Alberta Through the Eyes of a Visitor

It has been a while since I wrote a blog post. There were many topics and events I could have blogged about, but the chances were few readers would have been interested.

I hope all of you had an interesting and enjoyable summer! This summer will be memorable for me because of the vast amount of time I spent watering(did I plant too much?) and our visitor from Trinidad.

My husband’s cousin had never been to Western Canada. She spent 10 days with us, and I played tour guide, taking her to the sights of Alberta. We had a lot of fun together. The conclusion I drew from her visit was very humbling. We citizens of Alberta have a lot to be grateful for and proud of! The everyday things we take for granted are not lost on a visitor. She remarked on the clean and wide streets and logical layout of the highways. She noticed how everyone she met was so friendly and welcoming compared to the only other part of Canada she has visited.

While she was here we went shopping a few times. Now some of you probably know shopping is not one of my favorite activities. My goal when shopping is to spend the least amount of time in the store, focusing with laser precision only on the items I need. For instance, we went to Dollarama(the only dollar store I go to). Usually I make a beeline for the bags of dirt and try to get out the door in under 5 minutes. But she got a cart! So I was forced to browse, and actually got an education on what Dollarama sells. And I learned another humbling lesson. She wanted to spend and shop in Alberta because the other provinces she would be visiting had sales taxes. Not only that when she calculated the conversion from Canadian to Trinidad dollars she found the prices here to be very reasonable. And I was shocked at what she would have to pay for those items in her home country.

Which brings me to the lesson I learned. Sometimes I grumble at what I consider to be inflation creep or companies that have expensive prices. However, what we pay in Alberta is less than prices in other parts of Canada or elsewhere. I should never take my buying power for granted and use it carefully as she did.

Here is an anecdote on how prices involve a lot of perception and comparison. Before she came I found out from a friend that the gondola ride in Banff was a must see and cost $35 which at the time we agreed was pricy. The day before we planned to take her in August the website was giving the price as a minimum of $56 and a maximum of $62. That made $35 seem reasonable, in comparison. But was it? We decided not to go. This is why in restaurants the second most expensive item is the most sold, because people use the most expensive one as an anchor to help them decide what to order.

Next up: Should you be concerned about rising interest rates?

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