A Travellerspoint blog

Canada

We hiked in the rain

I left pretty early in the morning and it rained all day on my way to North Bay. Karl met me at some random hotel that I stopped at, because I didn't want to go any further. We went to the quints museum, which I had no idea about, but it was interesting. There were five kids born to the same lady during the Depression and the government took them and put them on display! Crazy.

We got a suite at the University of Nippissing and then took off to find a waterfall. The map they gave us was weird, so it took us a while, and just as we were at the furthest point into the forest, CRASH BAM, the thunderstorm started. So we got out of there as quick as possible, but this was not very fast at all. By the time we were out of the forest, it had stopped raining.

Then we made a pizza in the oven and I fell asleep really really early.

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

Getting down to lake business

In the morning, I tried to hide my giant bruise from Karen, but she saw it and kind of freaked out. It's OK, it wasn't bleeding so don't worry.

Shylo's other cousin, Eric and I dragged a kayak down to the waterfront and I toured around a little bit. I think I went back up and tried to sleep, but couldn't. It was really early, Shylo's aunt turned the radio on at about 6 a.m. for some reason and nobody slept at all.

Then, we tried to go and see the dune buggy race, but it was over by the time we got there. We took the four wheeler down the road and sat in the back on a trailer. That was kind of crazy.

We took a short hike, where Eric got attacked by a wild turkey and when we got back, I went for some more kayaking.

At some point, there was a very long discussion on who would go into town and buy ice cream and french fries from the famous chip truck. Shylo, Eric and I were going to go, but then a bunch of other people wanted to come and then there were too many to fit in the car, so I volunteered to stay and sleep some more. Which also didn't happen again.

Shylo's mom made awesome food the whole time. I remember stir fry and shishkabobs, mmmmm.

Shylo's uncle in a canoe

Shylo's uncle in a canoe


Shylo's uncle in a canoe

Shylo's uncle in a canoe


Shylo's uncle in a canoe

Shylo's uncle in a canoe

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

Getting to the cottage

Sooooo I woke up really late and got to Shylo's cottage in the early afternoon.

Their cottage is on a very narrow gravel road that has some pretty steep hills, so I randomly stopped somewhere on the road and gave up. Just as I was getting off the bike and deciding what to do next, Shylo's mom drove up in her big red truck. She told me walking to the cottage would have been pretty far, especially with all my gear and stuff, so she dropped me off.

They had already been there for most of the morning, they woke up at 4 a.m. or something to beat the traffic.

It was great to see Ms. Pruyn once again. Last time I saw her was my last trip to Halifax about three/four years ago!

Everyone else arrived a few hours later, including Shylo's cousin Karen, with her giant dog, Carter. Carter seemed like a nice enough animal, until I went to the outhouse. When I emerged from the bushes, I think I frightened him, and all of a sudden he started attacking me, biting me once, softly, then harder, and then REALLY HARD right below my bum! It hurt really bad and I kind of laughed it off, until a few hours later I actually saw it, a big giant bruise in the shape of a perfect rectangle right at the top of my thigh. Holy schniekies.

Anywho, after that incident, we had a campfire and then I went skinny dipping in the lake late at night. It took me a while to get psyched up. The water was pitch black and the mist on the lake was swirling. I shone the flashlight into the bushes on the other side, convinced something was watching me. Eventually, I counted to three, took a deep breath and jumped in! Ahhhhhhhhhhh awesome.

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Lunchsurfing and Couchsurfing

Karl's car broke down about a week before we were going to go on the trip to Parry Sound to see Shylo's new cottage. It's a good thing, because the whole underneath was rusted completely out, and who knows, maybe we would have fallen right out of the bottom!

Since Karl wasn't going to ride on the back of my moto, I went ahead of him a couple of days early, because I am an underemployed bum.

