A Travellerspoint blog

Canada

I ran out of gas and the rain stopped me here

I left on my motorcycle after it rained all day. I didn't really check the level of gas very well, so predictably, I ran out around Kars, near Manotick. Ugh. Wearily, I walked my bike up the highway to the next exit, where a very nice lady and her daughter, son and one friend picked me up and took me to a gas station. I gladly paid $5 to fill up to at least a half tank. Oh man. Thank you Kimberly and your children. I thanked Kimberly kindly and went on my way, stopping in Kemptville to fill my tank up all the way.

By the time I got to Kingston, the rain was coming down pretty hard. I couldn't see in front of my face and I had to stop for a while. Driving a motorbike in the rain is no fun. None at all.

I went to the bathroom, called Jamie and tried waiting for the rain to stop. No dice. I went over to the "Lord Nelson Motel" just across the parking lot and booked a room. So gross. I can barely breathe in here. There is furniture lined with VELOUR and FOLDING chairs. Also, the smell is disgusting, I don't know what it smells like, but it's terrible. I had to ASK for a cup. I was so thirsty, I couldn't even drink anything until the lazy people at the desk came. The guy wouldn't even dry my pants and gloves, that were soaking wet.

I called Jamie again and told her I'd call her tomorrow so we could go for breakfast or lunch or something. Of course there's no breakfast at this motel.

Nice. Anyway, I'm going to bed now, that's my story so far. Enjoy the pics of the motel.

The mouldy bathroom

The mouldy bathroom


The giant bed

The giant bed


The velour couch

The velour couch

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Jul 5, 2009

Me and Marc-Andre

Me and Marc-Andre

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Indian food and fireworks, no Jazz Festival

Guy Paul lives right beside the Olympic Stadium, so I opted to be dropped off there this morning after breakfast at Cora's. (It seems you can't get away from Cora's in Quebec!) He had to go to his friend's cottage to plan out his Central America trip. He's leaving in three weeks!

Anyway, I didn't want to go up the funiculaire for $15, although I guess everyone has to do it once, right? Still, I never went. I just walked around for a while and then headed to Marc-Andre's house.

Picture this, I'm carrying all my gear down the escalator to the blue line at Jean-Talon station. A big black guy starts following me and talking to me in French.

"akle;afnea;ekrj"

"Sorry, I don't understand French."

"I want to take you to McDonald's."

"What?!" I exclaim, horrified that this person thought I was homeless and felt the need to feed me at a fast food joint...

"I love you, I think you are a nice girl, I want to go to McDonald's with you."

Suddenly, I am not AS offended anymore. I'm slightly flattered and embarrassed. I smile at the misunderstanding.

"OH! Sorry, no! Thank you, but I have to go."

As I get back on the Metro, I wonder who would use a date at McDonald's as a pickup line? What kind of person do you have to be to think this would impress a random stranger?

Anyway, I get to Marc-Andre's part of town, still carrying all my stuff. I call him as soon as I get off the subway, but he's somewhere else.

"No problem!" I lie through my teeth. I'm going to have to carry this crap around with me for another hour...

I decide to go and find his house, thankfully, the door to his apartment is open, so I leave all my crap there and then go wandering. I buy Marc some cheap wine (not knowing he's a HUGE wine snob) and then wait for him back at the apartment. He shows up right on time as well. Nice.

We check the couchsurfing group for an event, and lo and behold, there is an Indian food night! Delicious! We go over there at 4 p.m. and help with the cooking, more people show up and I meet a nice German boy who looks distinctly familiar. We each do a double take and he recognizes me.

"Louise! It's Niels!"

Riiiiight, how could I forget? Long story, ask me later.

"Come with us to get some wine."

"OK"

So we're walking down the street and the sole on my shoe is flapping behind me. Every step I take goes clip clop clop clop clip clop clop clop. Yeah, I have to fix that.

As soon as we get back, I ask for some duct tape and find some electrical tape. Perfect. I fix my boot and I should be good to go for the rest of the weekend.

More and more people come, and soon the barbecued tandoori chicken is ready, so is our biriyani and chickpeas and everything else! What a feast. We all pitched in $6 and we all had a scrumptious meal.

Everyone was cool EXCEPT this one guy from Manchester, Adam. Since he walked in the door he was INTENT on pissing me off. I dunno if he was playing "The Game" or if he was just an asshole. No matter.

"Adam, I heard you were a magnificent storyteller"

"Oh yes! I am a traveling minstrel! I'd be surprised if you knew what minstrel meant."

