Yeah I post to my travel blog when I’m on the road so my family and friends can keep up to date on where I am & what I”m doing. Also to check if I’m still on the right side of the ground! But I mainly blog as a kind of Journal to myself so I can remember my trip, where I went, what I did and who I met along the way while posting some but not all my pics! So yeah I blog whatever happens and don’t edit the contents or the esthetics of the blog. So some people may be offended by what I do or say! But no one tells me anything cus I’d tell them to tell someone who gives a fuck!!! Cus hell if they don’t care for what I do or say then shit don’t read it! Cus those that mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind & screw the rest! Also don’t give any thoughts about the layout and how it looks to readers. Cus most of the time I’m blogging in some out of the way Internet cafe (in some remote country) with crappy speed & response. So the posting may be long and boring to many but just blog what I did and my thoughts so fuck what others think! Also don’t worry if it looks presentable or not. I gave up my I.T. career so when I blog and post well I hardly edit it. So shit won’t get top marks for a pretty blog site! So yeah what I like to say is it may not be a cool presentable blog but it serves the purpose!
So after the Shambhala Music Festival ended well Valdis, my Latvian buddy, wanted to go to Burning Man at the end of Aug. But shit it would cost so much for tickets plus would have to fix my truck to make it as it’s a long drive to Nevada! All this after I ended a 6 month trip thru Africa, Middle East, Eastern Europe and some of Western Europe!
So hell to make up for not going to Burning Man hell I thought should do a Road Trip across Canada. Then head to Burning Man next summer for sure! So in the meantime I hit the Festivals and beaches in Aug. But once Aug ended thought now let’s do the Road Trip as was starting to get restless cus sort of had my mind set on heading out!
But shit didn’t want to do a regular Road Trip cus it would be too easy with little adventure to just drive my own car! Also if I drove my truck across Canada it would burn too much gas & would need to fix it up a bit! So thought what would be cool would be to do the Road Trip by Rideshare (by lining up rides online which is not free as would split gas. but hell nothing in life is free except me, ha ha) and Couch Surf so I’d be totally experiencing a new adventure!!!
So found a person wanting a person to drive their 1981 Mustang convertible from Vancouver to Halifax. This sounded cool as could line up people to rideshare with me which would be an adventure & cut costs! Shit the trip is like about 6500 km from the Pacific to the Atlantic right across Canada! So convinced this woman to trust me to drive her car. She told me that I could drive her car but then she must have come to her senses and figured why am I letting this idiot take my car across the country possibly with a bunch of other idiots! Which maybe is why she bailed on me cus after a few emails I couldn’t get a hold of her anymore! Thought what a Flake but in reality it was probably for the best cus really did I want the responsibility of looking after a car??? So found this chick driving to Ontario about 4500 km which was more where I wanted to go & not to the Maritimes cus bin dar dun that before!! We seemed to get along well so figured this should be cool! So we were all set to go but she kept having car trouble! So thought she may be a cool person but hell got the feeling that her vehicle wasn’t cut out for a long road trip!
Well by the end of Sept after 2 potential rides fell through I found a guy who was driving someone’s car across to Toronto. So this started a different type of adventure for me as he seemed to be more in control and organized with a new car. Anyway he told me he was going the next day which was cool as had been packed for weeks after surviving 2 false alarms about heading out so was good to go!
Then later that day I got a msg from Aaron who I met in Barcelona earlier in the year! He was passing thru Vancouver heading to Alaska. So of course we had to meet up the day before heading out on my Road Trip. Of course we had to do some green stuff at a couple cafes where ppl gather to enjoy a doobie! After that we had to check out the Couch Surfing meeting at a close by bar! So who do I meet there but Christa who kept reminding me that I didn’t host her & her friend David even tho I was busy hosting another person! So she gave me a hard time for a few hours which prolonged this meeting way into the night!
Then we had a choice of checking out a late club or another bar. But Aaron was staying at a friend’s place quite far from the bar & couldn’t make it home that late at night without a car. Plus shit I had to get up early for my road trip! But that didn’t mean we couldn’t head to my place for a beer and smoke (not that we needed it)! Anyway it ended up that Aaron, Christa and David all crashed at my place that night as it was too late to leave!
But since we didn’t get to sleep till about 3 or 4 am well had to scramble the next morning as Alix, my Rideshare driver, came to pick me up around 10 am.
Dam felt bad about having to kick my 3 couch surfing guests out of bed! But had no choice cus was leaving on my trip for however long it took! Yeah had given some thought about letting them sleep. But realized that they needed a key to lock up plus they were all leaving Vancouver in the next day or so! But oh well it was a beautiful day & the 3 of them wanted to go hang out around town in the sun!!
