Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Elephant and Castle and Hockey and Politics

Or, How I Surprised a Canadian.

I finished moving out of my apartment in Pittsburgh this Tuesday. On the way home I stopped for dinner at Grove City (home of a very large outlet mall and Grove City College) at a restaurant and inn called Elephant and Castle. The Elephant is modeled after an English pub--the menu consists of things like bangers and mash and Yorkshire pudding.

I ordered shepherd's pie, and a few minutes later my waitress returned to let me know that it would be a twenty minute wait if I wanted the shepherd's pie because the kitchen was lacking the necessary mashed potatoes. I decided to wait it out and asked if I could sit at the bar in the meantime, where they were showing game one of the Penguins/Hurricanes series.

Next to me was a gentleman who I learned was from Winnipeg. We started chatting and the conversation went from what I was studying at Pitt to politics. It turns out this guy had narrowly lost out on being elected to the Canadian equivalent of town council--seven people ran for two spots, and he finished third by a margin of less than 1%. We mostly focused on healthcare and monetary policy.

It was interesting to get a Canadian's perspective on US politics. He told me that most of the time when he asks people why they're a Republican or a Democrat, they say something along the lines of "because my parents were," and are seldom sure exactly what a given candidate supports that makes them want to vote for that person. He mentioned that one of the things he likes best about US government is term limits for the President. He also mentioned that one shouldn't confuse socialized medicine with "free" healthcare--you pay for it, one way or the other. He told a story about how he once needed stitches on his eyebrow, and faced the prospect of either waiting up to six hours at a "free" hospital, or paying $75 for expedited service at a different facility. He noted that the best doctors, including one of his relatives who was a neurosurgeon if I remember correctly, tend to head south where they can make more money.

The gentleman's drink of choice was Coors Light with a shot of Bloody Mary mix.

In any case, I had a great conversation and probably stayed half an hour longer than I should have at Elephant and Castle. Got in to Rochester at about 1:40 in the morning. I'm home for the week, and then I'm heading to Washington, DC, where I am interning with the Competitive Enterprise Institute. I start there a week from Tuesday (which it has been for about four hours now, now that I think about it).

I should really get some sleep. Maybe after the Mountain Dew wears off.

No comments:

Post a Comment