Culture Shock Canada: 6 Things You Won’t In The United States

Milk in a bag - Canada Style

Milk in a bag – Canada Style

Milk in a bag

Although extremely common in some countries around the world including Argentina and Canada, this would be more than weird in the United States.  I have lived in the states for some time and I even find this a little weird.  I have scoured the pages of Wikipedia and consulted with milk bag professionals of the world but unfortunately still have not found the answer to this perplexing situation.   What’s my humble opinion you ask? It’s cheaper to package in a bag than a carton or plastic.


pepproni pizza, montreal syle pizza, montreal pizza

Montreal Style Pepperoni Pizza

Montreal Style Pizza

What American would possibly ingest a pizza named after a city in Canada? That’s preposterous!  If anyone knows Pizza outside of Italy its Americans.   Its only the best food in the world right?  I actually got into a fight with the owner of a restaurant because I didn’t have any pepperoni in my pizza!  Montreal style pizza means that the toppings are under the cheese instead of being on top.  This means nothing to you… I know this (pause).  With the cheese being on top there is actually more of it (pause).  I rest my case.


Canada Garbage Bin, Canada recycle

Notice the 2 recycle holes and 1 garbage hole


I know this may seem foreign to some of my American readers.  Most Americans are too lazy to recycle (guilty as charged) or we dont want to make the extra effort (guilty again).  In Canada they dont “have the option of recycling” or “may recycle”.  Recycling and energy conservation are part of their religion, sorry I mean daily part of life.   Notice how there are two holes for recycling and only one for garbage in the picture above.  Every single restaurant that I have eaten has has the same style garbage bins.  The apartment where I am staying the 3 garbage cans are dwarfed by the 20 recycling bins.  And dont dare disrespect a Canadian by not recycling.  I got caught more than once as I was checking everything off my things to do in Canada list!



It was about 2am in a discoteque on the northern end of Toronto and my buzz was wicked (Toronto slang for awesome).  While I was meeting new people and avoiding the weirdos, a wicked (get it yet?) salsa song came on and I was ready to dance.  I turned and there was a Chinese man dancing some of the best salsa I have ever seen.  I couldn’t look away similar to when you see a bad accident or when two guys kiss in public (was that too much?) .  When you see a Chinese man dancing salsa you know the American Dynasty is over.  All this talk about China now being the 2nd largest economy in the world means nothing but I digress.  I even got hit with culture shock in Toronto when I first arrived in the city


Speaking French

We have Spanish, Ebonics, Texan, Floridian and even English!  But French?  America is similar in a way that in parts of Miami and Los Angeles you have to speak Spanish to get around.  Make a wrong turn in New York Chinatown and you will get lost and don’t bother asking for directions because they all speak Chinese not English.  But French?  The “frenchest” American’s get is French fries.  Amen Mcdonalds, Amen.


Safety in the Projects

The Projects, the ghetto, the hood.  Whatever you want you want to call it in the United States you stay as far as possible from it; you don’t drive near it, walk by it, prance through it, or go for kicks and giggles.  In America the projects are dangerous unless of course your gangster like Snoop Dogg.  The projects in Canada? Not so much.  It reminds me of the group of middle school kids that try to form a gang but all they do make loud noises with their superman lunch boxes.  Although there were riots and earthquakes in the first week I arrived in Toronto, I only got fireworks thrown at me and saw nudity in my first experience in the Canadian projects. (story coming soon shameless plug I know).

Check out our top 5 section for things to do in Canada and around the world!


  1. I'm Canadian and had no idea it was called Montreal Style Pizza because in Montreal they also put it on top, on the East Coast however, it's always underneath – which is how I prefer it

    1. I am from Montreal 30 years ago and the toppings were always under unless you went to the new pizza franchises from the US.

  2. I Loved this article!

    Lol had a bit of a laugh at the projects bit. We have that in RSA as well,where the news will report what a terribly dangerous country we are, meanwhile we spend half out time walking around the streets at nights, hosting events, get together, night clubs, social interactions, street children feeding projects etc.

    We love being out at night alone or together. Obviously safety in numbers but, as you call them Projects we call them Rural Areas or Dodgy Spots and those you stay CLEAR away from, unless you’re actually seeking out danger.

    Milk in a bag? We’ve had that in RSA forever. Love it and its FAR cheaper than carton milk. In fact, I am not sure what conversion rate/currency you’re working on, but a carton costs R23.00 for a 2 litre Milk, where as I can buy 2 liters in a bag for R16.00 or so.

    When it comes to recycling, I do believe there are more corporate companies and industrial factories that recycle compared to individual private households, which is a great to hear people taking responsibility in the work place, but sad that as individuals we’re not so on top of it.

    Interesting post, I look forward to reading more. 🙂

  3. Back in the ’70s and early 80s, there was a dairy near Lancaster, PA that sold bagged milk. It was genius, but I don’t think they sell it that way anymore. I have lived in several other states, including Wisconsin and have never seen bagged milk again.

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