How the shit did I end up with 3 Americans crashing at my place the night before I was leaving on a Road trip across Canada? Then there's Crista fast asleep in bed!!!
My first impression of Alix, my Rideshare driver, was that he was a former Hippie type! Guess he had long hair for most of his life but just cut it off in memory of a friend that just died (though couldn’t figure the relationship of the 2 incidents there but oh well)! He seemed cool enough to hang out for a 5 or 6 days. He had been in a bad accident about a year before when he rolled his truck. So he couldn’t camp in a tent which meant that shit we would have to find a bed or some where to crash.
We were driving a small Toyota or something. but hell it could keep up with all the other vehicles through the Rocky Mountains. We got along great as we told each other about what we were about in life! Guess Alix was born in Ontario and his father was a real douche bag! His father’s theory about raising a kid was to give his kid $5000 to get lost! So Alix left home at 16 with his money and hitch hiked across Canada, US and didn’t return home again until his father was dying! His father wanted to know the truth about the status of his health! So Alix told him without a thought “U’r not going to live long cus u fuckin dying!” Sounded a bit harsh to me but he had no love for his father plus his father wanted the truth which is why he asked Alix!!
Well the first day we didn’t get on the road till about noon! But drove till midnight through the Rockies about 1000 km to reach Calgary. We weren’t doing this Road Trip to sight see like many doing a Road Trip! I grew up in Edmonton which is in Alberta the province where Calgary is located. Hell I had been through the Rocky Mtns a lot of times either camping or skiing!
We drove to Calgary as Alix had a friend there where we could stay the night! So hell I was all for a free place to crash! It was cool to grab some sleep, have a big breakfast in the morning & get back on the road heading east!
We made it about 300 km to Medicine Hat as Alix had a friend there too who moved there from Vancouver Island. What was different about this guy was he lived in a garage complete with a roll up door and equipment to work on cars, etc. But this dude named Geo was an artist who painted pictures, murals, etc. But to see him he looked like a grease monkey which in a way he was too! Cus he owned old cars, motor cycles, etc as he loved to repair his toys. Geo did this cus he loved working on them not to sell! Guess his gf had been in an accident & got a big insurance payout! So she bought a SUV & car for herself then an expensive motor cycle & antique pickup for Geo He loved to live in a garage the type u see in commercial areas for business but not usually used as a home! He slept in the back on a couch but not sure where he ate or showered! So since it was his home well he gave us a beer and had a big bag of weed & passed around a joint! So after realizing we both smoke weed well Alix and I would share a smoke while driving! When I was driving he would roll a J and hand it to me while driving. Now don’t mind doing this but don’t like to smoke in a car as it’s possible to drop a J while driving! So I never smoked in the car when Alix drove. But hell when we stopped for gas well that was a different story as would have a quick smoke!
So having a smoke was a cool way to do a Road Trip to pass the day in the car! Cus we’d put on some music and get mesmerized with the drive for hours! Smoking while driving is totally different than drinking cus can totally concentrate on the drive while listening to music! Hell it’s the ONLY way to Fly (duh I mean drive)!!!!!
House of this guy Bob who is looking after 3 grown adult mentally challenged ppl!
We seemed to do about 1000 kms a day on the road as we stuck to 110 km a hr. One day when we were going thru northern Ontario (a large province in eastern Canada) Alix picked up a speeding ticket. He was doing about 30 kms over the speed limit! This should have amounted to about a $300 ticket. But the cop who stopped us was really nice and said she’d write it as 10 km over the limit which meant only a $60 ticket. But Alix wanted to fight the ticket as said he was going down a hill when caught on radar by the officer! But I thought shit man let it go as she was nice enough to reduce the fine and Dude u were speeding!! But didn’t say anything cus he could do whatever he wanted as it was his ticket so he could fight it or just pay it!
The second day on the road we drove thru Saskatchwan a flat prairie province that’s not in the middle of nowhere but u can see it from there! It may rank up there with Timbucktoo (where I went to earlier this year cus it’s synomymous with middle of no where) as a place where there’s nothing around!! Yeah there are a lot of places like they’re in the middle of nowhere in Canada!!
Well after doing another 1000 kms on the second day we ended up in Brandon, Manitoba! The only thing I knew about Brandon was a year or so back a guy was riding in a Greyhound bus near the city went psycho and cut the head off this guy in the next seat and carried it thru the bus! Shit so now the question they ask ppl at Greyhound Canada when they go to buy a tkt is “Where u beheaded?”.
