Posts Tagged ‘traveling’

What I Saw

On Tuesdays I usually have to make the half hour trip to Lewistown for my job.  While not far, it is interesting as I have to cross over a place called 7 mountains.  In the fully loaded box truck you find yourself standing on the gas pedal all the way up the mountain and standing on the breaks while finding a new relationship with God all the way down.  In our fully loaded cargo van down isn’t so bad, but I do find myself standing on the gas pedal on the way up.

 Some of the interesting sites I’ve seen while making this trip:

  • Some Amish folk hooking up a horse team to pull some fallen trees of a farmer’s field.
  • An ornate buggy being pulled by a horse
  • Turkey vultures lazily circling overhead
  • Red Tailed Hawks playing in the thermals
  • A ground hog standing on its hind legs beside its ridiculously large hole and an even larger mound of earth
  • An iron horse, (see above)
  • A detour sign.

I’m not overly fond of detours especially since I have found that they make you get off your route but they don’t always give great directions on how to get back on track.   I slowed down and looked for the signs.  I didn’t find one sign that said: “Brian, to get back to work go that-a-way!” not one!  If you read my previous post about Garmi the Garmin you know I don’t have a great sense of direction.  But I’ve traveled this route many times before so I didn’t have Garmi turned on.  Garmi was safe in its case in my backpack on the seat beside me and I am way to lazy to pull over and plug Garmi in.  So I kept going.  I have theory about driving when I am lost.  I go straight.  There are two reasons for this.  1. If I have to backtrack I don’t have to figure out where I turned.  2. If I go straight long enough I will eventually circle the globe and end up back where I started, and with a little luck by that time the detour will no longer be there and I can continue on as normal.

  • A wasp, on the inside of the vehicle!

A few minutes into my journey I realized I was not alone in the van.  Crawling down the inside of my window was a wasp.  I am somewhat of a jumpy kind of fellow.  Even if I know you are about to touch me, I  will flinch when you do.  Spotting the wasp out of the corner of my eye almost caused me to have a heart attack. It could have been worse, it could have been a spider!  Slowly I lowered my window.  If you are my employer I was going 55 mph, for the rest of you I was doing about 63mph.  I gave the wasp a flick and the wind flung him to the passanger side window where he sat pouting.  I closed my window and we sat in silence.  I tried to talk to him, but all he did was pout.  I called him Ant. Being a wasp I am not sure he liked the name Ant, but he didn’t complain.  I looked back over to him but he was gone. 


“Ant?”  No response. I wasn’t happy and he could be anywhere, in the back, under the dash, in my hair.  There was just no telling where he had was and we had just met so I couldn’t even guess as to where he would think to hide.  Then I saw him, on my arm just below my shoulder.  I don’t think it was a coincidence that at this same time I almost drove off the road.  But I didn’t, instead Ant and I got into an altercation.  I punched him in the face!  Ant flew back to the passenger side window and went back to pouting.  I felt a little bad about punching him in the face. 

“Hey Ant, you okay buddy?”  He seemed to be, but he was sulking.   I gave him some time alone with his thoughts and he seemed content to stay where he was.

“Listen Ant, we are about to go over Seven Mountains, it is a stressful enough ride when I’m on my own.  All I am asking is that you stay on your side of the van.” No response.  he still seemed to be pouting.  I couldn’t blame him after all I punched him in the face. “I understand you are upset, but look at this way.  At least you are not paying for gas!”  I think that made him to smile, but it was hard to tell. 

We were doing pretty good until I took the exit off the expressway into Lewistown.  Perhaps his bladder realized that we were almost at the end of the ride.  I know my bladder always does.  Anyway, Ant got antsy and starting to fly again.  “Hey Ant, your nose feeling better?  Don’t make me punch you again”  He flew slowly towards me, just kind of hovered over my steering wheel for a moment then back to ther rearview mirror and back to his perch along the passenger side window.  Finally we reached our destination and we both went on our way. 

I wonder, if And were writing this, what did he see?

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I have a few good posts in the making, but they are taking some time to write.  So I wanted something quick and dirty for tonight’s post.  I resorted to my old friend, ‘Plinky’. Plinky is a website that lists scenarios that you are supposed to write about.  So, for tonight I chose:

 When was the last time you lost your temper in public?

