Tuesday, May 16, 2006

97 Trip Part 3

> Rte. 1 along the coast is the populated part of the state!

well i didn't go along the coast except thru NH into Maine. Perhaps I changed onto a different route? I know I went east till I almost hit NB and then up north to Presque Isle and Van somewhere which eventually took me thru NB into Quebec State.

Now Quebec State was something else. I was aware of it's French culture but did not realise they only spoke French!
On the route, I stopped to take a pee by the side of the road, got out, and promptly fell into very deep snow. It took a while to get out, once i stopped laughing.

I was also very pleased to see sensible speed limits instead of the crawling 55 of the US. Here I could do 70 which was better. It wasn't until i saw a sign that said 110 that I twigged that they were referring to KM's and not miles...

Quebec City was very nice but it took forever to find my way out of it. The bridge into it was scary for someone who doesn't like heights, though the view was delicious.

I left there and made my way to Montreal. I arrived in a blizzard. As I was driving, I noticed a circle of light hovering in the sky above. Now what? Haven't I had enough stress without now being abducted by aliens? This thing just kept hovering and the lights were bright. It turned out to be the top of the Olympic tower. Because of the weather I could not see the plinth it was on top of.

I stopped eventually at the police station to ask for help. A HUGE, very handsome policeman, I think part native Canadian, offered suggestions. The whole time I spoke with him, my eyes kept going to his groin. Not for the obvious reason but because he was wearing a gun, which worried me. Anyway, he told me that there were conventions on and that is why I was having difficulty finding a room.

Later I stopped at a taxi office and asked there. A woman said she knew a place and would take me there if I gave her a lift. I agreed. She was very nice and chatty tho I thought her manner of dress was tarty and not very suitable for the weather. She also had a bottle of whisky or something in her brown bag. Anyway, she took me to this place where I got a room. It was a bit noisy and lots or people, women and young men, milling around. However, once in my room, I slept and was not disturbed. It was only upon leaving that I realised that the woman had been a hooker and the hotel I was in was a place of entertainment...

I made my way to Ottawa where I stayed in the Novatel. Nothing much happened there. I found a twelve step group meeting and went to that. I needed it!

Onward to Toronto, via the back roads, Rte 7 and this is where I found that Chinese I mentioned earlier. Toronto was very busy and too much for me so I left and continued on to Niagra Falls. Breath taking. I said to the woman standing staring next to me that it made me want to jump in and go over the falls. 'Thank God! It's not just me' she replied.

From there to Buffalo(from The Stand I think) and from there to Utica where I spent a night. Oh and I found an place that sold Ice Cream! I got the assistant to fill a large cup with Maple, Vanilla, Chocoalte. Yummy! Into the Adirondacks where I had breakfast with that woman who's had a bear steal food from her porch.

From there a brief spell in Connecticut and into Vermont, thru a place called Woodstock but not the Woodstock. Then into the mountains and headlong into a snow blizzard. That was fun. Not only had I not driven in a blizzard but not in mountains like that either. Slowed right down to 15-20mph. Eventually looked at my map and found a city to head towards. White City. It turned out to be a very small town, not a city.

I found myself in West Lebanon, not even realising I had left VT and was now in NH. I stayed here for a few days. Drove to Burlington which I liked very much. I also went for a drive thru the White Mountains. Beautiful.

Then I had to make my way back to Logan and the much dreaded flight home.

Much to my shame, I had discovered that I had developed a fear of flying which I had not had before. I was relieved to land but was now terrified of flying home. The only thing that got me on that plane was the thought of being arrested and being thrown in jail by some fat, tobacco chewing sheriff.

I was so ill and terrified. I got out of my seat and went and sat on the floor in the loo and didn't move the whole 7 hours. The staff of AA were very good to me. They understood even though I felt like such a plonker. A very nice uniformed man came and sat on the floor with me and told me that a member of the cabin crew who had flown 20 years had come to work one day and could not get on the plane. He said his own daughter was afraid of flying and didn't. He then showed me maps of the plane route. Up till then I had assumed he was a steward. I had a horrid thought and I asked him what his job was. 'I am the pilot,' he said. My eyes almost popped and I said 'Who the f*** is flying the plane?!!' He laughed and said it was okay, two pilots were and that he was only on board to assess them. 'WHAT?!! You have f'ing learners flying the plane?' I practically passed out at this point. He explained it was yearly assessment that every pilot had to go thru.

We landed, I got off, not daring to look anyone in the eye, tho I did thank them for being so kind to me. AA staff were excellent and I would fly with them again...if I could bring myself to get on a plane ever again.


knittingboykit said...

Yay! Thanks for posting these!

heavenlyevil said...

I still have never flown, but over the last few years I have developed a similar thing with walking down large flights of stairs. It's very strange. I went from walking down 5-6 flights of stairs several times a day to not being able to go down more than 4-5 steps at a time. It's not exactly vertigo, but close enough that I just avoid places where I know there are going to be lots of stairs.

The funny thing is, I can still go up the stairs in all these places, just not down.

Anonymous said...

Well Colin, what an entertaining read, if it wasn't mean't to be then I apologise. To me it was brilliant, but then I enjoy reading anything by Bill Bryson, by now I may have mortally offended you! I could see in my own mind all you described, and I thought it was only us that had these weird kind of holidays. We too on a trip through the US quickly realised how different we are two countries separated by a common language, having said that I loved the US, just know next time to order a childs portion of everything. We flew with AA and they were superb, couldn't fault them in the slightest, especially when they called round every so often to deliver little bags of M&Ms!

Anonymous said...

Colin - These 3 posts about your trip to the US is some of the funniest reading ever! I love your writing and your spirit. Tracy