Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Alaska -- Day 27

Today John is still sick, so we stayed another day in Prince George. We have discovered a leak in our bedroom slide, so we visited Happy Trails RV to get some calking. Hopefully, no more water will get in. We also looked for a new electric fireplace. Ours has been turning off for no reason. No luck.

Living year-round in our house on wheels, we are accustomed to all the conveniences of home (except a garbage disposal or dishwasher, of course). When we were recreational RVers, we traveled knowing we were leaving those conveniences at home. Now we expect them wherever we go. We don’t travel to “get away from it all.” We know lots of full-time RVers who do like to get away from it all, boon docking without power or other hookups for days at a time. But not us.

However, traveling to Canada is not like most of our trips. First of all, Dish Network doesn’t broadcast its satellite TV outside the US. Also, our Verizon broadband card charges $25 for 100mb of internet, compared to $80 for 10G in the US.

All this means we have to adjust and we are finding that a challenge. John recorded lots of programs on our DVR to watch while we are here. We expected we would keep up on the news via internet. But we have been depending on free wifi, so we don’t get much news. And we can’t do all we usually do on the computer, like reading blogs and doing research about anything that crops up. It has become our library and encyclopedia.

We’ll see how we adjust. And whether we decide it is less expensive to pay for internet on the broadband card or for food when we use wifi in a restaurant. One day it cost $4 for coffee and $3 for wifi. Right now we are in a commercial RV park with free wifi and we are loving it.

Obviously, the US is behind the times in a couple of ways. Many, if not most, of the credit cards in Canada have a computer chip so the user just taps the card on a machine. I have heard of that technology, but had never seen it in operation. We have to keep telling clerks, “We don’t have a chip.” Then we swipe the card like normal for us.

Also, with the exception of the US, most of the world is on the metric system. I find my math and calculator skills are getting a work out as I convert liters to gallons, kilometers to miles and temperatures Celsius to Fahrenheit. John remarked that he doesn’t know where to park. The sign tells him not to park within 4.5 meters of the trash dumpster. By the time he figures out where that is, he will be run over by the trash truck or will be blocking traffic.

The speed is in kilometers not miles-per-hour; so John uses the GPS to determine the speed he is traveling. That works well. However, when our GPS says we are to turn in 450 meters that comes up too fast for me to calculate. The good thing is we are beginning to get a sense of the distances involved.

At our age of 69, this calls for a lot of patience and adjustment.

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