"OK...f--- you."

And off I went.

Later on...

"Louise stop looking at me like that."

"Like what?"

"Like you're my mom and you're disappointed in me."

"That's probably because I am."

Soon everyone is dancing and some other people want to go see the fireworks. Australia is competing tonight, so Adam volunteers his balcony. I can't decide if I want to go witness the train wreck that is Adam or go to the Jazz Festival. Marc-Andre flips a coin and so we go to Adam's house.

By the time we get there, the fireworks are half over and Adam is even more hammered than before.

I am having a nice quiet conversation with a lady I met at the party, Kadi. Adam comes over and immediately starts harrassing this nice person.

"Yyyyyeah, remember when I licked your vagina?! Oh yeahhhh that was awesome, wasn't it?"

I look over at Kadi, she's not laughing, but she's also not saying anything. He keeps going... I can't take it anymore.

"Can you PLEASE go away? I'm trying to have a conversation with this person and you're rudely interrupting and sexually harrassing her! Go... away..."

He continues... someone has to DRAG him out of the room because I just keep bitching at him.

I turn to Kadi.... "Doesn't that bother you?"

"Oh... no, not really, I mean it did at first, but that's just Adam."

"Um... NO ONE has a right to do that. You can't just brush it off like that."

"Yeah...well..."

Anyway...there you have it, my night in Montreal. After this, Marc-Andre and I take the night bus home.

Olympic Stadium

Olympic Stadium


Olympic Stadium

Olympic Stadium


Olympic Stadium

Olympic Stadium


This is not safe

This is not safe


Me and Marc-Andre

Me and Marc-Andre


Me and Marc-Andre

Me and Marc-Andre


Cooking Indian food

Cooking Indian food


Fixed my boot!

Fixed my boot!


Indian food

Indian food


Jeremy, German guy, Kristal

Jeremy, German guy, Kristal


Stirring the Indian food

Stirring the Indian food


Me vs. tandoori chicken

Me vs. tandoori chicken


Adam

Adam


Fireworks watchers

Fireworks watchers


Fireworks behind the bridge

Fireworks behind the bridge

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

No motocyclette this weekend

My poor motorcycle, I had to leave him downtown today because it was raining so much. Quickly, I found a ride to Montreal, but the catch was that I had to meet it at 4:30 over in Little Italy. That meant, I had no time to bike home and meet Nathalie before leaving. I had to leave my motorcycle in a semi-gross part of town for the weekend. I crossed my fingers that it would still be there when I got back.

I also had to bring all my motorcycling gear with me, and to make matters worse, I couldn't just leave it in Nathalie's car, because she wouldn't be coming back to Ottawa until Tuesday! I had just assumed she'd be coming back on Sunday, so I didn't ask her when we'd be back earlier. *sigh*

We had a nice drive all the way, through the pouring rain. It was definitely expected. At some points Nathalie could barely see the road through all of it.

She dropped me off around 7 p.m. right near the Orange Julep! I hung out there for a while with a pretzel and a medium julep. Mmm. I called Guy Paul to see if he was home. He was not, so I just went there to try and find him. That took forever, not that it was a bad thing, because I had to wait for him to show up anyway.

As soon as I got to Guy Paul's house, it started POURING. I had no choice but to just sit there on his balcony, waiting for him to get there. Luckily, there was only 30 minutes until the time he was supposed to show up. I looked pretty pathetic with all my gear sitting there cold and wet on his doorstep...

He was exactly on time, hurray! He let me in and I met his crazy dog and we had 1.5 beers before deciding on going to the Jazz Festival. We saw Florence K, she was super good. I didn't remember to bring my camera with me, so here is a little excerpt from YouTube.

After the show, GuyPaul had some friends to meet at a really annoying dance club, so we walked there, which took a while, then decided not to pay the $7 cover to get in.

Then, we just wanted to go home, so that's what we did.

Me and Guy Paul

Me and Guy Paul

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Driving back to Ottawa

I didn't wake up till really late. Eduardo had already left, and we had to leave the keys inside and his house unlocked, I hope that was OK with him.

I went out to McCowan subway station and met Rosie, Owen and Vicky for the ride home. We had to wait around for a half hour for Paul. He never showed up and wasn't answering his phone. What a loser.

At least me and Vicky had more room in the back this time, so that was good.

I managed to catch the last bus home (at 9:30 p.m. on a Sunday?! What gives, OC Transpo???) *eyeroll*

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Music music music, all day long

So bad news. I woke up, took a shower and then realized... I forgot my bra. Dancing all day would not be comfortable without one...crap.

