One last selfie
We rose this morning at 5:50am, packed the car and hit the road just before 6:30am. Last night, Alison had said "I know it's early, but don't worry, I'll drive first and you can sleep some more." But as we approached the car, she headed for the passenger side. She quietly muttered something that I don't recall verbatim, but it was something along the lines of either "You're not too sleepy to drive, are you?" or "You don't need me to drive, do you?" or some other half-hearted, please-oh-please-don't-say-yes question. I smiled and assured her that I was ready and willing to drive, and she assured me that she was my "Wing Girl" and would provide plenty of food and conversation during our drive.
We drove from Boston to Scranton on I-84, then south to Lexington on I-81, successfully avoiding I-95 completely. It was heavenly. We stopped three times to replenish the gas tank and the snack bag, and a brisk 11 hours and 2 minutes after we left, we pulled into our driveway in Lexington. At our last stop, Alison surprised me with a pint of peanut-butter-and-fudge ice cream, which proved to be a delicious end to our 5-6 week adventure.
Canada is a remarkably civilized place and stands in stark contrast to our own country. I've thought a lot about what the differences are that make Canada so much, well... better. I've come up with three:
#1: More space
Canada is the same size as the United States, but with 1/10th of the population. That yields a population density only 10% of ours. The additional elbow room provides peace of mind.
#2: Smaller population
Canada has a population of 35 million, less than that of California. I firmly believe that there is a maximum population that can be properly served by any national government, regardless of whether that government is democratic or autocratic, liberal or conservative, and that maximum population is around 50-75 million. Any country bigger than that is "too big to succeed/govern."
#3: Colder weather
Hot weather inflames tempers, and it's cold for most of the year in most of Canada. Think of the countries that are firmly northern -- Canada, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland -- and they are all immensely peaceful and civilized places to live.
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