diary [Canadian Road Trip 2010]


17.04.2010

i'm going to start writing in my stupid book, still cozy at home infront of the non-existent fireplace (call it the fish tank), because i guess this is where the story starts. we'd be travelling now, on our way to boston somewhere over the atlantic, but volcanoes will do their thing. mother earth will strike back. and we can't really complain. it's not so bad. i'm sure others are far worse off than we are. and those poor people stuck on holiday, at no fault of their own or cost to themselves. but still. here we are. in limbo, unable to do anything until we get more news. our first flight was cancelled yesterday, and our rebooking might be cancelled tomorrow, in which case we'll put the whole trip back a week and fly into toronto instead, at least leaving that part of our journey intact. new york and boston can wait a couple of weeks i'm sure.

we should all be travelling in zeppellins anyway. this much is true.



26.04.2010

an early morning flight. sitting in the airport, heathrow, and already i've forgotten how we got here. the first flight. i slept through it completely. best to forget all this dry air and ugliness. everything that is wrong with us, the human condition, it's condensed and amplified in airports. the unfriendly uncaring demeanor of the security workers, the fake joy and over eagerness of the sales people stalking the duty free rows. "bottled water for your travels today?" i'd hate to work here. every day a constant stream of people going elsewhere. the constant flux but you're motionless. like a rock lodged in a river bed, slowly being eroded.

tiredness makes me cynical.

but we're finally on our way. nine days late, after rebooking twice. we haven't rebooked our hostels yet, but i'm quite uneager to prempt any further problems. i just want my movie and complimentary whiskey. and greenland out over to the right.

in sandwich: E472, E481, E471, E330, E306, E160


landed. now waiting for emil's delayed flight to arrive. tiny birds inside the concourse. my first canadian coffee in almost three years. bing. now all i need is black squirrels. bagels with cream cheese halfed and wrapped in cellophane. these tiny cultural memes that you never even notice enough to forget later. signs in french.

let's not forget that we were up at 10pm toronto time. this morning. the travel's melted away, already forgotten in bad films.

everywhere bags of meat.

sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep.



27.04.2010

up with the sun. when travelling with the spin jetlag is more like realignment. sitting here on the porch photosynthesising, cold concrete against my ass. squirrel watching. waiting for everyone to be ready so we can go to kensington and get breakfast. a big breakfast to match the huge dinner we had last night. like eating at 1am. middle eastern like you just can't get in denmark. and here it's effortless. tastes long forgotten.

after dinner we'd walked over to angus and jason's place, old friends from julie's course. they were only half expecting us. we sat on their balcony with the sunset splashing blood orange across the city's western face. the full moon rising in an arc above the CN tower, so much large than i'd remembered it. chatting like it was only last week we'd seen them. the two years inbetween then and now becoming the dream. everything glowing familiar. maybe it's just travel exhaustion. we lived here eons ago. i dreamt it. i catch myself wondering why we ever left.

the trees are in bloom. an early spring cascading into an early summer. pizza pizza on every corner, an orange 'join the dots' across the city. green for starbucks. brown for second cup. white for american apparel. red for tim hortens. blue for goodwill. yellow for mcdonalds. people on the street smiling and talking to you, like europe has forgotten how to be nice.





28.04.2010

it's just weird, so casually hanging out. queens park. the food court at young and bloor. buttertarts. i've sat here so many times before. this is where we did this. this is where we did that. this is where we picked up our large mail. this is where we shopped for food. this is where i once ate amazing late night pizza. this is where i'd sit and call my nan. and getting coffee from louie's as a tourist, just like the first time. last time. kensington early, still with the morning chill.

then our old goodwill store. for no reason but nostalgia. the strangeness doesn't come with words. so familiar but so distant. i want to hug the air. we walk down to our old apartment. these roads most often travelled. a slight pressure behind the eyes. this beautiful day. morning. there was so much i loved about being here. the brightness shining happiness onto every surface. bathing the stupid memories. ones you can't go back to. the good feelings come easily when your on holiday.

but this is a city of lovely people. everyone is so willing to be helpful. even the druggie on jarvis asking us for $20 is happy to have a laugh and a bizarre conversation. but no we are not rich. and no we are not punks from the suburbs. it's the most diverse city in the world and you've never seen someone with green hair before? wow.

you know what else i'd forgotten? that i can buy hotdogs from the street vendors. i'm the happiest man alive.