Eduardo wasn't up yet, so I ate Chinese food leftovers and sat down with the festival schedule and figured out a general plan for the day. That took about 30 minutes. By the time I was done, Eduardo was up and I told him where I might be, he said he might show up later.

The sky did not look nice, it had been raining since I woke up. I'd hoped that me planning out my day as slowly as possible would perhaps make it stop. It didn't.

Because of some earlier drama, I did not have an umbrella, I'd have to buy one of those too. So, Eduardo gave me one of his umbrellas, but when I opened it, I noticed it was broken, and totally useless. I went right away to Chinatown and bought a bra and two umbrellas. The guy who sold them to me thought I was crazy.

Then, I still had some more time, so I went down to see if I could get a wristband at the Hyatt like last year. Nope, not open yet.

Maybe I could find some VIP invites like last year? Nope, not a one. The tables are in such a state of disarray that it is impossible to find anything good on them.

I give up, and head on down to Dundas and Yonge. When I get there, I meet Jason from TravelPod, one of the only bloggers I managed to get to come out to the concert. He brought me a very nice painting that I decided would match my bedroom perfectly.

Bryan showed up a little later with some delicious mint chocolates.

These little kids that play in a little band were there again this year. We watched them play and it was hilarious again.

Jason was hungry, so we went with him to this little diner and had some soup. The soup was vegetable and delicious on such a rainy day.

We went back to the concert, and then Jason took off.

Bryan and I went back and watched the Zoobombs, who were awesome, Golden Triangle, not so good and then we left when Crystal Antlers came on stage. They were rumoured to be the "buzz band" of the festival this year, like Hollerado was last year. Hollerado actually deserved it, but this band, just sounded like total crap.

Anyway, our ears were exploding so we went around Chinatown and I bought the same bubble tea that I bought last time I was in Toronto. Love it. Bryan got some sort of Chinese tunic thing and then we went for Indian food on Queen St. It was sooooooooo delicious. We had sooooooo much food that we just packed it up and I carried it around for the rest of the day so that we could have quick and cheap supper later.

Our first stop was the El Mocambo, definitely one of my favourite clubs in Toronto. The British Columbians were playing, a nice mix of the Racounteurs and some dirty blues. Sweet. Eduardo found us there and he listened for a bit. I don't think he liked it. He said he'd be hanging out at the Silver Dollar all night tonight again, so maybe we'd see him later.

Nooooooo I don't think so. NXNE must be approached from a crazy extremist standpoint. You must walk until your feet fall off, you must dance until your legs are sore (or until last call at 4 a.m., whichever comes first).

Next stop, Kathedral! We met up with Owen randomly on the street on our way there. He was taking pictures as usual.

A band from Welland, Street Pharmacy was playing at Kathedral, so you know that me and Bryan had to make it to that one. These guys sound EXACTLY like Sublime. If you like Sublime, you will like Street Pharmacy. We asked them later, and they went to the same high school as us, but they are a few years younger, how funny is that?

The next show was in the same building, so we went out and then came back in on the other side. The Reverb had Will Currie and the Country French. I got in a fight with the guy at the door because he wanted to take my entire water bottle. I understand maybe dumping it out, because who knows it could be vodka, but really? An empty water bottle? Why? I just ignored him and walked in anyway, he was more distracted by searching Bryan's backpack. One point for Louise!

I thought the band was really fun anyway. I thought they were going to be more like Something Corporate, but they sounded like a noisy Ben Folds Five instead.

Bovine Sex Club, our next destination was not far down the street. The Inward Eye were supposed to sound like The Kinks, but I didn't think so. They were good, but the crowd was packed in like sardines (as usual at BSC), however this time, nobody was moving...at all... borrring.

We headed all the way over to Front St. to catch the end of Courtney Wing. Really weird orchestral rock music with some opera singers thrown in for good measure. I was glad that we didn't have to sit around for the whole show. It was interesting, but not 45 minutes interesting. C'est What is a really cozy pub, probably the coziest I've ever seen.

We managed to snag one of the couches and then we sat back with some sort of way too bitter microbrew to watch Jason Plumb. He's the guy that fronted my favourite band when I was in grade 8, The Waltons! I was way too excited, I didn't know he was going to be here this weekend, and when I saw him on the schedule I was not going to let myself miss it, no way. His voice and music sounds exactly like it did before, except you know... less lively and more... "tired"... I guess you would say. It's still great though, don't get me wrong. You can close your eyes and imagine you are in Saskatchewan, that's how good it is.

