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Wind and sky in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

I don’t know why they call this place Moose Jaw but they do. I haven’t asked though. Maybe I should ask the waitress the next time she comes to refill my coffee – I’m on the third cup now.

Today I cycled from Regina, only 72km away but it was tough going due to a strong South-Westerly wind. Even though for the past few weeks, ever since Kenora, Ontario, it has been almost totally flat, the wind has been a problem. As someone said to me today, that’s what we have here, wind and sky. There is certainly a lot of sky but that doesn’t bother me. The wind does. I’ve had one day in the past week when the wind was behind me, and it made a big difference.

I can’t remember if I’ve said all this before or not. It feels like I have.

The waitress says that it’s called Moose Jaw because the river that runs through the town is in the shape of a moose’s jaw.

Fourth cup.

One of the good things about Canada is the bottomless cups of coffee. It’s very weak coffee though.

What other good things are there about Canada? The people. Very friendly, very chatty and very laid back – I’ve hardly ever seen a Canadian angry. Maybe I should try provoking them a bit. A barman in Montreal got a bit angry with me for not tipping him when he poured me a beer – which is one of the bad things about Canada. If they ask for $5 for a beer but really they want you to pay $5.50 or $6 why don’t they just put the price up and charge what they want to be paid? I never know when to tip and when not to and it makes me feel when people are being nice are they just doing it in the hope of getting a good tip?

I think mostly they are being nice because that’s the way they are and I’m probably being too cynical, but I don’t like tipping when people are just doing their job. If they want more money they should go on strike.

Another bad thing is the cars, and pickup trucks, and trucks. Too many of them. And the assumtion that everyone drives. Distances measured not in miles or kilometers but in how many hours it takes to drive there, though I’ve gotten used to that, so now when they say it’s about an hour’s drive I know that means a day on the bike.

And when I check into campsites the forms always ask for my licence plate number, even when I’m wearing cycling shorts.

It’s easier to be critical than to say good things. The main good thing has to be the people though, and that outweighs all of the bad things.