hundreds of open air chess tables spread across the city, seats empty, boards void of anything but scars of battles fought long ago. tree sap and squirrel shit.

visiting old friends, so excited and surprised to see us. we visit maria, as hospitable and crazy as ever, in the best possible way. i remember being alone in her house, emptying a garbage bag of bread out onto her kitchen surface, stacking the loaves in size order, so many of them. drinking her iced coffee with homemade vanilla syrup in the garden. i jump straight back into it. in two days i'll feel like i never left.

we tour record shops i never knew existed. video shops. the beguiling, where i'm remembered - "not seen you in here for a long time". surrounded by two years of books i've wanted, there is nowhere to begin. vegetable pasties and doubles at the patty king. still a kensington classic. to the GSU for a couple of pitchers, merry out of time. shame it was our responsibility to buy food for dinner. the idea of take away pizza wins and we manage to stay awake to 10pm. we even manage to book hostels, so everything is set.

pumpkin pie for breakfast, on the balcony drying my socks. somewhere near to bliss.



29.04.2010

i have a list of must-dos. yesterday i only ticked off two - "lakeport honey" and "pizza slice". but it was an almighty amato's pizza (yes those are chips on my pizza). and with screw caps! but i'd forgotten to write down "cheap sushi" and "beers in kensington" (ronnie's with delerium and devil's pale ale on tap) so whatever. and sneaky dee's had been too busy. instead we'd walked a way down dundas to a little place called magpie, with golden horseshoe ale. drinking was the only way to stay awake past 10pm (call it 4am). chugging beers in the back alley to survive.

we'd walked all day. again. from little italy to kensington to china town. down queens street, along kings. through the financial district and then up to the eaton centre. then the street car back along kensington. and now i'm destroyed. my body's at 6am. maybe i've been dragged back to 4am. it's hard to tell.

and i'd thought that song as a weird joke, but they actually have combination a pizza hut, taco bell and KFC.



30.04.2010

another morning and another coffee. taking some quiet time in the green grind. bike wheels hang on the wall. apparently that's how you symbolize sustainability. it's a shame that i don't have enough cash for their vegan apple slice.

the new-city holiday-feeling buzz is over. i'm happy just chilling. problem is, i don't know what to do in this city but buy books, drink coffee, and eat. best eating in the world. and yesterday the summer broke. fat and hot. the sun a radiant ball lodged in the back of your brain, somewhere near the primary visual cortex. where would you rather be?

so we walked some more. walked, drank coffee, shopped and ate. we found the punk record store. practically crawled their entire collection finger by finger, even some of the krust section. we went back to the beguiling. korea town. another comic book shop. kensington. second hand shops. big fat burrito. lazing in the park and sipping iced green tea. no beers, just bikes and guitars.

this coffee's gone straight to my head. how do they drink such strong coffee? i can't handle it here. in europe i can drink as much as i like, but here it destroys me. it's a one way trip to insomnia. in the least funny or helpful way.

and we walk even more. through luscious green neighbourhoods. hardbord village, etc. a spending spree spread thin over many stores. poorly disguised, the bulging bag of comics never lies. then a belly busting lunch at the saigon palace, our favourite cheap chinese cafe on spadina. badly translated menu-core. the largest bowl of curry tofu and noodle soup. boiled white nuts and cocunut juice. $5 total.



01.05.2010

only four nights and suddenly 7am is a struggle. i can't even blame the coffee. perhaps it was the series of dreams i had. except they felt more parallel at the time. the 'first', riding in the passenger seat of a car that suddenly had no driver. early morning, dark and raining, and i think we missed the little girl who ran out infront of us. sent the world spinning violently and out of control around us. the corner of lawford and vicarage road zooming past the car window over and over again. i had the sense to grab for the handbrake but to no avail. the woman in the back seat, "we're going to die but at least we missed the girl", like the sacrifice would make me feel better. you never survive this shit in dreams. and as fast as it happened i'm lying on my back in an undecorated dark toronto room trying to breathe at 170bpm. "i don't want to talk about it". for a moment there i was conciously about to die in an undigestable mix of terror and disappointment. after that, i'd had enough sleeping.

