вторник, 19 апреля 2011 г.

Differences between Toronto and my hometown. In English

1.      Care of nature and resources.
In Russia people and government treat natural resource as endless and worthless. Most people live the way that after them there will be no generation, no life. Canada has approximately the same rich reserves of water, wood, minerals, but spends it thriftily.
2.      Ecology.
In Canada tap water is drinkable.
Ecological situation in several Russian cities consider being dangerous. In my industrial region some lakes are forbidden for swimming. There is ecological rating of Russian provinces. Ecologists count correlation of positive and negative indicators. They take into account economic development and it influence on ecology. There are 83 provinces. In 2010 there are only 47 provinces, which have positive balance, i.e. they have more positive indicators than negative. Only 7 provinces have neutral balance. So, 29 provinces are under ecological standards. My native province is the second last in that list and has 34\66. The cleanest province has 67\33. The cleanest provinces have no industry, they more clean, but more poor.
3.      Smoking.
It seems that Canadians smoke little.
In Russia smoking is still allowed in public places. The most annoying thing is feel smoke while dining in the restaurant and enter in the elevator where someone has just smoked.
4.      Middle class.
The percentage of middle class in Russia is extremely low. I can even say, there is no middle class in Russia. 90 per cent of cash incomes belong to 15 per cent on Russian. They are rich people. Other 10 per cent of cash income shares 85 per cent of citizen. The difference between the average income of 10 per cent of the richest and 10 per cent of the poorest increases annually and in 2010 it deems to be 20 times. In large cities such as Moscow it is about 50 times. The worse thing is that those, who get the sky-high incomes, doesn’t create and work in high tech industries with high labor productivity (efficiency), but extract and sell abroad mineral resources and produce oil. Apparently, there would be 60 per cent of middle class for normal developing of the country.
5.      Salary.
In Russia we operate with month salary and plant all our costs according to the month income. In Canada this is an annual salary.
6.      Rental apartment.
There is strong dividing between apartment buildings in Toronto. Whole building is for rent or whole house is for sell. In Russia there is no apartment building specialized on rent. Tenants and owners live in the same building.
7.      How to rent an apartment.
In Canada most of people rent their apartment or houses from Rental Company, whole building belongs to one single company. In Russia generally tenants find an apartment through the network of friends, relatives, acquaintances and colleges. Majority of people doesn’t trust to real estate’s company. They can just take money and don’t find an apartment or do that for a long time. Also an apartment holder should be 100 percent sure in his tenant. Tenant pays his rent every month and there is no obligation to rent at least 1 year. You can guess that this private apartment holder doesn’t pay any tax. This is his net effective income or just money.
8.      Education: academic vs social oriented.
In Canada social oriented education system helps child to communicate and find the most appropriate career way or his own place in that world.
Till recent years Russians believed that Russian education is one of the best in the world. It is classical academic education. We were very proud that our children after finishing college know a lot, sometimes even more than a Bachelor’s degree foreign student. Russian students were encouraged to know something in different sciences. For developing social skills there was no time. However, rich parents used to send and still send their children abroad: Great Britain (in the first place), France, Australia, Germany.
9.      Street parking.
In Canada you can hardy find a free street parking.
In my native city and I suppose in other Russian cities there is no payable street parking. Whether street parking is prohibited or you can park your car free.
10.   Say “Sorry” and “Please”.
In Russia people almost never say “Sorry” when they bumping into each other or prevent other person from coming. In big narrow city there is no point to say “Sorry” every time, it’s exhausting. The same with “Please”. In my city people say “Please” much more rarely than in Toronto.
11.   Smile.
In Toronto I still can’t get used to smiling without any purpose, even to oncoming person. In Russia smiley person considered to be insincere or a little bit crazy or in love.
12.  Food expire date.
In Toronto there is only expire date on food. In Russia there are expire date and date of production. I suppose, consumer may know how fresh food he buys.
13.   Fast-food.
In comparison with Toronto, in my native city there is no fast-food. For megalopolis with population more than 1 mln people there are only 3 McDonalds (which are situated far from downtown), couple of Subways and some domestic fast-food restaurants. In general, Russians prefer proper meal.
14.   Standard of dress.
Toronto’s style is casual, modest and sometimes slipshod (careless).
In Russia the way you look is very important. Even people with low salary like and know how to dress elegant. As a matter of fact, sometimes it might be ridiculous. Imagine subway at rush hours when everybody elbows. There are a lot of Russian women in expensive fur coats. What is more ridiculous, some of women buy their luxury fur coats using “buy now, pay later” plan, because these fur coats cost 3-4 times more than their monthly salary. Another example. Majority of girls and women have every winter torture wearing high heels boots. The roads become one endless snowdrift or black ice. The winter in fact lasts 5 months; there is no point to remove the snow. It is considered spring’s duty. Some girls admitted that they feel naked if they leave the house without make-up. 
15.   Annual vacation.
As I know an average annual vacation in Canada lasts 2 weeks. In Russia there are 28 calendar days. I used to have a vacation and travel for 1 month and really liked it.
16.  Driving license.
According to official information, in Ontario the two-step licensing system takes at least 20 months to complete and includes two road tests. In Russia you attend driving school and in class learn the signs and the rules of the road. It takes 2 months. After that you start to drive with the instructor. It takes only 32 hours. This is considered to be enough although new driver get only basic driving skills. During one day the new driver passes rule’s exam and driving test in police. If it is successful, you become full-licensing driver and can drive everywhere. Only a few people pass their drive test from the first attempt, majority does that three times.
17.  House’s and apartment’s doors.
In Toronto house has one wooden door. Only some houses fence around. And bushes near the house standing very close to sidewalk are decorated. Our apartment door is wooden and quite thin and has rather weak door lock.
In my native city every apartment has iron (steel) door, sometimes two doors: inner door is wooden, outside door is iron. The private houses fence around with high fence protected from strange look.

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