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Last night, after playing volleyball, a bunch of us went out for drinks to a pub. I haven’t gone for post-game drinks in a while…since I left Vancouver. Going for after-game drinks was such a typical occurrence in Vancouver. After playing drop-in volleyball, we’d go for drinks. After playing ultimate we’d go for food and drinks. After playing league beach volleyball, we’d go for drinks. It’s a given. I think Canadians like going for drinks whether it is after playing sports or at the end of the work day. I don’t think that it’s quite so common with Americans. I recall reading about this in a Maclean’s article:

Because we have more time off, Canadians tend to have a lot more fun. We spend more time with friends than Americans do, and we’re much more likely to have a sit-down dinner with the family at home each night. We also tend to drink alcohol more often, with 27 per cent of us having a drink at least a few times a week, compared to 19 per cent of Americans. Nay says that our richer social lives were one of the biggest differences he noticed when he moved to Toronto. “It was only in Canada that I found myself going to the pub with friends and colleagues,” he says. “I spend more time in pubs here than I have in any other place that I’ve lived. It’s partly the culture, and partly because the quality of beer is fantastic.” (Macleans, Special Canada Day Report: How Canada stole the American Dream, June 25,2008).

We went to Brockway Public House, a British-style pub in Carmel. As soon as I walked into the pub, it reminded me of all of the times I went to British-sytle pubs in Vancouver and I temporarily forgot that I was in Indiana. It’s a great little pub in Carmel and it is smoke-free, (we tried going to another pub was too smoky and so we drove a short distance to Carmel to go out). If you aren’t sure of which beer you would like to order, to help you make your decision, the servers offer to bring samples. Two thumbs up for this pub!

It was really fun getting to know people from volleyball (the funny thing is that we had been playing drop in volleyball for a few months together but have never really gone out for drinks). I love going out for drinks! It’s a great opportunity to talk about the games, get to know people, and just have a good time.

The conversations were pretty interesting. For example, people started talking about fraternity and sorority life. This was complete with dialogue from the movie, Old School, (a movie that B.B. thought was very funny–he was in a fraternity). To me, it was almost like a foreign language. I only know one guy who joined a frat at UBC for one year (just because he was curious about it) and another girl who joined it because she was from the States (also at UBC).  I don’t think that it’s a popular thing in Canada because our drinking age is a bit lower than the US (I believe it’s 18 in Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec and 19 for the rest of Canada; in the US it’s 21 years). Nonetheless, an interesting conversation.

The conversation also led to some general discussions about Canada (I was the only Canadian present). Someone commented on the Canadian pronunciation of “about.” I can’t tell you how many people have mentioned that to me here–I usually say it’s more of an Ontario thing; it’s also known as the “Canadian raising“. It doesn’t annoy me, but it just goes to show you that people in Indiana always seem to comment on this. It might be because Indiana is relatively close to Ontario; it’s a 8 hour drive or an hour and a half flight to Toronto from here. There are definitely some Torontonians here in Indy–I’ve seen a few Maple Leaf logos on cars (no Canuck fans though). One of the girls said that she was in Toronto this week for work. She stayed in the downtown area and really liked it. Everyone was out and about, bundled up and walking around downtown. She said that she really liked Toronto (shout out to Toronto!). It’s true that Toronto is different from Indianapolis because no one really hangs out downtown after work or during the weekend (Indianapolis is a lot like Calgary in that way–no one hangs out downtown; after business hours, they hang out in areas like 17th Ave SW).

It was a fun evening and I hope that going out becomes a regular thing.