So after exciting Brandom well our next major city we got to in Manitoba was it’s captal city of Winnipeg or Winterpeg cus u guess it! It’s a shitty cold place in the winter and has humungous mossies (mosquitos) in the summer! But suppose Edmonton in Alberta where I grew up isn’t much better! The most memorable thing about Winterpeg was we were hungry when we got there. There is a ring road around the city but Alix wanted to drive into the city to find a place to eat. Well we didn’t have to go into the city to grab a bite to eat as we weren’t looking for a fancy eatery but any greasy spoon would do! But shit we did whatever Alix wanted to do cus it was his car (or at least he was in charge of it)! So we went about 10 blocks in to the city to eat! Well I asked the ppl in the cafe what was the quickest way out of the city to go east. They told me to go back the way we came to the ring road. Well since it was my turn to drive I started to go back to the ring road! But Alix said let’s continue down this other street as it will take us right out of the city! I tried to tell him the ppl at the cafe said to go back to the ring road! But shit he liked to run the show so we did it his way! So what happened but we ended up driving about a hour to get thru the city as we ended up going right thru the city center, duh. It wasn’t a big thing cus we weren’t in that much of a hurry but let’s face it we didn’t do the road trip to sight see thru the city! But Alix never said any thing like I was wrong as we should have gone back to the ring road! So I started to realize that Alix was a bit of a control freak and someone who thinks he knows everything. & never admits he’s wrong! But it wasn’t unbearable or cause any problems as thought shit in the big picture like who cares!
Anyways we were on the road again but Alix wanted me to go thru this other small city to look for a place to buy rolling papers so he could roll a doobie! Well for that don’t mind going off the main hwy. So we managed to find a Head Shop and found this cool guy working there. So bought a souvenir pipe from the shop! I was finding out that it seemed no matter how small the place u can always find cool ppl anywhere!
We were trying to get to Thunder Bay for the night but it was getting late and Alix was getting tired. So he pulled into a motel in this small out of the way place which I can’t recall the name! The motel was mostly full of people working on the highway which was OK! I started talking to the lady at the front desk and she told me she had just moved back to the town after living in Texas for the past 5 years. So it was interesting to find out why and how come she moved back to this small place also in the middle of nowhere (like I said before there are a lot of places in Canada that are in the middle of nowhere) so if u want to disappear and live incognito well Canada’s the place to come!!
We never did see the city of Thunder Bay as wanted to see the place where my friend Tiina came from. She was going to do the ride share with me if I had driven the 1981 mustang convertible across Canada! She’s a cool chick so just curious what her home city is like but didn’t get a chance to see it!
But we did stop in Sudbury in the province of Ontario to stay with a friend of Alix’s. Can’t remember the guy’s name (let’s call him Bob) and have to say I’ve never admired anyone like Bob. He waa a journalist among other things. But moved back to Sudbury cus his father was sick and then passed away. So Bob inherited his dad’s house along with 3 foster siblings! Bob’s father and mother took in foster kids for years and his father still had 3 of them when he died! So Bob took over the house & looked after the foster kids as he called them. They were actually adults but were mentally challenged. One was a 81 year old woman who was deaf with border line dementia! Another was a 61 year old woman who had the mental capacity of a 3 year old. The 3rd was a 51 year old man who was like a 12 year old boy! I admired him for being like a single parent to these 3 kids?? So what he did was sacrifice his life to help out these 3 foster people! It takes a real special person to do this kind of thing! So he basically has no life of his own cus he can’t go anywhere for long as he can’t leave the 61 year old home by herself &the other 2 can’t help her. So after meeting and seeing his life well I figure if there is a God watching well Bob has gotten a lot of points for his good deed to those 3 foster people!
This was a Road trip across the country but it was also an eye opener for me in some ways as saw and did things that only a trip with a stranger would show! Anyway Alix had some business in Barrie which is about 100 km north of Toronto. So Alix left me off there as he told me when his business was finished he’d swing by Toronto to give me a ride to Ottawa. I didn’t expect a ride from Toronto to Ottawa but hey I’d take it. So I caught a bus into Toronto & visited my sister who lives in the downtown area of Toronto. My sister works in a hospital so when she was at work well I’d sleep in late and wander around downtown. I checked the Couch Surfer’s web site for potential hosts in case my sister booted me out as I can do some crazy things at times. Shit I find Couch Surfing people to be very open minded, outgoing and friendly. So I found a post by this chick checking if there was anyone in Toronto with nothing to do for the day as wanted to meet to hang out or have a coffee! So I took her up on the request & met downtown for a coffee and a chat! This chick was from Finland andwas living in the Atlantic city of Halifax on a year work visa. She had couch surfed with someone there. Then since she had no job or plans the person offered her a ride to Toronto to check out the sights. But she was only in town for the day as her friend had an appointment during the day which left her to entertain herself! So that’s why she wanted some company so guess I was better than no company! It was interesting to meet a newcomer to Canada to get their opinion on Canada, Toronto and her plans here! So this was an entertaining day as like to meet new people.
