The Metric System

I first learned about the metric system in 1978. I was in second grade and Jimmy Carter was President. We knew that he had something to do with why we were learning about centimeters.

For years, centimeters were just the other side of the ruler, a side seldom used. Although I swam the 100 meter Butterfly in high school, four lengths of a 25m pool, my next real encounter with the metric system was in the Army. We ran a weekly 10K and measured our steps per 100 meters, 57 for me, a skill used for land navigation. Also, while stationed in Italy, I learned to measure distance in kilometers when driving.

Now I live in Canada. I’ve been here a coupla years, but wasn’t fully immersed in the metric system until very recently.  Two things contributed to this change: I bought a Canadian truck, and I started cooking for a Canadian food chain.

Like most American vehicles, my previous truck had a speedometer with both miles and kilometers. I set the digital one to kilometers for driving in Canada. I used that one as my primary reference, but could still look at the dial speedometer for imperial reference of how fast I was going. When I updated my F150 with a Canadian model, i found that the speedometer only has kilometers. My previous imperial references are at an end.

Cooking is another story. The thing about chain restaurants is that there is no room for variation. Recipes are exact. I’ve quickly had to learn what two kilograms of onions look like and how much 100 grams of any substance comes out to. It’s a challenge, but I’m adapting.

I find that a change in perspective is always a good thing. Knowing that I can look at something in a different way proves the flexibility of my mind and a willingness to evolve. It’s worthwhile.

Published by Clarisa

Traveler, Writer, Cook, Mariner, Veteran

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