Things learned on my first Trans-Canada trip

Saturday, February 28, 2009 | |

Vancouver, BC 1/30/09

  • The Vancouver sky train also goes underground.
  • Waiting 35 minutes outside at 5 am in Manitoba in subfreezing temperatures for a late bus leads to spontaneous jumping jacks and running in place which worked except for my toes that were nearly sacrificed. Expect no sympathy from the bus driver.
  • If Stuart Mclean of the Vinyl Cafe hears you are traveling across the country on train, expect to be called out during the opening of the show and have to say hello and introduce yourself to the audience.
  • Drinking a Canadian on the Canadian with Canadians in Canada is fun. A Beer on a train with citizens from a specific country.
  • Fill out the survey on the railways if they ask, I won 25 dollars for doing so.
  • People in Winnipeg are nice.
  • Book your hostel stay before hand instead of thinking there will be someone at the door, because that is not always the case.
  • Toronto is silent in the winter, it is illegal to play music in the subway with out paying the city for the rights to do so.
  • A tea bag is a sufficient substitute for an eye patch if you require such things.
  • Lockers in hostels greatly increase peace of mind.
  • CD and books don't mix well with a small backpack .
  • Can I help you find something? No I'm just looking.
  • I can't think of any reason for a "used toothpick" plate can you?
  • I might be considered a "vagrant" because I don't currently have a source of income and I am traveling around. The title was a punishable crime enforced in the "jail" hostel that I am staying in Ottawa in the 1800's. Perhaps a more appropriate title would be vagabond, in which case I am in good company (Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, William Hazlitt, Paul Erdös).
  • If the friend that you are visiting is leaving for Antarctica the day after you arrive, don't expect to be able to hang out with them much.
  • Just because you arrive in Ottawa in the middle February during their winter festival "Winterlude" doesn't mean it will be cold enough to skate on the 5 mile long canal, most likely it will be raining.
  • The Canadian Parliament is fun to watch, and the translating skills from French to English in near real time via head sets are amazing.
  • I found out what a carillon is.
  • Niagara Falls is one of the ugliest cities out there. One huge tourist trap. If you go, it's not worth spending the night.
  • Tenori-ons are awesome.
  • You will see old women exercising in pools, and you will talk about the experience with someone in Montreal.
  • The shaky guy spraying breath mint into his mouth 3 times in a row reminded me of the film Amelie.
  • French is assumed in Quebec.
  • The fast food options in Montreal's central station are fantastic; Spaghetti Carbonara for ~10 dollars.
  • I read this "I like to tape my thumbs to my hands to see what it would be like to be a dinosaur." and thought it was funny.
  • The Halifax Saturday food market is fantastic, it weaves in and out, up and down, in this building and around the next, and you guessed it, they are tearing it down to build condos.
  • Bhangra dancing is fun and tiring.
  • Coat zippers tend to break while you are outside on your way to the grocery store in Halifax.
  • It is completely possible to find people in Montreal who speak no English what so ever.
  • If you stay at a hostel that was formerly a jail, don't be surprised to learn that you are spending the night there on the 100th year anniversary of the last public execution.
  • If someone suggests you go to a specific music venue in Montreal while you are at another similar venue in Toronto, expect to see them in Montreal when you arrive.
  • Montreal's Metro is full of music, and you have to sign up for time slot to play at designated places.
  • Poutine
  • Some U.S. Border Patrol agents have heard of Couchsurfing, if you get one that has not, good luck.
Halifax, NS 2/14/09


.kate said...

And Also....

- Bring Claritin D. You never know when you will encounter a vicious pair of housekittens.