This took place over 25 years ago in Montreal Quebec.  I was trying to get from the corner of Girouard Ave and Sherbrooke St to the corner of Van Horne and Victoria at around 2am.

By the time I left my friend’s house it was late and I didn’t want to take a bus and there was not a metro station close by.  I could have walked home, it would have taken an hour or so.  Stupidly I decided against it and hailed a cab.  I told the cab driver that I wanted to go to the corner of Van Horne and Victoria.  Understand, from where I was it was a twenty-minute drive max which included two turns, one left hand turn off of Sherbrooke and onto Decarie, and one right hand turn off of Decarie onto Van Horne:

“Hello I would like to go to the corner of Van Horne and Victoria please.”

“Yes sir, no problem”

“You know how to get there”


Off we went, we passed Decarie the first street we needed to turn on.  Okay he was going to make the trip a little longer and continue down Sherbrooke St to Victoria and then simply drive down Victoria to Van Horne.  Yes it would take a little longer, but it would also mean that he wouldn’t have to drive on Decarie which is really a busy autoroute.  Yes it would also pad bill.  I didn’t say anything because what he added to the bill was simply being subtracted from his tip.  Then much to my horror he passed Victoria!  Now I was confused but I had a thought, two thoughts actually.  The first was, he was going to go out of his way and take me downtown and turn up Guy St and then effectivly back track over Mt. Royal or as we Montrealers like to call it, ‘the mountain’ and really pad the bill.  My other thought was that he was lost.  So asked him, “Excuse me do you know where we are going?” 

“Yes Sir, Van Horne and Victoria”

“…and you know where that is?”

“Yes Sir”

Okay so he wasn’t lost, he was going to take me for a ride.  No problem it was going to be a free ride for me because I wasn’t going to pay him a cent,  so I thought to myself, drive on driver and learn a lesson about trying to screw a person.  So we finally made it downtown Guy St was the next block.  He didn’t turn! I was in shock, nothing made sense, he absolutely had to be lost.  Now we were downtown there were plenty of Metro stations.  By Metro, home was $1.25 and 10 minutes away.  As we passed the Guy Metro station I had worked myself into a really bad mood.

“Stop” I told him.

“We are not there yet”

“Really, where the hell are you taking me”

“Van Horne and Victoria Sir.”


“Excuse me?”

“How in the hell were you going to get me to Van Horne and Victoria?”

I got the blank stare in return and I said nothing.  He looked at the meter, he then said okay, pay half and leave my cab.  I just sat there.

“How were you going to get me to the corner of Van Horne and Victoria?  Let me make it easy for you.  We should have been there forty minutes ago.  Two blocks after you picked me up you should have turned onto Decarie.  You didn’t.  I figured you were padding the ride or you didn’t want to drive on the autoroute, fine at that time you pretty much lost your tip but what the heck. (now I was starting to yell and I was getting louder with each word)  Then you passed Victoria and you didn’t turn.  I want to go to the corner of Van Horne and Victoria and you didn’t turn on Victoria?  Fine, you were going to take me for a ride and take me all the way downtown and then double back over the mountain, at which point I already decided you were not getting a dime.  Now we are passed any logical point of return and I am curious, how were you going to get me where I wanted to go?”

“Sir, why didn’t you tell me where to turn if you knew we should?”

“Because after we didn’t turn on Victoria I asked you if you knew where we were going and if you knew how to get there?  You answered yes to both questions.  NOW!  How were you going to get me to where I wanted to go?”

“Sir, just give me half the fare and get out of my cab”

“Half the fair?  Half. The. Fare!  I’m not paying anything”

“Sir, I will call the police if you don’t pay”

“You know what, I will give you half the fare…provided you can tell me A) Where the corner of Van Horne and Victoria is and B) How you were intending to get me there?”

“Sir, just get out of my cab.”

“Yeah, I didn’t think you had a clue, why didn’t you say anything?”

“Get out of my cab”

Oh, I got out of the cab alright.  I threw the door open so hard I heard the hinge crack on the door, then I slammed it closed so hard it bounced back open.  As I entered the metro station I saw him get out of the cab to inspect the door.  I heard him yelling at me that I was going to have to pay for the door.  To this day I wonder how he was going to accomplish that.  I didn’t live at the corner of Van Horne and Victoria, nor did he have my name.  I guess he was going to make me pay the same way he was going to get me where I wanted to go, he wasn’t.


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