So I've in Edmonton for the past few days and its been an eye opening experience in some ways. I've always heard about how people in the West are oh so friendly and I've always just nodded my head and thought 'yeah yeah right'. The truth is that I lived in Calgary and I didn't see much of a difference. People still scowl at each other on the train and avoid eye contact in the street. To me, every city is kind of the same. You have nice people, and then you have asshats, and you have those in between that want to be left alone. It's all good, I mean one of the perks of living in a big city is relative anonymity.
But oh man, have I been at the receiving end of western hospitatily on this trip. Example: Yesterday a bus driver (public transit) whom I asked for directions to my destination gave me two extra hours on my tranfer in case I got lost. Thats basically three free bus trips ($3.20 x 3 = $9.60 = A WEEKS WORTH OF LUNCH MONEY FOR TOURING POET). I had multiple conversations with elderly women, one of whom tried to help me find an earring on the ground for 10 minutes (we found it!). I chatted with a man in a wheelchair with no legs who had a super awesome beagle puppy. A girl in a vintage store basically helped me try on a million dresses and became my personal shopper/ much needed opiniated friend helper and she didn't even work at the store. So yeah, now I buy into all that 'damn, people here are nice.' They really are so much friendlier than in Montreal or Toronto.
And tonight I get on a Greyhound bus at 6pm headed to Nelson, which I am set to arrive in at 9am tomorrow morning. I have spent the day frantically getting supplies for this journey. Right now I am stocked with the following for the dreadfully long bus ride: Pyjama pants, travel blanket and pillow, a gazilion snacks including trail mix, fruit, chips and candy, juice boxes and water, and of course Gravol. The last item on this list may be the most important. Although I generally dislike taking medication of any kind (other than the kind that keeps me from going disastrously mental), Gravol is the exception during road trips of any kind. Because as the years have passed I have found myself getting car sick more often than not. And car sickness + 16hr Greyhound in the rockies is a horrible combination. Basically I take the pills so as to not throw up on other cranky travellers and spend the rest of the ride roasting in my own vomit (such lovely imagery, no?). I am doing everyone else a public service, trust me.
In case you hadn't noticed, I really am dreading the next couple long Greyhound bus rides. After Nelson I head to Vancouver on Sunday, which is only about a 10hr trip. Still, I am looking forward to not seeing another bus for awhile once I go home in June.
I'll keep you guys posted on how the journey goes. Enjoy your eating, your running, your parks and all your long legged freedom, I'll be thinking of you when I'm curled into a ball all night in travel limbo.