Posted by: bkivey | 22 September 2015

Canada Vacation Pt. 4

17 September 2015

Grey and wet, but not unexpected.

I turned the car in, and enquired about the gas discrepancy.  The manager didn’t seem concerned. They could check the mileage, and I had the gas receipt. Sort of a non-issue.

Interesting note. Canada is a metric country, but they advertise ‘unlimited mileage’ on rental cars. I suppose ‘unlimited kilomeratage’ is unwieldy.

One of the agents was assigned to drive me to the airport. I asked her if she was a native, and she said she was born in India, but her family had moved to Vancouver when she was eight. I asked her what her favorite (favourite?) thing was about Vancouver, and she said the liberal mores.  I’ve heard this from other Indians concerning Western society. Progressives, take note. You’re destroying the very thing you purport to support.

A word about Canadian airport security, and something I noticed about the country in general: they’re more pragmatic than Americans. You keep your shoes and belt and light coat on, don’t empty your pockets, and you only put your luggage on the scanner track. They don’t have million -dollar millimeter scanners, yet manage to provide a reasonable level of screening. I asked an agent if they’d like to take over American airport security.

I’d had to check my bag; something that wasn’t a problem on the first flight. Another C$25.  The Canada Air seat lottery put me on the window.  After an uneventful flight, I disembarked and headed for baggage claim. My bag had not made the same flight.. And it wasn’t the only one. There was another passenger fruitlessly looking for her baggage. Off to the claims counter, where I was told that a courier would bring the bag to the hotel when (if) it showed up. I asked to have the baggage fee waived, seeing how I did not, in fact, have my luggage. I was told that the baggage fee had nothing to do with service. Oh no, I explained, when I’m paying for something, the provider is held to a higher standard., not to mention that I could well be out several hundred dollars to replace the items in the bag. Well, she couldn’t do anything about that. I asked for the name and number of someone who could.

Off to get the car, which surprisingly went smoothly.

At the hotel I discovered that Expedia had sent duplicate reservations. This was a problem. On the phone to the bank and Expedia (US and Canada). One reservation was non-existent as far as Expedia was concerned, and my card had only been charged for one reservation. Another hour + on the phone. Goodness gracious, was there no end to these troubles?

All parties concerned agreed to ignore the one reservation Expedia couldn’t find. As long as I wasn’t charged for two rooms, that was fine, but still a lot of valuable vacation time on the phone. Got to the room:

Calgary hotel room

This room was also C$70 per night. Compare to the room in Vancouver. This hotel is directly across from a light rail stop, and the CFL Stampeders stadium is right behind it, so very conveniently located. There’s a small strip mall with restaurants and liquor store in easy walking distance. I didn’t know any of this when I booked, so a fortuitous coincidence.

It was late afternoon by this time, and I’d asked the desk agent what cuisine Calgary was famous for. They said steaks, but given the events on the week, that was a bit beyond me. They’d also recommended a BBQ joint within walking distance. I was skeptical that Canadians could do BBQ, but thought I’d give it a shot.

Outside the restaurant was more evidence that this wasn’t the US:

Canadian paper box

The BBQ was actually pretty good, and their hush puppies could teach some Americans a thing or two. Went back to the room to return customer calls, then off to the Best Western hotel bar (the only ‘sports’ bar in walking distance) to watch some football. The bartender was a Calgary native, and said her favorite thing about the city was the riverfront parks.

Got back to the hotel, and found that my missing luggage had been delivered. Well hoo-effing-ray.




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