Thursday, January 05, 2012

something you notice when you go back: calgary is full of trucks

While I don't like to propagate the vision of Alberta as a western hick place full of cowboys...some of it is true. I did indeed see a man in full cowboy gear- boots, pants, hat, and buckle - just walking down the street. But that doesn't happen too often (unless you're taking an early flight to from Calgary to Edmonton at the airport- for some reason you see a lot of belt buckles there) because in general, Calgary is a lot like most cities in Canada. Here's where Calgary differs from most major Canadian cities: the TRUCKS. Large vehicles are common, but the trucks are everywhere. And not just for cowboys.

A few days into my visit "home", I tweeted the following:

We were in a Subaru Forester, which is not small, and we were the smallest vehicle at the intersection. As someone who normally drives a VW Golf, it was a little odd to feel so small in something so big.


It was really quite notable to see that many trucks on the road. It isn't something I'm used to here and isn't something we saw in Ottawa either. I'm told that the price of trucks is one of the reasons you see so many of them in Alberta. If you're looking for something large that isn't a minivan, a big truck with the big cab is about half the price (with similar features) of an SUV.  Sure, you may never USE the bed of your truck (except for when you go to IKEA or your friends with a Golf need help moving a couch), but you buy it because it is cheaper than the alternative.

Also cheap in Alberta? Gas. They were getting all up in arms about it going up to $1.07 per litre while we were there. The price of gas in Montreal when we got back? $1.32. $1.37 (as of 12:00 PM on January 5th)

Yeah- not having a place to park a giant truck isn't the only reason you don't see them as much around here. Filling our Golf is more expensive here than filling you Hummer (and yes, we saw a few of them) back in Calgary...
this has nothing to do with the post except that it was taken in Calgary- and i love and miss the Calgary skies.
If you've moved away- what is something you notice when you go back "home"? If you haven't- what have you noticed when you've visited other cities?

5 comments:

runforwine.net said...

When I moved to Virginia Beach the first thing I noticed was how many fender benders there were. EVERY morning on my way to school I saw at least one. It was crazy. But it makes sense because the people there have this, "get out of my way my life is way more important than yours" mentality. The kicker is when I moved back to Washington (where drivers are very considerate - too considerate actually) I got road rage. Now I still get very easily annoyed. It's something I haven't been able to shake after 4 years.

Kelsey said...

I agree with you. One thing I would add (yeah I am biased) and I do feel like Calgarians are quite friendly compared to other cities. In Van, when we say "hi" to people on the street the look at their shoes and walk faster.

And heck yeah gas is so cheap in Alberta!

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

Fort St. John isn't an Alberta town but it might as well be. Trucks trucks everywhere! I ALWAYS notice that when I go home to FSJ now that I'm used to living in southern BC where there are a lot more small vehicles. When my Dad comes down to visit in his giant Ford dually he takes up two guest parking spots in our townhouse complex :P

Leigh said...

Haha that is so true about how many trucks are in Calgary! I never noticed until I moved here...Edmonton is just as bad too. Do know what else Alberta has a lot of? Rock chips in their windows!

Nicole @ "Haute Runner" said...

I never knew that a truck costs less than an SUV... I probably still wouldn't buy one unless I actually needed the bed for something. My dad totally thinks that every family needs a truck...

Calgary does have the best sky. Even in this ridiculously cold weather the sky is so blue and pretty.