Saturday, 10 July 2010

Commuter Chronicles - Canada day

Where: Downtown in the Nation’s Capital
When: Canada Day
Why: It’s unclear

Riding the bus is the best option for Canada Day celebrations in O-town.  Driving is a real pain, and parking isn’t cheap, nor convenient.

The ride downtown was something else.  Keep in mind, I’m used to commuting with other commuters – people in suits and dresses, with briefcases and blackberries, who mind their own business with their books and music.  I am not used to commuting with high-flying hoot-in-anies wearing bikinis and carrying beers.  (Yes, one particular older “lady” was wearing nothing but her red and white barely-underwear bathing suit… glorious.)

We eventually arrived, met up with friends, and had a ball.  Music and buskers and beer – oh my!  There were even barenaked ladies – the band, as well as topless body-painted women strolling down la promenade, garnering whatever attention they could.

News reports said there were over 100,000 people in attendance.  And after the fireworks, there must have been a million people waiting for a goddam bus.

Hoards of people flooded the streets, spilling over from the sidewalks.  Hubby tried to follow me as I quickly deeked through the crowds.

And then there was nowhere left to deek.

We were all pathetic cows being herded.  Standing on the curb, pissed off and pitying ourselves.  Just waiting for a bus – any damn bus – to open its doors.  Every single bus that passed was packed beyond capacity.

Hoards of people – Hubby and I included – we so… defenseless.

We finally got on a bus.  Not even the right one.  We’d have to switch later.  But we’d do anything not to have to stand there like idiots one minute longer.

And then it was packed.  PACKED.  And damn hot.  And so rank that I thought I might puke.  I buried my face in Hubby’s arm just to avoid smelling the air.

We made our way at a snaaaiilll’s pace through downtown. Every time the driver had to open the doors, people tried to cram in.  Mob mentality.  Cops were restraining people.  Crowds of drunk, tired, and trapped people – all just staring at us through the bus windows with pleading faces.  It reminded me of Rose and Jack floating in the North Atlantic in “Titanic” (but with less death/melodrama). 

Eventually we got moving.  Amen.  But that was only moderately more tolerable.

At one point there was a young drunk girl standing behind Hubby.  She was texting, and had totally abandoned all concern for holding herself up.  Hubby became the brace to fully lean against, and, at one sharp turn, his shirt became her lifeline as she nearly fell to the floor.

We were pretty much laughing by then.  It was all so ridiculous.

Next year, I will read this posting and revaluate, making an informed decision about whether or not to attend.  Probably will though.  It was still a shit ton of fun.

For your enjoyment, some photos:

First, a clown escorting our friend out of the driver's seat of his little cart.  And there, on the right, is Hubby, sitting in the back.

Second, the red and white view from a high bar balcony. 

And the crowds on Rue Rideau.  And there, in the middle, my dear friend with her arm raised in a celebratory cheer.

And finally, the fireworks behind the Peace Tower. 


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