Spent a couple days hanging with my sister as was expecting a call from Alix as he told me he’d give me a ride to Ottawa. But when I didn’t hear from him I called him. Shit didn’t think he was like this but he told me that he was taking a short cut to Ottawa. This was a bit of a shocker cus it was his idea to drive me as hell could get another ride share as it’s only a short trip to Ottawa compared to the 4500 kms we had already driven.
I wasn’t pissed or upset cus hell when a person travels like I do well there are always situations when things don’t go according to plans or in my case no plans
In some ways Alix and I thought the same in things like traveling and being free spirited but that was about it! He was like a lot of guys I’ve met in life who like buying and having grown up toys ie their truck, motor cycles, boats, TV’s, etc. Alix liked to accumulate material things and liked to fix, buy and sell these toys to get better more expensive toys! They also like to talk about their sexual prowress with the opposite sex as they like to Kiss and Tell! While my theory is don’t care about buying these expensive toys, don’t like to work on repairing things or talking about success with the opposite sex. Hell these are not the things that impress me in life also don’t like to do or talk aboutthem when I meet other people!! But hey each to their own as I’ll listen but don’t contribute anything to those subjects! But in a way was kind of glad I wouldn’t be traveling any further with Alix. Cus he’d spend most of the trip on his phone talking to his girl friend! Guess I don’t do that cus well don’t have a gf and also really dislike phones and talking on them especially about fuck all! So hey didn’t have to listen to the same mundane shit any more!
! wasn’t in any hurry to get any where cus didn’t have plans. But also didn’t want to stay many days in Toronto cus have spent other times there. So decided it was time to hit the road so found a rideshare with this dude Sebastian to Ottawa. I found Sebastian to be more my type cus probably as he just came back from traveling to Eastern Europe the month before. So we compared notes as we were basically in the area of the world around the same time! So we had a lot to talk about for the 4 hr trip! There was also another guy getting a ride home to Ottawa so kind of felt like we were ignoring him! So we changed the subject and talked to him too as he was a very nice guy! He had been born in Laos (where I planned to go to next year so grilled about the place) but left there when he was very young as his family were refugees to Canada. Well I had never actually met any refugees before so that was interesting! In some ways he had led a real interesting exciting life but as a kid! But as an adult he hadn’t experienced much other than doing a short rideshare with strangers. Hell he said he had just heard about ride sharing, had never tried couch surfing and would be scared about staying even at a hostel! He was very nervous about doing even doing a ride share. So I told him shit man u’ve been in more wilder situations as a kidin a refugee boat escaping Laos! Guess he heard Sebastian and me talking about our crazy traveling experiences by the seat of our pants with no plans. I found out in this short trip that Sebastian and I were on the same wave length. But he was going to Ottawa to take the car he was driving back to his gf as it was her car. While I was just doing a road trip to where ever!
So I told the Laoian dude (can’t remember his name) not to worry as most travelers may look and act like a crazy with wild stories. But they’re really just chill normal ppl who like to travel and meet other ppl. So I guess this must have settled down his anxiety as he started to tell us about himself which was very interesting!
We hit a lot of traffic so our trip to Ottawas took us a lot longer than planned. Shit was hoping to catch the last bus to a small town about 2 hrs outside Ottawa. But shit we got to Ottawa too late to catch the last bus to this town.
I forgotten that the weekend we were traveling was the long Thanksgiving weekend! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanksgiving_%28Canada%29 The Canadian Thanksgiving is on a different date than the more publicized American Thanksgiving. But shit everything in the US is much more publicized than the comparable thing in Canada! Hell doubt that Americans even realize that Canadians have a Thanksgiving as they probably think we celebrate their Thanksgiving Day too! But their lack of knowledge about anything Non American is a story all by itself! Americans are really nice friendly people (their government policies are the shits) as they remind me of innocent kids who haven’t learned much in their life!
