows?  Then again, I’m not here during flood season, as evidenced by the fact that I walked down to the banks (which in reality is just a shallow slope into the waters) and stood for a minute or two next to the quiet, stoic peacefulness of one of the nation’s iconic rivers.  As if through fate (but more likely through their sheer population density around here it seems) a group of ten or twelve Canada Geese paddled by.  It was nice and rather tranquil, so I lingered until they got up and flew a scant twenty feet over my head.
Related to the above point, there is an embarrassment of riches in the area as it pertains to waterfowl.  I’ve seen as many ducks and geese in two days here than I had in the past month in Cambridge.  Not surprising since I’m only about an hour or so away from Oak Hammock Marsh and some other prime wetlands that are (in a good way) basically duck factories.  Really makes me want to get out and get after them in a couple of week’s time.  SO that’s what I’ll do when the season opens.
Pizza Hotline
Apparently, so I’ve been told, if you dial 222-2222 here in town you get yourself connected to some kind of pizza-ordering hub.  I haven’t tried it but it is certainly tempting…and it sounds ingenious.
Wow…being here makes me feel like some kind of boorish urbanite.  You know what the speed limit is here?  70km/h in most places.  You know what everyone drives?  The speed limit.  It is disconcertingly refreshing.  I have not been cut-off, flipped-off, or tailgated once in two days.  I can’t go twelve-and-a-half minutes in Toronto (or Kitchener, for that matter) without two of those three things happening.  You could learn a lesson Ontario!  The hotel staff were actually apologetic that the spot I parked in wasn’t closer to the entryway.  I got in here at 9pm!  If this were Mississauga, I’d have had a better chance of finding a parking spot on the moon at a hotel that late.  I have an instant love for Winnipeg’ers.
Everyone I’ve talked to here has a “close call with a whitetail” story.  I guess they just kind of hang out around the outskirts of town here and hurl themselves at cars.  They are like the Steve-O’s of Manitoba (wow, what an obscure and dated reference…)
Cheap Gas
This alone is almost enough to make me move out here permanently.  Now ‘cheap’ is a relative term, I know, and yes it is a sad, sad, unbelievably sad state of affairs when I comment that $1.12/litre is a bargain, but that is a full seventeen cents cheaper than it is every day in Cambridge.  And that is the price of gas out here.  I nearly defecated myself with joy when I saw that price.  I can’t even do the conversion for any of my American readers but trust me, when you live where I do…this is cheap gas.  And they even pump it for you with no premium!  Full serve and self-serve cost exactly the same (at least at the station I popped into)…Unheard of!
Of course there is so much more that Winnipeg could offer, but I’m only here for a couple of days.  When I’m back, I’ll post on some further thoughts.

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