Shylo and everyone wasn't going to get to the cottage until Friday noon-ish, and my last shift at work was on a Wednesday, so I had a whole day/night to kill somewhere. But where. I use meetways.com to find mid-points in between places, so the Madawaska Valley is right in between Ottawa and Parry Sound. I sent out some CS requests and got one back after like, two minutes from Kent in Combermere and Jen just a few minutes down the road from him. I already agreed to stay at Kent's place, so I had to tell Jen no. However, she offered to make me lunch at her organic farm with her husband and FIVE very blonde/blue eyed children.

That was crazy. The kids were jumping around everywhere, they showed me their chickens and sheep and I ate some sandwiches of HOMEMADE bacon and bread with homemade kimchi. For some reason, I felt the need to turn my motorcycle around all by myself. Their house is on a giant hill, and without thinking, I parked it facing downhill. After I let go, the whole thing fell right on top of me. Smart move Louise. Jen's husband, Tim helped me pick it up and showed me how to park it correctly on a hill. Ha.

From there, I went to Kent's house. He is a PR type person, but he's also kind of a part-time journo when he feels like it. He edits and publishes a yearly charity newspaper for Combermere.

He drove me around town in his Corvette and made me curry dinner. It was great. I had a nice relaxing sleep in his guest room. Not even a couch! Wow!

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

The story of Eric

So, I went back to Ottawa with my hat in my hand. Kind of disappointed, but still ready to write another chapter of this crazy thing that I'm doing with my life.

I rented out both the condos, and moved into a house on Craig Henry Dr. that I thought was going to be at worst, tolerable. Turns out my roommate was batshit crazy and couldn't handle a few dishes in the sink or perhaps (more likely) the fact that I was single and didn't want to have sex with him. Ever. In my life. Period. No exceptions.

You see, he's not allowed to see one of his own children because of violence and he confessed to me that he was in some sort of anger management program.

Girls, is this a red flag or not? Yes, I think it is.

Eventually, he found a fat ass, disgusting, stupid face, girlfriend, and I found a moderately cool, cute, skateboarder boyfriend. As you could have probably predicted, the problems that he had with me escalated as of that point.

Every day it seemed there was a new problem that he had to discuss with me.

He'd throw my dishes around the house, if I didn't wash them five seconds after I used them. He'd throw other people's clothes in the garbage if they didn't take them out of the dryer fast enough. Sometimes, I'd be afraid to leave my room, because he was yelling at his son (who he only sees half the time and sometimes forces him to sleep on the pullout couch in the living room) and I was afraid to get caught in the crossfire, or afraid he'd start yelling at me too for some reason.

One day, I left to house sit for Aksana in Gatineau and didn't tell him. After about 10 days without going home, he emailed me right around Christmas time, saying "Get your shit out of my house in two days or else". Wait a minute, I paid for the whole month of January already, you can't do that. Oh yes he can.

I of course, did not sign any sort of lease, and was paying him cash, so I had no way of proving anything. You see, the room was so cheap, that I agreed to a whole host of crazy circumstances. So I emailed back, "Yes, of course, no problem. Just give me the money back for the rest of the month." He then sent me a cryptic message, which didn't specify whether he would exactly give it back or not. So whatever, I can't do anything about the money, I just have to get out.

I go over there and everything is ready to go, lined up nicely in the hallway, but Eric still hasn't given me any money back. It's about 11 p.m. and I ask him where it is, and why he can't get it from the bank. "IT'S NOT THAT SIMPLE LOUISE!" he yells at me. Oh, why not? Because you spend it all on insane amounts of drugs every weekend? And this is not libellous because I smelled the pot smoke permeating the house every Saturday and Sunday morning after coming home from work. He says that "some people" are coming to bring him the money in just a few moments. I should wait for them, and then I will get it back. So, I plop down on the couch and do not move any more stuff out of the house until they get there.