Ottawa is the capital of Canada and also a big university city! So a lot of students & people were either going home or having ppl over for Thanksgiving! Which affected me as I had hoped to couch surf in Ottawa in case I had to stay there the night like I ended up having to do! But shit with Thanksgiving & being late in my requesting well my next resort was a hostel! So Sebastian dropped me off at this Hostel on the site of an old prison (home sweet home). But before checking in well took out my netbook & found another hostel about $10 cheaper so beat my ass over to it! This was the first hostel I stayed in Canada plus only stayed in one in the US (San Francisco) too! Well found them both to be different (as in boring in Ottawa but the San Fran hostel was cool!) than hostels I\ve stayed in other countries! Cus found the people staying weren’t back packers or long term travellers! Most were either working, on a business trip, with families etc. Or in the case of the hostel in Ottawa the ppl were either working as an Academia or a government employee! But these type of people were like Ottawa itself - boring!!! I couldn’t be bothered to even check if anyone wanted to head out for a beer! Shit most hit the sack early but where I’ve always lived well Thur is bar time!!!!! So checked the Couch Surfing Community group for Ottawa for anyone doing something but again no action. The biggest thread I could find were ppl trying to meet up and decide on which All U Can Eat Japanese restaurant to go to! Well if I could have added to the thread I would have told them that the food at any All U Can Eat restaurant is going to be crap!! Hell went out for a walk and smoke on the street as the hostel is pretty much downtown! So I saw how dead the streets were downtown & thought am I in Deadmonton as grew up there and the downtown core is like an apple missing it’s core – hollow with nothing there! Hell it seemed odd in the San Francisco hostel that the ppl uaed their smarts. Cus met a couple of IT guys working for Blackberry in San Fran for a businsse conference or something. Hell they were given about $300 a day for hotel and food! So what the guys did was pocket most of the $300 a day and stayed in a hostel for maybe $25 & grab a cheap meal at some take out! Then met a guy from Texas who I thought was really quiet and shy. But when I started talking to him found out that he was always baked. Hell he would sit in his car and do a couple doobies every couple hrs! He was a real laid back guy who quit working and played internet poker for a living!
But finally found this former soldier who got out of the army cus of an injury. So to help kill the pain well he smoked Weed! So of course we had to head to the porch out front to do a couple of doobies (or in my case a few pipe fulls)! So that pretty much took care of the evening thank god! But did meet one sweet person Anke from Germany who is here in Canada on a 1 year work visa!
So managed to survive a Thur night in Ottawa. Then the next day I caught the 430 pm bus to this small town (sorry can’t give the name or why I was going there cus was told not to say) outside of Ottawa to hang out with my son for the Thanksgiving weekend! Shit if I thought Ottawa was dead well this town was so much deader! But it was cool to hang out to play video games & watch movies.
Hung out in this small Ontario town for the Thanksgiving weekend
I couldn’t score a rideshare out of the Ottawa area even if there were a lot of ppl traveling after the Thanksgiving long weekend as most were traveling the same way as moi. So had to resort to taking the Bus which is OK but the price for a bus in Canada when u buy a tkt at the last moment is soooooo expensive. But I figure after doing a lot of traveling lately that Canada is really very expensive probably as much or more than parts of Europe! But hey once I got on the bus I slept all the way to Montreal where I had to switch buses to go to Quebec City!
Hey was going to Quebec City to catch up with Thomas a buddy from France who met traveling in Peru and Ecuador in2009. He came to Canada on a year work visa to work as a Project Manager for a Video Game company! So stayed with him in his apt along with his buddy a lawyer for the same Video Game company! In fact a few of Thomas’s friends were technies working on video games. I have a bit of trouble remembering the names of the people I meet plus they all have French sounding names that are hard to remember anyway! So shit I just called them by what they do for work if I even remember that! So met a lawyer, HR guy, a butcher turned video games developer, programmer, etc.
All of the people I met are Francophones or Parisene French but they all speak English to some degree!
Had a good time hanging around Quebec City going to the bar and meeting Thomas’s friends. One night we went down to a bar to see a live group from Montreal called Random Recipe who played some awesome Hip Hop music! Also went to a couple bars where the Quebec City Couch surfers were having a meeting! So it was cool to meet some other CS people!
Also found out this chick Jasime who I met in Amsterdam was living & going to university in Quebec City! So it was so cool to meet up with someone I met traveling before! But unfortunately she had a full work load as she was taking Medicine which was a surprise! Tho she told me that she had told me that in Amsterdam when we met but can’t remember what we talked about hell remembering her name is an accomplishment to me!!!!
