Yes, tea - as drunk by an English person. This particular tea is not home made; it comes instead from Canada's favourite coffee and doughnut chain and very surprisingly, tastes like tea from the old country. Which is the main reason why I drink it - that and the fact that it's priced very reasonably and is available most conveniently from local 'drive-thru' franchises. So far; so good.
Now, the dark side of the story: the fact that I can drive up to a window and collect my hot tea with a minimal delay is a feature of life - one of those tiny details - which I thoroughly enjoy about life here in Canada. In my experience it's the small stuff that frequently makes the biggest differences in life - this is one of the smallest details but the problem that I shall recount is, as you shall hopefully appreciate, not quite such a minor matter.
Today, as on most days, after I had walked my rather large hound in a pleasant no-leash-required part of the world (I always feel that a dog hasn't had its proper exercise if it hasn't had a goofy run around), I stopped at the most efficient and least busy local drive-thru for my (almost) traditional cup of steeped tea. All went well, as usual, and I drove away towards home, slowly negotiating the speed bumps on the roads of the strip mall. Those roads were fine - the speed bumps are there for a very obvious and sensible reason, and they do their job.
The roads between the mall and my home, however are a different matter. I've tried any number of different routes home, but try as I might, I have yet to find a route which does not entail negotiating roads which have the appearance of having been shelled by a distant railway-mounted howitzer. This is not good (to say the least) and reduces the chances of my arriving at home without hot tea sprinkled around the truck interior. The local roads are truly shocking - and, I must say, this is not the only municipality to have this problem; indeed the roads in each part of this fair province (British Columbia) have multiple personalities, all of them including the 'utter bastard'.
I frequently snort at the TV (to the extent that my wife makes me sit in a plastic tent to keep the rug cleaning bill down to a dull roar) whenever drivers appear to tell us that a certain road is dangerous- followed by footage of sweeping curves and bends which are, to any decent driver, an absolute delight and utterly safe. "Roads are NOT dangerous!" I will exhort, standing on a soap box I have next to my armchair for just such an eventuality. And in the context of the vast majority of such TV 'reports', I would stick to my guns on that point; roads, by virtue of being bendy or single carriageway or with limited visibility, are NOT in themselves dangerous. It's the behaviour of drivers who cannot adapt their driving to changing environments which creates the danger. Driving around a bend at 80kph with limited visibility and which is marked with an advisory of 50kph creates a risk which did not otherwise exist.
The exception to my response to this rule is when the road surface - for reasons which escape my logic and in circumstances which would result in prosecutions in the old country - is left in such a condition as to pose a real danger to the integrity of vehicle's tyres, suspension or their adhesion. Where this takes place (and it does with such a depressing regularity that it has become the norm), the road itself becomes a hazard. Having been a motorcyclist, I dread to think what those road users on two wheels experience when they come across such a surface (some of which are even SIGNED as being dangerous for motorbikes - how can that be allowed???). This slapdash approach to road safety has to change, but first the way that roads are constructed in Canada has to change. Laying asphalt on top of compressed sand has been proven to not work over the long term.
Anyway, enough of all that safety stuff: what REALLY gets my goat (and the local government needs to sit up and take notice of) is that the bumpy roads make me spill my tea on the carpet in the truck!!!! I feel myself turning green and ripping my shirt...