Eventually, they arrive. Do you know who they are? They are the PEOPLE HE RENTED MY ROOM OUT TO ALREADY! In the middle of the month. They are moving into MY ROOM TWO SECONDS AFTER I AM MOVING OUT. From the living room, I can hear them ask Eric if they can pay him tomorrow. "SHIT NO!" I yell, I'm not leaving until I get the rest of my rent. Eric flippantly tells them to just ignore me and I get up and start following him around the house yelling some more things at him.

Soon, Karl is getting in on it and Eric starts freaking out "I'M HAVING AN ANXIETY ATTACK" he yells. Karl gets all excited because who doesn't want to see Eric have an anxiety attack? And he sort of chases him into the kitchen. At which point, I do not see what happens, but later Karl says that he closed the fridge in Eric's face after he tried to open it as some sort of distraction to rid himself of anxiety. After this incident, Eric promptly announces he is calling the police! Karl and I are like "YES PLEASE CALL THE POLICE!" I dunno I guess he thought I was scared of the police or something? So I called his bluff, the police come, and I tell them the story about how I think Eric probably thought I had just left all my stuff there and skipped town. The cops understand and make Eric pay me back the rest of my rent, which was only $200 or so, but it was the principle of the thing, you see.

So, a few weeks earlier, one of my students, who is a funny muslim lady, asked if I would move in with her, for free, in exchange for teaching her English. I brought my stuff over there, just happy to be out of the cold in January.

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

The story of Anna

After living with Eric, I came to the relative calm of Anna's house. Her real name is Amneh, and she lives just behind the Ikea. So here is a nice situation for me. Free apartment for basically just conversing with people, helping with homework.

Of course, as always, there's a catch. Actually many catches: <ul><li>There are three teens/20-somethings also living in the house. </li><li>Islamic rules dictate that I cannot let any boys sleep over.</li><li>Islamic rules also dictate that I cannot drink outside of my room. Anna disagrees with the consumption of alcohol in her home, but she says it's OK as long as she "doesn't see it".</li><li>I soon begin paying rent anyway, because I realize that I am never there, and do not in fact help Anna with her homework at all. </li></ul>Anna and I discussed all of these things before I moved in. I thought that I had understood and we had agreed on them.

However, one fateful night, Karl came over and we each had two drinks and watched a movie until 11 p.m. There might have been some making out, but nothing obnoxious, OK boys and girls? Karl went home before midnight, as his Cinderella-like habits dictate.

The next day, I came home from work and Anna says, "I have to talk to you". She began rambling on and on about how her "heart hurts" and I "can't pay her enough money" to do this in her house and how she feels "so guilty" that I am doing all of these terrible things in her home.

OK, so I'm sorry, I didn't realize, I won't do it anymore.

I mention that her daughters had boys over when she wasn't home and I didn't know that there was a "no boy" policy. Then, she gets even angrier and I think she thinks I'm making it up. She demands that I tell her who these boys were and which daughter brought them home!

Honestly, I can't remember, that's how unimportant bringing a boy over is to me. She tells me she will ask her daughter and eyes me suspiciously.

Then she goes on and on about how I do not wash the dishes properly, and how I need to get my own dishes, because "I am making her children sick" with my disgusting habits.

I had just come home from an overnight shift and as usual, I'm insanely tired and don't want to have a discussion about anything, let alone how I am the spawn of satan and will go to hell for all of my misdeeds against Allah and her pristine family life. Anna has been married at least six times, I will remind you.

OK, I'll bring my own dishes, and I will wash them myself and keep them in my own bedroom, Anna.

At this point, I begin making plans to move in with Karl. Of course he thinks it's a great idea, and i tell Anna I'm moving out on May 1.

After this point, everything starts to go downhill. My things go missing, people start eating all my food, the girls are ignoring me, especially Yasmine, so I'm assuming it was her that I got in trouble with all my "blabbing".

I even find some crazy disgusting dishes in the drawers and cupboards, leading me to think that I might be slowly chased out of the house? Perhaps I am being set up by Yasmine? I have no idea.

Another day sometime later, Anna asks me if I could please "tell her whenever I go downstairs", because her sister's stuff is down there and she doesn't know what happens to it. I don't know, something got lost in translation. Downstairs is where I do my laundry once a week, by the way.

