Friday, 16 October 2009

On the confusion of domicile, origin and destination at least in Canada

One of the questions a touring cyclist often gets asked is "Where are you from?" While one's own country, this often has double meaning as there is often an implicit, "Where did you start?" implied in the query. I didn't notice this on my trip to Newfoundland as the two questions had the same answer, at least to a degree.

However, on my last trip, the answers were very different and were also antipodal: I am "from" Montreal but I had come from Victoria. I quickly learned that in order to avoid confusion, I had to respond to the initial question with "I am from Montreal, but I started in Victoria." This led to a further bit of potential confusion as some assumed I was going all the way home by bike. I had to add I was "only" going as far as Calgary.

It doesn't help that despite the fact that Canada has a lot of North to South distance, mentally it is thought of as being something of an East-West line, or in the case of my trip, West-East line. Thus if you mention two or more points on that "line", then the assumption is that you will travel between all the points. This is different from our neighbour to the South where not only is a Nouth-South jaunt more of a mental probability, there are many other possibilities. A biker (not a cyclist) I met on the ferry to Newfoundland was talking about how he had ridden the coastline of the continental states, something that you can't do with Canada. Heck, if you wanted to do that with a province, you would be pretty much limited to the Maritime Provinces!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Susan and Hugh Are toying with the idea of biking from Milan to Genoa and down the coast towards Pisa, where the tower isa strait up ana down, as is well known. Have you come across any GOOD blogs dealing with such a randonnee?