By Nkechi Bianze.
Because I lived in the UK for years before moving to Canada; I can’t help comparing these two great countries.
The UK is better than Canada in many ways, and Canada is better than the UK in many ways.
One thing I notice is that when it comes to services, I doubt any country in the world beats the UK. There are still so many things great about Great Britain besides the fact that their NHS is one of the best national health services in the world… if not the best. You’ve got to give it up to one of the few countries who go near to practicing healthcare as a right instead of a privilege.
1. My first comparison is online shopping.
I’m a lazy shopper. I would rather do all the house chores than go shopping. Shopping to me is one of the hardest tasks to do. So, I helped myself by resorting to shopping online. While in the UK, I shopped almost everything online… including things like onions, tomatoes, pants and bras…. (yes, I’m lazy like that when it comes to in-store shopping.). Most retail shops in the UK will deliver it to you free of charge (if you shop a certain minimum) or with a delivery prize that’s usually less than £10. And these deliveries are usually either same day or next day.
I was shocked when I arrived Canada and realized that I can’t live such lifestyle. The online shopping in this country is almost non-existent. How do people survive without online shopping? Well, I had to learn it for my groceries. I haven’t gone clothe shopping since I came here because that one is even harder.
As a lazy girl, I had to figure out a way. I made my order in the UK on black Friday (nice deals) and ordered them to deliver to one of my siblings. They will then send it to me here by post…. meaning I don’t have to stress my head walking into shops.
2. The second comparison is the transport system.
The transport system and network in the UK is far better. Canada is designed in such a way that they expect everyone to be driving at 18, hence they pay little attention to public transportation services. In the UK, transportation is a source of revenue to the government, hence they take pride in the maintenance and good services. The London underground is one of the greatest wonders of modern transportation. It’s a tourist attraction, as some people travel to London just to see it.
3. The third comparison is emergency services.
While in the UK, I had the need to make several distress calls to 999. The maximum time of arrival was 10 minutes.
On the two occasions that I made a 999 call for a man and a woman that were showing the symptoms of heart attack; they arrived in less than 3 minutes, even while I was still on the phone with them.
On another occasion, I dialled 999 because a group of teenage boys (Caucasians) were attacking two black teenage girls on a lonely street…. they arrived in less than 5 minutes.
Here in Canada, just two months ago, I placed a distress call to 911 that my cousin was threatening my life while assaulting me, and it took them almost an hour to arrive. If that guy was with a knife and had the intent to kill, I would been long dead before they arrived. If it were in the UK I made that call, they would have arrived in 5minutes or 10 minutes max.
I was disappointed in their time of response, and I can’t stop being disappointed because I’ve experienced something much better. Why is it an emergency team if it takes them a whole century to respond in such a situation?
Canada has one of the lowest crime rates amongst countries in the world…. but that’s not enough reason for a developed western country to be so slow to responding to distress and emergency calls. The lines are called EMERGENCY for a reason.
Be these as they may; I made an informed decision to move, and I will do it all over again if I get the choice again. I miss so many things about the UK, but I’m happier and more fulfilled living in Canada.
I will make another post about some of the advantages Canada has over the UK…. from an average resident’s perspective.
By Nkechi Bianze.