I had to give him a hug after he was done, just because it was so cool. My first concert ever was The Waltons, so his band pretty much introduced me to you know, a whole new lifestyle of music and music reviewing, etc. etc. etc. Basically that Waltons concert created my life.

I told him that, but of course, he said, "That's great," and nodded... of course he didn't really care. I think he missed his afternoon nap.

So wow, we are really really tired. Owen decided to go to bed, and Bryan and I ate some of the leftover Indian on the way back to Spadina and Rancho Relaxo. I was supposed to meet up with John, but it was so far away, by the time we got there he was gone. Whatever band was there was also awful, so we couldn't leave fast enough. Sorry John!

We went back to the Silver Dollar for some 60s rock by I don't know who, had a pitcher and then started to walk back home. It was 4 a.m.

On the way though, we heard someone playing an acoustic guitar from what we thought was the roof. We went all the way up the fire escape, to find no one, but we still heard the music and the party, where were they? Oh well, we just kept going and then someone threw a (full) beer can right at our feet.

Me: "Ahhhhh, what the hell?!"

People on the roof: "Oh my God, sorry! Is someone down there?!"

Me: "Yeah, we were trying to come up and party with you!"

POTR: "Well come up!"

Me: "We tried, but we couldn't find you!"

POTR: "Go up the fire escape!"

Me: "Wha?? But..."

So we go back up the fire escape and we find them up on the steepest part of the roof (more than a 45 degree angle here, people), drunk out of their brains. What on earth would cause someone to do that?

Oh well whatever. So they come down, because we won't go up there. I wouldn't even attempt that if I was sober.

We met, Chuck, Helena, Dan and Dan. They are all students at U of T and absolutely hilarious. We talk for a while, and then go back to Eduardo's house, soooooooo tired.

What a mess

What a mess


Burning Boyz @ Dundas Square

Burning Boyz @ Dundas Square


Burning Boys @ Dundas Square

Burning Boys @ Dundas Square


Zoobombs @ Dundas Square

Zoobombs @ Dundas Square


Golden Triangle @ Dundas Square

Golden Triangle @ Dundas Square


Me vs. bubble tea (Take two!)

Me vs. bubble tea (Take two!)


Me vs. lamb chop

Me vs. lamb chop


The British Columbians

The British Columbians


Street Pharmacy @ Kathedral

Street Pharmacy @ Kathedral


Me and Bryan at Kathedral

Me and Bryan at Kathedral


Will Currie and the Country French @ Reverb

Will Currie and the Country French @ Reverb


Will Currie and the Country French @ Reverb

Will Currie and the Country French @ Reverb


Something Bryan wanted a picture of

Something Bryan wanted a picture of


Something Bryan wanted a picture of

Something Bryan wanted a picture of


Bovine Sex Club

Bovine Sex Club


Me and Bryan at Bovine Sex Club

Me and Bryan at Bovine Sex Club


Bryan

Bryan


Bryan vs. Steve's Music

Bryan vs. Steve's Music


Courtney Wing @ C'est What?

Courtney Wing @ C'est What?


Jason Plumb @ C'est What?

Jason Plumb @ C'est What?


Back at the Silver Dollar

Back at the Silver Dollar


Back at the Silver Dollar

Back at the Silver Dollar


Silver Dollar

Silver Dollar

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Owen and me drive to Toronto

Once again, I found another rideshare to go to Toronto. This time, it was planned since last year, and not so random.

I had a blast at NXNE last year, and I was determined to have the same blast again this year. Maybe with less drinking and less rabble rousing and less making fun of Dave Foley (to his face).

Anywho, Owen and I left straight from work to meet Rosie, Paul and Vicky for a nice drive. We took Hwy 7 which I always thought was slower than the 401, but I found out that it's not.

Paul is one crazy fellow. He is from Cuba and he wouldn't stop telling Rosie how to drive. Vicky was awesome. A world traveler, finding herself back in her hometown of Waterdown, Ontario. Rosie was just plain funny, with an infectious laugh and a way of constantly bringing the conversation back to farts and bowel movements. And Owen is Owen, of course.

So we got to Toronto at about 9 ish, and Owen and I went out for Chinese food and then a band called Red Mass at the Silver Dollar. I was hoping to meet Eduardo by the time that Owen had to go, but I didn't. Owen left the bar after the band was done, and I was trying to wait for my friend Eugene outside. I got impatient and just started walking back to the Annex to Eduardo's place. Feeling kind of sad that I missed him, I was a little sad walking around with all kinds of bags everywhere and trying to find a washroom. I had to pee so bad, I even contemplated like, doing it in the U of T parking lot somewhere. Seriously.