One weekend Thomas was having his birthday so 12 of us went to a chalet in the mtns to celebrate this occasion. The place we went to was about 2 hrs drive from Quebec City and it was cold and windy there. But we managed to go for a hike for a few hrs and then we started to party! I didn’t realize that this so called chalet was actually a hiker’s cabin in the woods. I didn’t care where or what it was but what I did find odd was it was also being used by some other hikers! So after a long hard day of hiking well they went to bed fairly early! But we were all set to drink and party the night away! But we didn’t want to disturb or piss them off so shit we went outside to drink and carry on! But fuck it was getting cold, windy with a bit of rain! We had a fire going but only so many ppl can stand around a camp fire! So most of us walked around the trails while drinking beer, rum, jagar bombs, etc and also smoking some weed and doing whatever else ppl brought to get the party rocking outside in the cold!
Hanging out at Mt Orford in Quebec for Thomas's birthday!
So it was a fun time and Quebecers don’t seem to get too bothered by the cold weather in the fall. Cus like who would stand out doors all night and drink beer! Not sure what time it was but when ppl started to drift off to sleep not everyone had a place to sleep! Well at least I didn’t even tho others said just grab a bunk as there should be enough! But hell who can figure out which bunk was not being used in the dark chattel! So I just got my sleeping bag and passed out on a bench as had enough liquids and whatever to sleep anywhere!
Then after about a week or so of hanging out in Quebec City it was time to hit the road again. So went by rideshare with this Quebec Rideshare org called Allo-Stop. How this worked was people who wanted a ride went online and booked a rideshare. Then what they did to meet their ride was go to this service station where all Allo-Stop drivers pick up their pax”s. I had to pay Allo-stop $7 and the driver $13 for a ride Quebec City to Montreal! This guy driving had a Toyota 4 Runner and took 3 of us rideshare pax. It seemed like these ppl took this kind of ride quite often cus they all rode like commuters as they never spoke. This was cool cus then I just put on my music and slept! The ride took about 2 hrs and the guy dropped me off by a Montreal metro station and the central bus station was across the street! I had a couch surfing host Max lined up so gave him a call or should say called his roommate as Max didn’t have a phone! Boy he was just like me except I have a phone but only use it as a watch and alarm clock when traveling. So found out their apt was only 4 metro stations & a short walk away! So got to the apt but Max was at class till later but his roommate Nathan was home of course. So of course we had a beer, chatted, listened to some music and had a couple of doobies! So was really chilled by the time Max came home in the evening! But shit was Max ever wound up and hyper as he was into hosting ppl CS, going full time to university, weight lifting and doing so many things at the same time! But once he had a beer well he seemed to chill and we chatted! Max was a real nice guy who would take in any couch surfer. But hell he probably never met most CS as he was never home so Nathan had to handle things. But funny thing is Nathan was into CSing but wasn’t registered on CS so couldn’t even leave him a reference!
So I went to Montreal cus there was a Roger Waters concert which I wanted to see! In case u haven’t heard of Roger Waters well he was the founder of the Classic Rock Group Pink Floyd an English rock group who between the late 1960’s and 2000’s had achieved world wide success. Always liked their classic rock music but really got into their music when I was in Bolivia and went to see a Bolivian group who were a Pink Floyd Revival group! Enjoyed their music so much that went 2 nights in a roll with a Swedish friend I met in the hostel! It seems guys of all ages enjoy their music while chicks are not so taken with the music as much probably cus it’s Rock / Classic Rock! But shit who cares if others like the music even though I’m probably more into African reggae, latino, hip hop, rap, techno, etc well I love their classic sound which crosses the generation and people’s music tastes!!!
But once I checked the prices of the tkts in Montreal well decided couldn’t justify $300+ for a seat! But noticed that Roger Waters was also coming to Vancouver in Dec so plan to score a cheap tkt there. Cus would have more time to search for a cheap tkt plus know the city in case have to meet up with a seller to pick up the ticket!
So that kind of put a damper on my activities in Montreal as mainly just hung out and smoked some weed with Nathan and listened to his music or chatted and drank beer with Max. Thought they were both cool chilled guys!
