As most of you may know, Detroit and Windsor are boarder towns. Detroit has a reputation of crime and blight. Windsor has the reputation of being a small Canadian city focused on the auto industry.
Literally 5 minutes from the boarder is the Eastern Market. I went there on a Saturday morning, and it is much livelier.
Hopping over the border costs $5 each time. I’ve met quite a few people who live in Windsor, then commute to the US every day. $10/day can really add up. They tell me there is a card which reduces the toll to $4.
I hopped the border to visit Stephan, who has just started at UWindsor. He gave me a tour of the new engineering building. It is very nice. UWindsor was traditionally known for being an automotive-focused engineering school. They have been taking steps to increase their focus to other engineering disciplines, which should do wonders for the whole Windsor/Detroit region.
Cindy also was nice enough to show me around her hometown. Growing up on a border town has given her an interesting perspective. When you live on the border, you have the option to go to a different country to eat lunch. I bet she knows some areas of Metro Detroit better than I know some areas of Toronto. She was even nice enough to introduce me to some of her local Windsorites.
I don’t gamble often, because I’m excellent at losing money. I always set a limit, then quit when I hit that. Not this time!
When you live alone you really appreciate the small gestures. I tend to eat out a lot right now because I don’t have any of my cooking tools, and I want to explore the city. Growing up, food magically appears on the table every day without effort. Now, when someone cooks you dinner its really something special.
I didn’t return home for thanksgiving because I needed the time to adjust to the area. Also, Canadian thanksgiving is on a different day than American thanksgiving. Instead, I celebrated with Cindy’s relatives. They immigrated from China, and this was the first time that they were celebrating thanksgiving. I grew up pretty much Canadian, so this was almost like looking into my grandparents life. I appreciate being both Canadian and Chinese because it gives me twice as many holidays to celebrate.
D etroit and Windsor are interesting places to live. Assuming you have a passport, you effectively have access to 2 large cities separated by a river. If you look at the border guard as a permanent traffic jam, you have one big city with twice as many opportunities.