Finally, I found the familiar Pizza Pizza on Bloor St. (remember Shylo???), did what I had to do there, and then found Eduardo. He had just gotten home 10 minutes earlier, so it was perfect timing.

We chatted for a bit, and then I drifted right to sleep.

Me vs. gross noodles

Me vs. gross noodles


Owen vs. beer at Silver Dollar

Owen vs. beer at Silver Dollar


Red Mass at Silver Dollar

Red Mass at Silver Dollar

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Church, breakfast and home

So, on Friday, Ada had mentioned that she would be singing at a church on Sunday. I wanted to go see her, so we went. It was way over on the other end of town and we were almost late, but it worked out OK anyway.

I had to go meet my mom and dad at Prague Deli for lunch, so I invited Ada along. I had a picture of her at breakfast, but she deleted it right after I took it. I ordered and ate some delicious Palicinky with salmon and shared some cheese and strawberry ones with mom.

Then, we said goodbye to John and Ada and went walking around a park for a while. We witnessed a crazy man in a big fur coat, trying to sell us a car, or get us to sell our car to him, I couldn't quite figure it out.

Then, I got dropped off at Scarborough Town Centre, and my ride picked me up. It was an uneventful drive home, I fell asleep a couple of times and also managed to get slightly addicted to Tim Hortons iced coffee. I can't help it, it's good.

John in his usual stance

John in his usual stance


Dad vs. palicinky

Dad vs. palicinky


MMMMmmmMmm

MMMMmmmMmm


Yum

Yum


Me vs. palicinky

Me vs. palicinky


Crazy homeless man

Crazy homeless man

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Art Gallery of Ontario and some yuppie bars

We went for brunch at the Butler's Pantry in Kensington Market. Apparently we had sat down at the same time as everyone else in the restaurant, so the waitresses were flustered. Maria and Lisa were starving and it was taking them forever to bring us menus even. When we finally got our cutlery, it was handed to me upsidedown. Lisa thought this might have been a sign of disrespect. I disagreed. There was much more analysis of the waitress' actions, but we decided the real problem was the poor management of the fine establishment. I will spare you the details.

Maria's friend, Joan came over from her art gallery across the street, Spence Gallery. After brunch, we went over there to check stuff out. I thought some of it was really nice. There were some abstract paintings glossed over with resin, as well as some Cuban style ones. The Cuban paintings were beautiful. They had a watery, dream-like quality that you have to see for yourself to understand I guess.

John then took me to a movie memorabilia store and then the Art Gallery of Ontario to look at the model boats. I stayed there while he went and did whatever it is that he does.

I was thoroughly entertained by the exhibit on surrealism. Did you know that Salvador Dali designed jewelry? I bet you didn't. Well now you know.

After the gallery, I moseyed on down through Chinatown, with a mission to find bubble tea. That of course, is not a difficult task. I quickly found some, but the bubbles were all clumped up at the bottom. Never thought I would say this in my life but... Worst. Bubbletea. Ever.

On my way back to John's house, I heard yelling and screaming, like a whole bunch of people REALLY angry at each other. "What could this be?" I think, and I have to find out of course.

Across the street is an open garage door, with a sign overtop of it saying "Rapier Wit". Apparently it is a school for actors. They ONLY teach onstage combat and fighting techniques. How nichey and cool is that? I asked if I could watch their class for a bit and it was cool. They were practicing the scene from Fight Club, where the narrator has his first fight ever with Tyler Durden. Check out the video, it's interesting.

I came home to find a note on John's door, saying he is taking a nap, so I took a nap for an hour too. When I wake up, it starts raining a big, crazy thunderstorm and suddenly, I see a huge rainbow in the sky! I run out and take a picture of it, it's nice.

We have to go and meet some people at an art exhibit called Off World. It's at Camera gallery and it's interesting because you can only see it for a few hours at a time. All the videos are stored on cellphones and mounted in the front window of the gallery. They depict scenes of children in the Phillippines rooting through garbage dumps for useful items that they can sell. It's sad, but there are also happy scenes too.

Just next door, there is another gallery full of photos from the Montreal bed-in with John Lennon and Yoko Ono. I guess it's the 40th anniversary this year, so there is a special exhibit lasting as long as their bed-in.