But decided since couldn’t go see Roger Waters in Montreal on this trip. Well noticed that the Dalai Lama was going to be in Toronto to speak on World Peace in 2 days! Now I’m not a big religious or spiritual kind of guy but hey he was a world famous figure who motivated many people of all faiths all over the world the past 50+ years! So found a rideshare heading to Toronto early the next morning!Then I realized that I knew a couple of others ppl in Montreal like Alex (crazy Romanian Canadian motor cycle sex maniac met in Nicaguara 2008), Benedicte (Canadian chick met in Ecuador 2009) and Nicolas (Canadian dude met in the Kabul hostel in Barcelona in 2010) who I forgot to contact! Unfortunately I was too wrapped up in the 420 and hanging with my CS hosts so forgot to call as it was too late when I realized it! So felt really bad that never got a hold of them but Alex sent me his phone number which was even worse cus couldn’t even call him!
My rideshare coming east from Vancouver was cool but noticed that it wasn’t much cheaper doing a rideshare & staying in motels for3 or 4 nights than getting a cheap flt or using air miles to book a flt. Yes ride share is more of an adventure but the costs add up if u have to stay in motels every night! Well didn’t bring my tent so would have to do the rideshare & motel thing going back for 5 days given that didn’t have ppl to visit. Plus Couch Surfing is iffy when traveling with a driver & the number of other ride sharers is unknown! So the actual schedule and direction we would be taking is really questionable. But I realized didn’t have enough points to fly all the way from Montreal to Vancouver. But was going to fly from Toronto and not Montreal so to make it cheaper took a ride share to Toronto to pick up a flt from there! Also decided to fly Toronto to Edmonton which is in Alberta just an hr to Vancouver as have family that wanted to visit. So got a cheap tkt Toronto to Edmonton and had enough air mile points to fly Edmonton to Vancouver.
So did a 5 hr rideshare from Montreal to Toronto from a driver with a mini van who drove ppl between the city for a living! This woman’s ad was like very commercial but who gives a shit cus knew it would work out OK! She said for $30 she’d pick me up downtown and drop me off at a Subway/Metro station in Toronto. But for $35 she’d pick up up at my home! Shit she was leaving at 730 AM, it was raining, didn’t know Montreal well and it’d cost me $2.75 by Metro to meet her downtown. So hell why not get her to pick me up at my Couch Surfing host’s place! Shit she packed the van with 6 pax so figure she got about $210 / trip if all got picked up at home! Hell she drove to Toronto 1 day, stayed over and took the same number of pax back to Montreal! A pretty easy gig to make a living but don’t know about in the winter!
The rideshare trip amounted to a bit of sleep & then talked to this Israeli women going to Toronto to catch her flt back to Israel. Guess she couldn’t get a visitor’s visa to the US as she was also applying for a Green Card. But she wanted to see her grand daughter so her daughters & families came to Montreal to visit her! She was a typical Jewish mother plus very opinionated as we talked about the current state of the country which I knew having been
there before! Also on the trip were 2 Iranian guys studying inToronto to get their Phd & Masters! They were nice and not as opinionated so it was interesting to listen to their views as compared to the woman’s. Not about the Jewish / Muslim state of things tho we talked about it as shit I have my opinions too! Also wanted to get more insight into the Iranian lifestyle cus intend to go there next year once I get my shit together and get my visa ahead of time! Then there was a cute chick who was heading back to Toronto to visit her partner! She was very nice and easy to talk with! The other dude didn’t say much but figure his ancestoral background was probably from some southern Asian country! The driver was all business except for bringing her dog along to keep her company! So it turned out to be an interesting trip! Had a Couch Surfing host lined up in downtown Toronto as couldn’t stay at my sister’s place on my return trip thru Toronto for reasons she’d rather I not disclose! But hey the dude who hosted me only lived about a 10 min walk from my sister. So that was good as got together to eat at one of the many cool eateries she knew in downtown Toronto!
Jay my couch surfing host was a real chill guy who worked as a financial advisor to make money. But his real passion was to start his own business as a photographer with secondary passions of snowboarding and tennis! We had some good chats as got to learn more about his Indian heritage! He was born in Calgary so we could relate to each other as I grew up the highway in Edmonton! But his father died when he was young (so did mine) so his mother & him moved back to India (but didn’t move back to India or Japan) when he was in his last year of high school (I also finished my last year of high school)! So he was able to give me insight about his life from a Indian guy born in Canada who moved and lived in India! He also told me about trying to do a career & starting a business in photography. So I thought hey if he’s Indian descent with a business don’t Indians capitalize on ppl from their own
cultural background? But he didn’t like to deal with Indian clients cus they always tried to low ball a person also with an Indian background! All this was very interesting cus thought most people from ethnic groups hun together (except the Japanese Canadians who are totally devoid of Japanese friends or even acquaintenances like me! ) So found our conversations about an Indo Canadian’s views on life very interesting even tho he was as Canadian as me
but had lived in India for a few years as a teenager. He was also very chill and accommodating as after all he did host me on 1 days notice!
