Yesterday I had an appointment in Calgary Alberta. Calgary is 147 km (95 mi) away so it's no big trip but for me it is a big deal.
Calgary has a little over 1.3 million people. For me that's a huge city but some of you will smile and some will scoff when I think that a city with this population is huge. When I came here in 1969 the population was not quite 300 000 so it's grown over the years. We used to go to Calgary 2 or 3 times a year. When our daughter lived there we went more than 2 or thee time a year. Since our daughter moved we rarely go to Calgary so we are not used to it. Calgary seems like a sprawling busy city with large industrial areas and many ugly malls.
The highway to Calgary is a 4 lane divided highway but traffic is extremely heavy. There are many large trucks. The are also light trucks and they think they're big, so traffic an sometimes be chaotic. I saw one guy with an old beater of a motor home with a boat behind it and he floored the motor home and stayed in the left lane!
I found the appointment location. It's in a mile long area with malls on both sides of the street. Malls and mall buildings are absolutely ugly. There were huge parking lots and very few empty stalls. I realized later that it was a Ctrain station so commuters parked their cars there.
Now one thing I wasn't prepared for is to find 90% of the people in the mall were Asians.We tried to ask for directions a few times and they did not speak English. So I was surprised at the density of Asians.
Part of getting out of the city is the dreaded Deer Foot Trail. It's a freeway with a speed limit of 110 kmph but everybody is doing 130. Except in rush hour the traffic can stop and stop and go. It's a mean piece of road.
To add to an interesting situation a strong thunderstorm rolled in. First, there was dust then heavy rain and the visibility was poor.
So you can imagine this little old man finding his way through a busy town that has grown so much that he doesn't recognize much of it anymore. I know the solution is go there and keep up with the times.