Someone recommends that we go to the Golden Turtle for Vietnamese food, so that's what we do. We order wayyyy too much food and I get a jackfruit milkshake! How awesome is that?

Later on, we meet a bunch of people at Reposado, a "tequila bar", never heard of that before, but I go with it. *gasp* $9.50 for a margarita??? Whatever. Those crazy yuppies.

It's still a nice night, despite the rain earlier, so I go outside and chillout. I am needing some chillout time and some people start freaking out, like I'm bored or something, but really, I just like it outside.

Some people decide to go, so I go outside, thinking they are right behind me. However, they are not, so I figure they will come soon. I have probably a 20 minute conversation with the bouncer and then they walk down the street 20 m to another bar, that's pretty much exactly the same as the bar that they came from, except there's no chill patio in the back. So now, I really am bored. I just go outside and talk to people smoking.

Later on, I go with John to a place he calls his "local". A St. Louis sports bar. We talk for a while with the waitresses and then when it's closing time, we talk with the kitchen staff. It's pretty entertaining. Their lives are full of drama.

Maria @ Butler's Pantry

Maria @ Butler's Pantry


Lisa @ Butler's Pantry

Lisa @ Butler's Pantry


Joan @ Butler's Pantry

Joan @ Butler's Pantry


Shael @ Butler's Pantry

Shael @ Butler's Pantry


John @ Butler's Pantry

John @ Butler's Pantry


Me vs. eggs benedict

Me vs. eggs benedict


Joan's gallery

Joan's gallery


Maria vs. Joan

Maria vs. Joan


Spence Gallery

Spence Gallery


Crazy parking lot

Crazy parking lot


Nice exhibit

Nice exhibit


Surrealist clothing?

Surrealist clothing?


Favourite architecture ever

Favourite architecture ever


"Welcome, you belong here"

"Welcome, you belong here"


Chinatown

Chinatown


Me vs. bubbletea

Me vs. bubbletea


Rapier Wit acting classes

Rapier Wit acting classes


Rainbow on Wellington

Rainbow on Wellington


Off World exhibit

Off World exhibit


Bed in exhibit

Bed in exhibit


Me and John @ Golden Turtle

Me and John @ Golden Turtle


Me vs. jackfruit milkshake

Me vs. jackfruit milkshake


Shael and Lisa vs. pho

Shael and Lisa vs. pho


Pretty lights at Reposado

Pretty lights at Reposado


Me vs. $9.50 margarita

Me vs. $9.50 margarita


Ada vs. paparazzi

Ada vs. paparazzi


Tony @ St. Louis

Tony @ St. Louis


Kelly? @ St. Louis

Kelly? @ St. Louis


I just liked his shirt

I just liked his shirt

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Spookey Ruben SUCKS

I caught my rideshare with Nafis, Alan and Imad at the Greyhound Station. Not exactly the most convenient pickup place, but it was OK.

We just drove straight until we got to Toronto. It was about 10:30 ish when I got there. Nafis dropped Alan off at Scarborough Town Centre, and Imad and I went to Yorkdale, because apparently it is closer to downtown.

So, I called John and he was about to go over to see some band I had no idea what it was. OK, fine, I will meet you there soon.

I tried to call Eugene, to no avail. I had written the number down wrong on my paper, ugh.

So I met John and his friends at The Gladstone. I even got there before them... two subways and two more streetcars, and I got there faster, nyah to that.

Some strange art-rock band was onstage and nobody wanted to hear it except me. Soon, I didn't even want to hear it, so I joined everyone else in the karaoke part of the venue. That was also terrible.

Lisa is really into this Spookey Ruben band, but no one else really knew what it was. So, whenever they came back onstage, we all went out there and tried to dance around to it. But it was just terrible.

They tried to revive the show by throwing processed cheese slices and bringing dancing Ukrainian ladies out on the stage. Still terrible.

At the very end, one of the band's biggest fans got dressed up like an owl and danced around. It was so pathetic I had to get a picture of him. Sorry Spookey Ruben, I hate you.

Spookey Ruben on the phone

Spookey Ruben on the phone


Spookey Ruben

Spookey Ruben


Spookey Ruben

Spookey Ruben


Spookey Ruben

Spookey Ruben


Ukrainian ladies

Ukrainian ladies


Weird death metal guy

Weird death metal guy


Weird guy in an owl suit

Weird guy in an owl suit

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Clean up and go!

Not much was accomplished this morning, besides cleaning up the campsite and getting in Nate's car home.

