One of the things that bother me the most about this city is that they don't walk.

Calgary Tower - Walking in this city is never easy
I come from a place where public transportation is normal. Walking is normal. Spending a lot of time in traffic is normal (walking is faster for short distances).

When I traveled, I admit I chose places where I could go from point A to points B, C and D using public transportation... because I don't drive. And I've traveled extensively.

Not only I can't drive, I never planned on doing it, nor owning a car. Why would I when I only needed to step out of my door and stop a cab?

Then I got married to a Canadian. There is a decent public transportation system in Calgary, but it seems designed for somebody else, not me.

I've never seen the trains or buses as full as back home, not even downtown at peak hours.

My preteen stepdaughters didn't know how to cross the street when I took them to a neighbourhood restaurant by walking. They had never ventured to a sidewalk. Even today, as they are being chauffeured all around, they don't even care to check if they need a jacket. Why, if they will go from inside the car to wherever they are going?

The people at the supermarket don't know how to bag my groceries. Few people walk with them so they have no idea they are supposed to balance the weight and they shovel everything in one bag even when I bring 2 with me. They can't even fathom that I will be walking, they assume I have a car and that I will drive home with a few bananas and a box of tea. That's what everybody does.

I admit that as weather becomes colder -and I still have to experience my first Winter here- it will be more and more difficult to walk or wait for a bus. That doesn't change the fact that I still don't drive and even if I took classes and bought myself a car, I can't be issued a driver's license yet.

For a city that advertises being clean(er), it's shocking that there are no sidewalks on both sides of the street, that everything is designed to go by car, that bus tickets are expensive, that I can't opt out of owning a car.

Talk about culture shock when people look at you with an expression saying you are a freak when you say you don't have a driver's license... because you don't drive.

Oh I will learn to drive. It's not an option in here. It is certainly easier than back home where transit is a chaos.

However, I still wish the city would be more walking friendly, and didn't treat me as an European freak.