So while in Toronto I found thru CS that someone was selling a tkt to hear/see the Dalai Lama speak in the afternoon of a day I was there. But shit was too late to score that tkt so went online and got a different tkt.
I felt getting to hear the 14rh Dalai Lima speak about World Peace while passing thru Toronto was the highlight or my visit to that city! He’s been Dalai Lama for like 60 yrs so he also spoke of maybe stepping down soon so felt privileged to be in his audience before he stepped down! He’s so well respected, humble, wise & talks with just an awesome view on life! Don’t usually do motivational speaker stuff but hey this Dude has so much wisdom & experiences in Life that can’t help but want to listen to what he has to say!
Not big into Religion or know much about Buddhism but what I do know is like their philosophy! So if I turn to any religion it may be Buddhism as believe in their views on Life! While in NYC a few years back coincidently got to see the Pope pass by in his Pope mobile! But his presence didn’t impress me much but with all respects to Catholics I didn’t get to hear him speak!
So yeah had a chance to hear one of the most respected people in the world speak. Also got to see, hang out and go for dinner with my sister!
So then caught a flt from Toronto to Edmonton to visit my family, go for dinner and see some friends! Also one night met a CS person to go for a beer, shot some pool, smoke some 420. We had a good conversation as Dave was a chill guy from the US who lives a different life style. He said he’s from Lake Tahoe Nevada but in fact doesn’t have a residence there or anywhere in the world. But hell he does have a storage locker in Chicago and his family lives in Minnesota! He is a mechanical engineer working for a company out of Chicago that builds and supplies processing equipment for companies in the oil business. He’s been in that position since he finished university 10 yrs ago.. He took this position cus he likes to travel and can do a lot of it with this job! In fact he travels so much that he doesn’t have a principal residence in the US or lived there for more than 3 wks over that period! But he may return to the head office in Chicago once a year for a meeting and pick up some personal belongings out of his storage locker! So I said hey u sound like an agent like in Mission Impossible where he gets his next assignment and is off to fight the next bad processing equipment to be installed ha ha! So yeah he helps companies who buy their equipment install or trouble shoot any problems. He was in Edmonton for about 8 months till Feb 2011 cus that’s when the ice thaws in the northern part of Canada. So when the current equipment is built in Edmonton they have to move it up north on frozen land as there are no roads in places they have to go! His company pays for his accommodation, food, transportation, phone, internet and other incidentals! So basically the only expenses he has are his personal travel and entertainment. So he has a bit of disposable income and does a fair bit of travelling. But the down side to his life style is he has to make new friends in every place he is assigned. So he uses Couch Surfing to meet ppl to host, meet CS people to go for a beer, eat or whatever. Which is how we met as we discussed both our life styles and found we are similar in many ways! But he only gets 3 wks vacation in which to travel while I have unlimited time but definitely a whole lot less cash to do it! But like me he is forced to be more outgoing to walk into a place and meet someone to hang out with to consider them a friend! Cus asked him about having any relationships not to say I have any more cus I don’t stay in Vancouver very long at any time. Plus don’t cultivate or keep any friendships for long as lose contact with many of my so called friends. He said he’s met a chick from New Zealand who he’s visited and is trying to get her lined up with a visa to work in Canada. But shit as soon as that is arranged he will probably be off on his next assignment so they have to start all over again on a visa for the next country! He’s probably been working in 20 countries and gets to do his traveling on company expenses, better class than me and with no transportation or visa hassles. One thing I did admire about him was he was grounded and gets involved in any place he lives. I grew up in Edmonton but he had better knowledge of the place than I do but then he’s lived there for the past 4 months while it’s been a few yrs for me! He takes his mtn bike and rides the many river valley trails and parks in most weather! So all in all found him to be a nice interesting down to earth nice person who fits the definition of a cool CS’er! So we bid goodbye saying hey if u come to Vancouver well let me know. But with his expense account and disposable income doubt if he would look to be hosted at my humble abode but if he does well he’s more than welcome!
So yeah after traveling across Canada & visiting a few cities, towns and villages well met a lot of fellow Canadians, ppl from other countries and travelers! So it was a cool trip with good experiences and made new friends so headed home after a month or so!
Then as soon as I got home I got a msg from Thomas my French friend who hosted me in Quebec City for a week. Well he decided to take me up on my offer and was going to visit me in Vancouver for 3 wks the week after I got home! So finished traveling but now was able to act the part of a host!