I couldn't wear my sandals, so Nate generously offered to let me borrow his flip flops. I gave them back to him later that night at a comedy show that I won free tickets to.

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

I GOT POISON OAK

I fell asleep in David's cottage, and I was woken up by a bunch of people tromping through and shaking the ENTIRE foundation of the place.

We had a lazy morning, sitting in the sunshine around the campfire. When Jan-Mark woke up, he made us eggs, that was nice.

I started to get restless and I wanted to go for a hike. I told some people and then some more people, and all of a sudden, everyone was coming with me.

We went out into the forest, and David warned everyone that there was poison oak so be careful where you step. Great. I'm the only one who was dumb enough to wear sandals.

Sure enough, I notice that I have absentmindedly tramped through the poison oak. Crap.

When we get back to the cottage I just freak out and start washing my legs and feet off. I can't find a place to wash my sandals off, so I simply don't wear them for the rest of the weekend. Needless to say, I get really dirty.

Anyway, David brought a big bag of potatoes so we start peeling and cooking all of them. It takes a while but it's delicious when it's done. After that, I take a nap in a shady spot, only to wake up in the blazing sun. Arg! Why do shadows move on you like that?!

So Bonnie and the rest of the gang had to leave. David, Matt and me were left all alone until Pam, another Matt, Nathan and Gilbert showed up. Mostly we just napped on the giant lawn until they got there. That was fun.

Pam and Matt brought a whole crapload of food and we ate it after Pam cooked it. We also played more Werewolf and Balderdash.

I wanted to sleep under the stars and the only person who would, was David. So, we set up our sleeping bags beside the fire, and in the middle of the night, it started to rain. We moved inside, and then it stopped. Maaaan.

The tents

The tents


David, Ryan, Bonnie and Jan-Mark chopping

David, Ryan, Bonnie and Jan-Mark chopping


Bonnie, Jan-Mark, David Ryan

Bonnie, Jan-Mark, David Ryan


Yes, that is my bum

Yes, that is my bum


Me, David and Jan-Mark

Me, David and Jan-Mark


Matt

Matt


David chopping wood

David chopping wood


David chopping wood part 2

David chopping wood part 2


Jan-Mark playing soccer

Jan-Mark playing soccer


Jan-Mark playing soccer

Jan-Mark playing soccer

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

We drive 30 minutes for our camping trip

My friend David Narbaitz has a cottage in Aylmer, Quebec. I don't know why, but he wanted to go camping behind his cottage this weekend.

I had a class at Eliquo again today, so I had to bring all my stuff to class, and then go over slowly to Jan-Mark's house to wait for him to get off of work. I talked with his roommates and finally he showed up. Then Ryan showed up and we drove to meet Lorina at Ottawa U.

David was also meeting us there with Bonnie and Matt.

I guess David is more used to biking around? Because he probably took the most slowest way to get there. We think it's because it would have been the way he would ride a bike, ha.

So, we stopped in town, bought some things to eat, and then immediately fired up the grill. I was soooooooo hungry, I cracked open the cheap Quebecois wine and started barbecuing up a storm.... until the gas ran out. Great.

We managed to concoct a makeshift BBQ overtop the campfire, and it worked out OK.

Later on, we decided the correct thing to do, would be to jump into the Ottawa River on windsurfing boards and look at the stars. I just jumped in with all my clothes, forgetting that I had an iPod in my pocket. Oh well, byebye iPod.

The stars were nice, but not dead iPod nice. It was also cold.

I dried off and sat around the campfire, totally bitched out Jan-Mark and talked until 4 a.m. with David.

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

The freezing bike ride back home

Well, we all woke up in time for brunch at dimsum in Kensington market. I wasn't too impressed with the place where we went, but it was good enough.

John took us around the Kensington area and also to see his bar. It's pretty cool, in front is a casual bar type place, and in the back there is a stage for theatre productions and also bands to play after. So it's kind of ingenious. You get to turn the crowd over twice in one night for double the cover charge. Interesting.

So, pretty soon it was time for me to pick up my motorcycle at my aunt's house back in Newmarket. Alan is eternally awesome, so he said he would drive me all the way there just out of the goodness of his heart. Thanks Alan!

My aunt and uncle had already prepared quite the sumptuous spread for lunch. By the time I actually left, I think it was 3 p.m. I wanted to get back to Ottawa before dark, but that wasn't destined to happen.

It was quite cold on this Victoria Day weekend, so I dressed up in as many clothes as possible and just took off. It was easy to get the hang of driving it again, so that's a good thing.