It all sort of comes together for me, one Saturday morning. Again, I am tired after a long night shift. I rode my bike home and attempted to park it under the car port because it is starting to rain. I do not want to get my fancy bike wet and rusty. Prior to this, I had been noticing that the van is parking closer and closer, in such a way that I am finding it harder and harder to park my bike under the car port anymore. When I come home on this particular Saturday morning, I find a giant wall of tires impeding my way. There is no way I can fit my bike in there anymore.

I am sad. Why would anyone want to do this? Do they have something against me, or against bicycles? I'm hardly ever there, so I don't know why they would have anything against me, and my bicycle never did anything to anyone, so I don't know what they might have against my bicycle.

I must leave now eight months after moving in with Eric and four months after moving in with Anna. Now, I am going to have a new house, back in my old South Keys neighbourhood. I just hope there are no problems at Karl's place. At this point in time, it is kind of already looking like a disaster... Stay tuned for more drama, I'm sure.

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

Apr 29, 2011

Me

Me


Niklas

Niklas


Luca and me

Luca and me

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Going home

I got a ride to the airport from the owner's son. That's about it.

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Empty place!

Sault Ste. Marie was really empty and windy and cold. I got out to take a little photo walk... as I do at each stop... and when I got back, some cranky old man was yelling at me to stop taking up so much room.

Well excuse me, I didn't know the bus was going to fill up while I was out... Luckily he didn't sit beside me.

Right about now, a really really drunk guy got on the bus and started yammering on about whatever all night long.

When we got to Toronto, the bus driver found out he was smoking in the washroom. She promptly started yelling and kicked him out. Right on the side of the 401 in the middle of nowhere in Ajax or something.... We all laughed.

Gooooo bus driver!

Graffiti in Sault Ste. Marie

Graffiti in Sault Ste. Marie


Everything is empty here

Everything is empty here


Everything is empty here

Everything is empty here


Everything is empty here

Everything is empty here


Everything is empty here

Everything is empty here


Everything is empty here

Everything is empty here


Everything is empty here

Everything is empty here

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

Mar 24, 2011

Not sure if this is Wawa

Not sure if this is Wawa


Not sure if this is Wawa

Not sure if this is Wawa


Not sure if this is Wawa

Not sure if this is Wawa


Not sure if this is Wawa

Not sure if this is Wawa


Somewhere on Lake Superior

Somewhere on Lake Superior


Somewhere on Lake Superior

Somewhere on Lake Superior


Somewhere on Lake Superior

Somewhere on Lake Superior


Somewhere on Lake Superior

Somewhere on Lake Superior

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The home of Winnie the Pooh

I learned that White River, Ontario is the place that the Winnie the Pooh stories were based on. There's no way I would have known that without taking this trip!

Winnie the Pooh

Winnie the Pooh


White River

White River


White River

White River


White River

White River

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Mar 23, 2011

Brandon downtown

Brandon downtown


Downtown Brandon

Downtown Brandon

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Mar 23, 2011

Dauphin bus depot

Dauphin bus depot


Dauphin coin wash

Dauphin coin wash

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I bought a blankie

We stopped for a long break in a sizable town in Saskatchewan. I had no idea where I was, but I quickly found a Liquidation World just down the street from the bus depot.

After a quick peruse of the shelves, I immediately spotted the item I was in need of. A fuzzy pastel orange and green striped, four dollar blankie.

The bus gets pretty cold and all you want to do is sleep, all the time, so it's necessary to be as cozy as possible. The blankie kept me company all the way home.

Yorkton

Yorkton


Yorkton

Yorkton


Yorkton

Yorkton


Yorkton

Yorkton


Yorkton bus depot

Yorkton bus depot

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Mar 22, 2011

Hi-Valley Inn

Hi-Valley Inn


Highway 43 or 49

Highway 43 or 49

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