flying home and preparing to settle back into the long, slow, grey maritime winter.
because we were unable to predict how the new airport security scare might affect us, we planned on an early morning to ensure we arrived in sarnia with plenty of time to spare. phil was driving us which meant i was guaranteed a good start to the morning at his familys bagel place. two perfect egg bagels to remember michigan by...
anyway, of course because we were prepared and got up early everything ended up being smooth sailing. we even had a first-ever bridge crossing experience -- NO line for customs. we just pulled right up. needless to say we were the first ones to check in for our 16 person flight in sarnia. i think we waited 30+ minutes before the next passengers showed up. but the flight was very smooth again, i even slept on the noisy plane. actually i dozed on the way out too. i practically never get shut eye on planes, so i guess little planes are good for me.
got to toronto and had a couple hours to kill until our halifax flight. that flight went smoothly and we landed a little after 6p in halifax. it was freezing outside, but our car started on the first try after sitting out for a week, so that was good. and we made it home to unpack, settle in, and get excited for sleep. we were still awake at midnight to say happy new year to each other and to hear the citys fireworks go off.
(dave and quatchi [an olympic mascot] in the toronto airport. long lost twins?)
the fireworks were probably a good thing to have in my head before bed, as they were capable of drowning out my thoughts about being back in canada. ive got a long four months of wintery dullness to get through before life changes unpredictably and i can hope to welcome warmer weather. monster better be amenable to touring because i was deprived of all the beautiful fall months of 2009 due to his/her torment and i'll be darned if i am going to miss the few brief months of activity and beauty (aka mid-june to mid-oct) this year.
anyway, here we are, back in canada. the country of poutine (which, incidentally was written about in the 2009 new yorker food issue, weird.) and where dinner is called supper and "giving someone a ride" is called "giving someone a drive" (or at least in nova scotia this is true).
other nova scotian things to recalibrate to:
1. overly confident pedestrians who act like ass hats. they step out in traffic without ever looking and are incapable of sharing the sidewalk with fellow walkers. i routinely have to "pull over" on the sidewalk to let people walking two or three abreast pass me because they wouldnt move over, even at the last minute.
2. studded snow tires. while walking to work each day i hear perhaps 20-30% of the cars that pass me clacking down the street. the little metal tacks in their tires create an interesting sound as they beat the hell out of the pavement (thus why they are illegal in michigan, and perhaps all of the u.s.?).
(studded tire treads)
3. terribly designed freeway on-ramps. clearly the city was smaller in earlier days and hired the silliest civil engineer around to retro fit the available space for high speed roads. there is one spot in particular that is laughable. there are one way streets, roads crossing over and under the freeway, and on/off-ramps splitting, all in about a two block radius.
4. driver inability to use cruise control. people get on the freeways and enter la la land. they go at granny speeds until someone attempts to pass them, then they wake up and look at their speedometer and say "gee, i could be going faster, why dont i step on the gas." after jetting past us, we then find that 5 miles down the road, they are going slow again and need to be passed...
5. county gas prices. pretty nice actually. it seems that, at least in nova scotia, gas prices are held at the same price across a county. this eliminates the gas tank guessing game of driving along until you find the magic "cheapest price." although, from day-to-day or week-to-week the prices of course fluctuate so you find yourself trying to hold out for one more day, one more car ride, maybe the price will come down.
6. pronunciation of the letter "o" in words. ive found myself with a low tolerance for this one. whereas everyone i know in the u.s. approaches words like "sorry," "process," and "about" with an "ah" sound for the letter "o," everyone here tediously breaks up the words into two distinct syllables by making a real "o" sound for the letter "o." im not a linguist so i dont know if my description is at all understandable, but the next time i hear someone say "pro.cess" instead of "pra-cess" i think i will snap.