I drove all the way back to Ottawa on Hwy 7, which is a beautiful drive, but brutally slow. Not a problem, except I got ridiculously lost for about an hour near a place called Odessa. Poor me.

Before I left Toronto, my aunt randomly reminded me that I needed my house keys before I left. Oh man, they are in Ryan's car with the rest of my luggage! Crap.

Luckily, Ryan would be home for me to pick them up. Phew.

So anyway, it was cold, did I mention it was cold?

By the time I got to Sharbot Lake I was shivering. It was dark and the gas station was just about to close. I walk in...

"Do you have anything that's warm that I can wear?"

The guy obviously noticed my unfortunate predicament and immediately turned the lights in the store back on.

"Yeah, absolutely, there should be some long johns in the back corner."

So I walk over and there are only shirts, not gonna cut it. I need something to keep my legs warm. I buy the biggest, warmest looking pair of socks I can find and fill the tank up. Thank you Sharbot Lake gas station man.

There is only a few hours left until getting home, so I tough it out, stopping every time I hit another city for some coffee to warm up. It's brutal, really, my life is so tough. I call Ryan to get encouragement along the way... haha.

Perth, Carleton Place, OK I am almost there and manage to find Ryan's house, pick up my keys and get back home before midnight. Phew, back to work tomorrow, the roadtrip is complete!

Ryan vs. octopus

Ryan vs. octopus


Me vs. dim sum

Me vs. dim sum


Me vs. octopus

Me vs. octopus

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Back in the T-dot!

Today we slept in like maniacs. By the time we left Detroit it was a totally stupid hour. We made it over the border no problem, with the car that we were driving for strangers.

We drove straight to the car wash, vacuumed out the Lexus, cleaned (we thought) as nice as possible, and brought it back to Judy. She wasn't happy that we went over our allotted kilometres, I could see that. Ryan explained that the kilometres didn't factor in driving around town, which we did a lot of trying to find our hosts.

Judy and her son looked through the car and said it was fine, gave us the gas money and then we left to go to my aunt's house, for a shower and possibly a nap.

I called our host, John and he wasn't answering, seems to be a common theme with our hosts. *sigh*.

When we got to my aunt's house, everyone was there, even my mom and dad. It was my uncle's mom's 90th birthday party (not my grandma, btw). They had a veritable feast set up just for us.

As I was walking in the door, John called Ryan's cellphone back and he told me that the place I wanted to have the meetup at was probably closed on a Sunday night. Oh God. So he offered to make new reservations at another place, post a sign up directing people to the place that was actually open (Bier Markt). Wow, what an awesome favour.

By the time we were done eating and getting semi-clean, we had to go back downtown to meet everyone. We left without looking up directions... so reliant on the GPS we realize that we don't have it anymore in Ryan's car. Oh man.

Calling John again:

"John I'm SO lost and we're going to be LATE."

"Ohhhh OK, turn left somewhere and get to the Don Valley."

To Sylvain: "Sylvain! Turn left!"

"Where? Here?"

We pass it...

"Yeah...there"

"Oh...dammit..." He keeps going and then somehow turns left and finds the Don Valley parkway.

We manage to make it to the restaurant right on time and everything works out well. We have a nice table of 12 or so full, drink some beers and chat all night. Later a terrible cover band comes on, so we get everyone to leave and go to this place called The Hideout. There is a band that ends up turning into a Sublime cover band because I keep yelling at them to play more Sublime over and over. It's great.

For some reason, John's friend tells him to go to some other bar, that's supposed to be better, so Sylvain and I hop in Sean's car, to get there. He does impressions of John Lennon while driving and finding a place to park. Adam and Ryan are tired and they go back to sleep.

When we get to this awesome place we go on the wrong floor and it's boring. So, bah, we should've stayed at the Sublime cover band, I think.

When that gets tiring we all go back to John's place and me and John have more beers and talk all night until finally going to sleep at 4 a.m.

The trip's almost over and I am TOTALLY zonked... yeah that's a word from the 80s I used right there.

Adam at Bier Markt

Adam at Bier Markt


Ryan and Sylvain at Bier Markt

Ryan and Sylvain at Bier Markt


John at Bier Markt

John at Bier Markt


Mom and Dad at Bier Markt

Mom and Dad at Bier Markt


Bier Markt

Bier Markt


The Hideout

The Hideout


The Hideout Sublime cover band

The Hideout Sublime cover band


The Hideout

The Hideout


Sean's trunk

Sean's trunk


Some bar

Some bar

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

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