Drive-Thrus Done to Death

My husband often says that everything this side of the pond is designed with the convenience of car users in mind, and he should know – he’s a transportation engineer! It was one of the biggest culture differences to come to terms with when we first moved to Canada from the UK, ranking #1 on my list of 5 Things No-One Tells You that I shared in my column over at ExpatFocus earlier this month.

Today at school pick-up, as I described the goldfish experience of being scrutinised by the drive-thru queue while having coffee at Tim Hortons, a friend happened to mention drive-thru wakes in the US. Yes, you heard me right – drive-thru wakes…

Many thanks to Caroline for this gem of cultural curiosity.

What do you think? Will it catch on this side of the border?

Whitby Shores, Whitby, Ontario

By Aisha Ashraf

An autistic Irish immigrant in a cross-cultural marriage, Aisha Ashraf is the archetypal outlander, writing to root herself through place and perspective. Published in The Rumpus, The Maine Review, River Teeth, HuffPost and elsewhere, her work explores the legacy of trauma, the nature of being an outsider and the narrow confines of belonging. She currently lives in Canada.


  1. For some reason I am not being notified of your new posts. Anyways, I don’t think it will catch on in any meaningful way. I feel like the most random things happen in the US but they chalk up to people saying ‘Americans’ and then forgetting it even exists.

    1. Hmmmm, try unfollowing and following again. I think you have a point there – we tend to throw our hands in the air and cry “What have those Americans done now?” when really it’s just some mom&pop set-up out in the back of beyond that never gets replicated anywhere else, although there was another one of these in Pensacola 😉

  2. It’s not so much the drive-through aspect that I think is bizarre (i’ve obviously lived here too long) but the idea of putting a corpse on public view and having people come by and take photos that freaks me out. It’s like a department store window! Truly a “what were they thinking?” moment.

    1. That was my thought too! There didn’t seem to be any kind of vetting of viewers… *shudders*
      But seriously, how sad that even the passing of life doesn’t warrant making an effort to look smart and going out of your way to your respects. I admire America for it’s entrepreneurial spirit, but sometimes it seems as though nothing is sacred.

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