One of our friends mentioned the other day that he’d been away and had left the house unlocked. While he didn’t do this deliberately, it did remind me how different Canadians seemed to be in their attitudes than the Brits.
I think there’s something to be learned from the differences in the kinds of locks that Canadians and the British typically have on their homes. In the UK the usual front door lock is a latch that locks as soon as the door is closed. The default setting is locked.
In Canada doors don’t usually lock automatically. You have to remember to lock the door once you are outside. That’s probably why my British friend was able to leave his door unlocked.
This choice of locking mechanism speaks to a trusting feeling about the likelihood of anyone robbing the house. My Canadian cousin, when we stayed with her years ago, told us we didn’t need a key. All she asked was that we hide her laptop under the sofa cushion when we went out.
This relaxed attitude to security extends to your car. There’s a TV campaign urging us to lock our cars and hide valuable. Many people do leave their cars unlocked, even with windows open. Not that this is a wise thing to do – theft from cars, or of cars, is fairly common place. It does suggest that trust is our default setting here.
Frankly that is something I like about living here. I do lock my car and the house. What do you do?