and so on that note the road trip begins. the great sasquatch hunt of 2010. today is the familiar drive up to haliburton. tomorrow we continue to temagami, then to cochrane and the polar bear express, which we'll take up to moosonee, at the southern most tip of the hudson bay. if we were to travel as far south from toronto we'd almost reach georgia. not quite florida. 890km. and our map of ontario only goes a hundred or so kilometers further north. there's just nothing above that. no civilization at least.

barrie - population 129,000

all we need now is a strip mall diner. a break from 16 lanes of madness.

i was getting excited because i thought this was going to be my first time in a motel. i'm 28, it's the first of may, and this is my first experience of this pure american experience (in canada). but thinking about it, maybe three years ago at christmas we stayed at a motel. i don't know. i was drunk at the time. but in the morning they made us pancakes. but we were upstairs. does it still count if the rooms aren't in a strip mall style? probably it was just a b&b. whatever.



02.05.2010

you forget what the air smells like up here. just like honey. sweet and humid. pine and maple sap.

coming back to haliburton made me happy. our first stop was our old home, the wolf centre. the pack has only five wolves remaining. manitou, my old favourite, must have died shortly after we left (heartbroken, i'm sure). but the cub, obviously no longer a cub, very recently became the alpha male.



going back to the cook house, where i used to slave away in the kitchen for $50 a week, it was hilarious. my old boss was there, happy and seemingly unsurprised at the surprise visit. perhaps someone sent a warning. the daughter of the forest owners had actually seen us at the airport, but hadn't believe it was us. i'm surprised she remembered us at all. but then, we are kind of weird for these parts.



but little has changed here. "same old". they have a pizza oven now, that's about it. i order the vege wrap. should have gone for a grilled cheese as well. and drinking root beer out on the smoking step. it was perfect.

now we're all about drinking in LA and cruising for breakfast. looking for bears.



huntsville - population 81,500

dull warmth. suspiciously so. a large plate of "breakfast". omlette, potatoes and toast. and halfway through three cups of coffee (half and a quarter) the grey outside is from no time at all. i've been awake for three hours, but in no cohesive manner. maybe i mean comprehensive? i don't think i mean anything. shouldn't have had that last beer before bed. it left me confused in my top bunk.

temagami - population 1000

either way it's a nice dullness. better than yesterday's downpour. on one occasion the visibility was so bad we had to pull the car over and wait for it to pass. but it only rains when we're in the car. i like that.



haileybury - population 4500



03.05.2010

there's no doubting which direction east is this morning. the lake doubles the sun's rays and there's nothing but blinding whiteness coming through the open door of our motel room. the sunrise spilt out acorss the water like so many gallons of burning oil off the gulf of new mexico. only without the thick black smoke. shit similie aside, it's a welcome change to last evening, sitting on the water front watching the wall of mist slowly roll towards us like some kind of ghost tsunami in slow motion. being consumed a droplet at a time. and then when it finally became to cold we moved inside and watched a lindsay lohan film. drinking beer in bed. brilliant.



we'd hiked up to devil's rock, towering some scary number of meters over the lake. you could fall for over three seconds before hitting the water. then sink another 100m straight down to the bottom. but an amazing view. all that geography. as far as you can see. we took a different route back, getting somewhat lost, and found a huge beaver dam. freshly gnawed trees. was a definite trip highlight.



we just realised we're on yonge street, of "the longest street in the world" fame. it's 8:15am now. we must have been on the road at 7:30am. we're still (again) trying to find a breakfast diner. it can be tricky, but at least we know now they're all as bad as each other.

last night we ate at a chinese restuarant, the only place open within walking distance. unfortunately "mom and pop's perogies" was closed. we're ahead of the tourist season and the woman didn't even want our business, she just wanted to close early. "you come. you eat. you go. ok?" it was adequate, but also the worst chinese i've ever eaten. chop suey instead of chow mein. thick hard noodles. tasteless sweet and sour. out of date soy sauce. the parents had some kind of batter fried meat balls, mostly all bone. the fat locals seemed to love it (so fat i thought she was going to take the stool with her when she left). but we survived the night. no food poisoning.

englehart - population 1500



we have better luck this morning, on highway 11 with a classy truck stop. not classy at all. friendly waitress, second day on the job, got a bit confused when we asked her whether highway 11 and younge street are the same street. whether canadians say "zee" or "zed". and she was confused about scandinavia in general. but then, round here they decorate their cafes with paintings of jesus blessing trucks as they thunder down the highway. they eat peameal bacon with their fingers. they put icing sugar on their french toast. and now my fingers smell like maple syrup. my piss stinks of coffee. my belly uncomfortable, filled to bursting every morning. need porridge. send now.

