Wandering across Canada

I recently moved out from the West coast to the East (recently meaning earlier this week). I made the journey by bus, partly because it was around $800 cheaper than flying, but mostly because I had never seen most of Canada and I wanted to remedy that. What follows are some of my thoughts during this 80 hour bus ride.


Day One

Lots of mountains and lakes to navigate around, seemingly in BBC it takes hours to get anywhere because of the mountains and lakes getting In the way. I had my first moment of excitement about moving…

Calgary was one of the few decently apportioned bus terminals that I came through. Taking the bus is sort of a whole subculture, there were people who apparently have been doing the same route for years and years.

Day Two

Watching the sun rise over the prairies just East of Swift Current, Saskatchewan. You can see a very long way out here. The prairies are just as I imagined, which probably just shows that they have very little imagination.

Regina is much smaller than I thought it would be. It really is true that the prairies are endlessly the same. No wonder people don’t leave these identical small towns. They could probably never find them again.

Leaving Winnipeg which means  past halfway. 36 hours to go, mostly in Ontario. When I wake up we should be in a whole new time zone. Winnipeg seems like a bigger city than Vancouver. Or at least, it took longer to drive through. Still not cold yet.

Day 3

Ontario. Trees and forests and real scenery again. Slightly colder but still not cold cold. And no snow since we crossed the mountains in BC. The bus out of.. Winnipeg I think was the most crowded so far.

This bus is going all the way to Sudbury today, then leaving for Ottawa around midnight. Less than 24hrs now. I wonder if people in Manitoba are poorer so they take the bus more, or if there are just more people in line to leave the province!

Flitting through the lakes of Ontario still. There is snow on the ground although I can’t tell if we’re high up or not. 20 hrs to go.

People and their horrendously I’ll-educated opinions maker feel ill. Think for a second about these huge generalisations. Who are ‘americans’, who are ‘terrorists’. These people don’t exist in any real way. And don’t sit there complaining and making excuses ‘if I wasn’t so old’ is a favourite one. As if age grants immunity from action. Either do something or shut up. Personally I don’t care enough about the world to do anything, and I think the most effective thing I could do would be to effectively market environmental alternatives, either as a peaceful speaker or a politician. Protests are worthless until there is a serious crisis.

..

I don’t know what the body of water close to sault st Marie is, but it’s enormous. I can’t see the other side. [I just looked this up and apparently it’s lake Superior. I feel rather silly for not knowing that].

Passed monster muffler in seaulx st Marie with very crudely drawn black eyes on a bile green door. Arendt may have written of the banality of evil, but travelling across Canada has allowed me to witness the banal and the drear in everything humankind creates.

Sudbury may be home to the worlds largest nickel, but st Marie (called ‘Sault’ by the natives) seems to have the world’s largest unrealistic concrete mushroom.

My body is suffering from the lack of good food on the road. I had to cave in and buy a bagel with cream cheese from Tim Horton’s (a Canadian staple, and there seems to be one at every stop). I’m not sure how their stomachs can take it. Crossing Ontario seems to be the slowest part of the journey, it is a rather large place. If one was to stack four Ontarios on top of each other end to end, all the people would fall out.

I commented on the bad clothes that people wear in the small towns in Canada. If you get to know me better you will know that I’m a snob! On the other hand, small town Canada does afford an excellent opportunity to play classic arcade games. I think that ‘Super Off Road’ was one that I saw a few times.

Remember that game? Fabulous.

Day 4

Out of Ottawa and I think now in Quebec at last. 4 provinces… actually 6 when I list them (including BC), 4 days, 76 hours almost over (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec). Quebec seems relaxing, ironically more wheat than I ever saw in Saskatchewan (which is known for wheat… and only wheat).

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