Since we moved to Canada I have been noticing many things that are completely different when compared to Brazil. I decided to elaborate a list called “One Thousand Things: Everything that is different in Canada”.
First I though about writing a single post, but I noticed it would become too long as almost everything in Canada is different from Brazil. There are cultural differences, practical differences, food differences, etiquette differences and so on…
I will be wiring the topics in single posts and I will be keeping a list containing the themes, so it will be easier for the readers to look for a particular subject. The list isn’t written in any particular order.
I write a new post (topic) as soon as something catches my attention.
Ambulances in Canada arrive fast, really fast. In Brazil an ambulance can take “ages” to arrive. It’s the same for firefighters.
Ambulances arrive fast in Canada because of these main reasons:
- There are laws stating that all cars must keep the road clear as soon as a siren is listened. The driver is expected to move his car to the sides of the road and stop, making room for the emergency vehicles. The drivers coming on the opposite direction must do the same.
- All drivers obey the above rule
- No one can driving close behind to an emergency vehicle. If the vehicle belongs to the firefighters, the distance must be 150 meters.
- Mainly because people in Canada are well educated and everybody knows that essential services are what its name states: Essential. So… everyone respects them and everyone respects the law.
In Brazil drivers listen to sirens but they pretend they don’t. Most drivers don’t care about making room for emergency vehicles.
It’s common to see people driving “anywhere” on the road, as most don’t have painted lines helping drivers to keep driving in the proper lane. When in Brazil the roads have painted lanes, most of the drivers don’t care about them and they drive anywhere.
Another common thing in Brazil is to watch people driving as close as possible to the ambulance’s rears, in order to try moving faster during traffic jams. They even have an expression for this “pegar vácuo”, meaning stay as close as possible to an emergency vehicle, like driving in it’s vacuum, an expression I think comes from Formula 1. This is illegal driving, but it happens daily and no one cares.
If you have an accident in Brazil, be aware that rescue service can take long, specially if it is an ambulance from a public hospital. Same for firefighters: It’s common to read on the news about apartments (even in the wealthiest regions) being totally destroyed by fire because emergency vehicles took more than 40 minutes to arrive at the fire scene.
People who arrive in Canada as tourists or Permanent Residents are pleasant surprised when they get here and notice that in case of an emergency, all services are fast and efficient.