I'm home, I'm home, I'm home. This is a good thing.
I return to work tomorrow. This? Perhaps not so good. But one must eat. And I made it home in one piece, with an unexpected upgrade to business class on the Halifax-Ottawa leg of the return run. Free brie! Free earphones! Comfy seats! Yes, spiraling prices and lowered expectations mean that an upgrade isn't what it was 10 years ago, but still ... free upgrade.
I dug up some more of the notes I jotted on the Ontario-Nova Scotia road trip. With the unshakable knowledge that you are all desperate to read - belatedly, no less - more of my stream of consciousness memory fodder, behold the end of Quebec and much of New Brunswick:
- St. Louis du Ha! Ha! That is all.
- Next to St. Elzeat de Temiscouata. And I'll stop there, because if I don't, I'll become obsessed with all the damned saints, and their towns.
- My brother is not going to let me drive, I am now certain of this. I must become reconciled to it.
- We are now driving through the hills, rather than simply observing them.
- Subway shops are far too popular in Quebec.
- We're about 10 miles from the New Brunswick border, and I have seen the first sleazy semi-rural bar "Avec Danseurs" of my entire life.
- Crows don't fly around here. They just stalk along the side of the road, looking dyspeptic.
- My brother informs me that Edmunston is a tough town, and tells me a story of the Brazilian couple he arrested for overstaying their visas. She was beautiful, he said, and hugged him, thanking him for providing her a free trip home.
- New Brunswick is far more beautiful than I remembered. Funny, what you don't notice when you live some place. It has lovely lakes and rolling hills in the north, and the sun has come out again, making the hills and forests look magnificent.
- The authorities of New Brunswick have eschewed the art of the Moose and have focused on simply keeping them alive. What my brother assures me are miles of sturdy wire anti-moose fences begin to line the highway. What need have they of Moose signs, when the water plant-loving behemoths are safe?
- My mistake. There are moose signs. The art is different here; the moose are much more realistic than they are in the Quebec signs, which smack heavily of robust Social Realism stylings.
- Just outside Woodstock, we see a young couple hitchhiking (they still do that here!) And we take pity on them, pick them up - and the boy's dad is RCMP. And my brother knows him. See, this is why Americans think they can say, "Oh, you're Canadian? Do you know my cousin Bob, from Toronto?"
- The limbo of car travel is decried by a lot of people - even me, from time to time. But there's something soothing about it as well, especially as evening comes on, and the cars and trucks around you become indistinct, and transform into moving lights. You have always been traveling ... you will always be traveling ....