Saturday, January 5, 2013

The American dream is over, stay in your god damn countries!

Every time I meet someone during my travels, I always end up discussing about Canada, because Yes! That’s where I am from. Foreigners and people abroad have this deep belief that on the continent of "North America" money, success and women grow on trees. Somehow, I still get shocked by the ignorance. I shouldn't be surprised really because it’s only human to think that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, but who can blame them?

No matter where you go, prices are fixed according to salaries; meaning that even if you make more money in North America, you will end up spending more anyways. What i mean by "North America" is the fact there is little or no distinction between the United States of America and Canada. If there weren't borders and signs, you wouldn't even know where you are after a 48 hour drive south; it is really that similar.

As always, let's begin with a Wikipedia definition to explain what i mean by American Dream:

The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States, a set of ideals in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility achieved through hard work. In the definition of the American Dream by James Truslow Adams in 1931, "life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement" regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.

This is not waiting for you in Canada!

The older generation still reminds the new one that the "American Dream" is still out there, and all they have to do is to go there in order to reach it. What I find funny, is that nowadays most foreigner that go to America, come back disappointed. What did you expect? A limousine waiting for you at the airport? Being treated like a rock star rather than a dirty foreigner? You got your facts wrong, son!

This is how my typical conversation looks like in Europe:

- "Hello"

- "Hi"

- "Where are you from?"

- "I am from Poland"

- "Cool! I am from Canada"

Suddenly the foreigner's eyes start to glow. As he is looking back with interest he says:

- "Ohhh! I have always wanted to visit Canada, my aunt (or uncle) lives there, why did you come to this shithole?"

- "Because, I am happier here"

- "How come?"

- "Girls are prettier, life is cheaper and I can afford to go out more often"

- "Come on! In Canada I am sure people make tons of money and there are plenty job opportunities"

- "The American dream ended in the 90's"

- "But I am pretty sure people have better living standards in Canada than they do in Poland"

- "It’s true, but if you are somewhat ambitious and desire to live life to the fullest, Canada isn't perhaps the best place"

- "You know the kind of salary Polish people make?"

- "Canada is only good for lazy immigrants who don't have to work for a living and this at the expense of our tax system. The moment you want more, is the moment you realize that Canada isn't exactly the best place to make a fortune. Why do you think so many Canadians travel to the US for work?"

- "But your salaries allow you to buy more things"

- "Not necessarily, one night out in my city (Montreal) probably costs about 100$, in Poland you can go out and get wasted for only 50zl (the equivalent of 20$ CAD)"

- "What is the average Canadian salary?"

- "Somewhere ranging from 1300$ to 1600$ a month. As you can see, its quite proportional to our lifestyle. Our biggest downfall is the fact that we get credit cards and lines of credit without much effort making the average canadian in debt 35,000 $"

This guy found it, but don't expect to be so lucky.

Let's look at some figures comparing Canada and Poland:

- 1 Canadian dollar (CAD) is equivalent to about 3,3 Polish Zloty (Zl)

A) In Canada, to rent a small apartment costs somewhere between 300-600$ a month.
B) In Poland, to rent the same apartment would cost somewhere around 1200-1600zl (equivalent to 400-600$ CAD a month).

A) In Canada, food supplies for one month cost around 500$.
B) In Poland, food supplies for one month cost around 500zl (equivalent to 200$ CAD)

A) In Canada, One night out can cost from 50 to 150$.
B) In Poland, one night out can cost from 50 to 150zl (equivalent to 20-50$ CAD)

A) In Canada, one bus ticket costs 3$.
B) In Poland, one bust ticket costs 3zl (equivalent to 1$ CAD)

A) In Canada, the average salary is about 1500$.
B) In Poland, the average salary is about 1500zl.

A) In Canada, healthcare is free, but the waiting time is exceptionally long.
B) In Poland, healthcare isn't free but you sure don't wait 12 hours at the emergency.

Don't worry comrades, we're both getting fucked!

The best ones for last:

A) In Canada, a bottle of beer is 6$.
B) In Poland, a bottle of beer is 3zl (equivalent to 1$ CAD).

A) In Canada, 5km taxi ride to the center costs 30$.
B) In Poland, a 5km taxi ride to the center costs 30zl (equivalent to 10$ CAD)

A) In Canada, a pack of cigarettes is 11$.
B) In Poland, a pack of cigarettes is 11zl (equivalent to 3$ CAD).

If we sum up (using the average):

A) In Canada: 1500$ - 500$ (Small flat) - 500$ (Food) = 500$ spending money after vital expenses.
B) In Poland: 1500zl - 500zl (One room) - 500zl (Food) = 500zl spending money after vital expenses.

A former neurologist (left), tax lawyer (center) and astronaut (right). Archives - Canada 2012

We can conclude that living standards are higher in Canada, but everyday common things are overpriced. The average Polish person can afford to go out every weekend despite having a minimum salary job unlike the average Canadian who can only afford to do so once in a while. In the end, it’s pretty much all the same. So stop comparing your country to "America"; the American dream is long gone.

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LetsNotBullShit Blog by Peter Masalski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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1 comment:

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