cochrane - population 5550. here is just a bunch of roads crossing each other.



i'm sitting outside our room at the thrift motel. all day the sky has been golden. blazing heat hazes. then half an hour ago the cold front rolled over, dividing the sky into light and dark, a distinct straight line over our heads. and you could see the rain coming in. our hike was cancelled and we fled. it's easing up now but you can still hear thunder booming off in the distance. a rifle crack dragged out to ten seconds. twenty.



so much for the birthplace of tim horten.

the first thing we did here was pick up our train tickets. this guy, you'd have thought he hasn't spoken to another human being all year. perhaps he hasn't. he rattled on without pause, showing us map after map. he couldn't understand why we were here so early in the year. we couldn't understand why he was here at all. he miss pronounced all our names, but that's ok. we're the weirdest people he's seen in decades. i'm not even joking. and we even neglected to mention we were hunting for sasquatch.

then the polar bear centre. they have a single animal and he breaks my heart. he's facing the fence and he's walking back and forth over and over. five steps forward, raises his head, shakes it, then takes five steps back. repeats. the strip of ground beneath him is worn. a strip of dust amongst otherwise green grass. i hate myself for paying to get in. being complicit. but nanook, 29, exhibited this repetative behaviour when he was brought to the centre. they worked most of it out of him. and apparently he was only doing it now because he knew the keeper was about to give him fish. us being the only visitors they wanted to give us a show. and as soon as he entered the main compound he seemed more mentally in order. diving into the pool for us, strolling around, finding a quiet corner to rest in. it wasn't as bad as it had first appeared.



but a snow mobile museum? maybe later we can take a tour around the trailer park.

i'm thinking it's too bright for 7pm. that i'm getting hungry. i could just have another beer. or, could find another grease hole to spend an hour in hunting for some kind of nutrition. pizzas sized by the slices - 4, 6 or 8. i can't eat like this much longer.



but i could get used to this motel business. bad TV before bed. hitting the road shortly after 7am. the same soap, same towels, same taps in every room in every town. the downside is the eating. every restaurant with the same food from the same supplier delivering the same frozen produce in the same van. home fries, onion rings, chilli poppers, mozzarella sticks. the same "baked" poatoes coming straight from the microwave and wrapped in foil, skins like wet toilet paper. they don't even have beer on tap up here. their best beer to offer is molson. after that budweiser. after that labat blue. after that you'd be better off drinking from the urinal.

05.05.2010

moosonee - population 2000 + 5

i don't know what i was expecting. nothing really. but whatever it was it wasn't this. we step off the train onto a muddy dirt road. no pavements. it's like a real life modern day heritage town. a pizza shack. an LCBO with bars up on the window. no effort to make anything look presentable. any warmth in the air has long disappeared.



after settling into our hotel, the entrance of which smells like a chinese restaurant (and apparently they have zero vege food), we take a water taxi over to moose factory (real name), an island and first nation cree reserve. the taxi is $10 a head, with 50 horse power bouncing us over moose river. the island itself is split into three sections - federal, provincial and the reserve. our boat docks at the federal port infront of the hospital, one of the islands main features. others include a church and a cemetary, both of which i pay little attention to. there are also various visitor centres, all closed. walking, we curve around the southern edge of the island, then up into the reserve.



i've never understood much about first nation reserves, how or why they exist. perhaps the colonisers simply don't like to talk about it. a whole race swept under the rug to hide the shame at the despicable way the land was stolen from them. or, when the canadian locals do talk about it, patronising sentences full of "us" and "them", it seems they're mostly annoyed at the waste of tax money. guilt money, spent to appease, to encourage the indigenous "to be lazy". but worst of all, experiencing the reserve first hand does little to contradict "white mans" attitude. this place is a garbage dump (also literally). the people are living in their own trash. the streets are covered in rubbish. food wrappers, drink cans, broken kids toys, smashed up cars, rotting sofas. along a muddy path, what probably becomes the winter road, we even found a dead dog. fresh and collared. not necessarily typical, but it was too much. people are hanging around everywhere doing nothing. outside the supermarket or just in the streets.

the weirdest thing is the number of cars. the whole island is about 1300 acres, 4km long and 3km wide. there aren't many roads. there is no bridge, and even if there was, moosonee isn't much bigger. there are no roads out of here except during the winter, when the winter roads join up all the reserves on the west coast of james bay. and yet everyone is driving around in humungous vans. all the time, in circles, like nanook pacing back and forth. there are even a few taxis, barely recognisable through the thick layer of mud and dust covering them. i asked several people why there are so many vehicles, but no one understands the problem. "it would take you half an hour to walk from one end of town to the other, you need a car".



"they don't tarmac the roads, it would be too expensive to get the stuff up here. plus it'll contribute to the pollution and they don't want that."

in the centre of the reserve is the mall that contains a cafe/grill, a post office and a supermarket. there's lots of people here, but no one actually taking care of the place. it's run down and dirty. in the supermarket the rows of confectionary are covered in dust. and it's expensive too. apparently it gets even worse up north. you'll pay $15 for four litres of milk. that's more expensive than wine in denmark. but then, how do you get milk up there anyway? it all has to be flown in.

but what are these people supposed to do? there is nothing here. they've been displaced, bribed with the joys of capitalism, completely incompatible with their culture, and the inevitable mess has followed. the situation is so complicated i can't even being to understand. it just makes me feel horrible.



back in moosenee we eat at the town's only restaurant. the outside facade is a testament to understatement, unlike the neon sign assault and fancy fonts of the places down south. it's just bricks. otherwise it's a carbon copy of everywhere else we've eaten. we eat the same pizza, but this time with olives instead of pineapple. perogies, one each. the owner's a friendly woman from newfoundland, coming over to chat with us strange tourists. i get to watch everyone staring and whispering, because it's never me they're so interested in, it's green hair and piercings boy over there. these people are making more jokes at us than we are about them.

then to the local bar, owned by the same woman but being run by her son and daugther. we drink beer out of plastic mugs in the shape of american footballs. my whiskey is served in a cheap plastic tumbler you'd crush if you weren't careful. some of the people come in just to look at us, i swear.

the next morning i'm up before the alarm. shower in cold water in a bathroom constructed from three pieces of vacuum formed plastic. the continental breakfast is a surprise. healthiest food yet, even with two muffins. the coffee makes me want to be sick.

at about 10am one of the locals opens up the interpretive centre and the local museum that is hosted inside a train car. he drives between the two whilst we walk it in five minutes. i'm still confused. then we hike out to the airport, constantly being circled by the taxis. we're in search of nature trails, groomed or not. at the airport is the nicest cafe in town. we're served by the girlfriend of the guy working in last night's bar (who we also saw this morning working in the supermarket). she knew who we were already.

the word "local" means nothing to these people. to understand the word you'd need a concept of elsewhere.

we followed the railway back towards the town, then we turned down an ATV trail (complete with maniac drivers) that meandered into the thick forest, impassable if it wasn't for the butchered trail. shotgun shells and animal traps. beer bottles.

we ate lunch at the same restaurant. and now we're back on the train. back with all the same people again, as if you can only stay one night here. chugging through endless monotonous spruce, as far as the eye can see, which happens to be not very far. at least without an observation deck. but there's nothing out there but trees and fog. the largest wetland in canada. treating us to skies fit for the end of the world. cascading clouds, swollen pink and bruised. light and dark piling ontop of one another so they don't even know which way is up and which way is down anymore. and yet the view from the other side of the train is dead. dull blue and nothing. not even a cloud that looks like a deformed animal.



06.05.2010

what we're doing is chasing the canadian dream. it's not just the moose, bears and the sasquatch. not that small town town called swastika, which we needed to take a brief detour though after spotting the address on a magazine in our breakfast diner. rusting skidoos, muddy ATVs, bear hunting. so much greasy fat it makes you sick. where a healthy meal is a ceaser salad with chicken and smothered in thick ranch dressing. feet are for pushing accelerator pedals and fingers are for pulling triggers. you found your frontier and you shat all over it. crushed it beneath your tyres and showered it in broken beer bottles. no truck will ever be large enough. no meal meaty enough. no nickleback song loud enough.

we suffer the worst that the redneck radio can beam our way as we fast rewind our whole trip. zooming back down highway 11. travelling the whole 800km back to toronto in a single day. all the better to feel the contrast between these tiny redneck towns and the sprawl of the major city. the dramatic change in weather. the air warming as we pass all the awful but somehow endearing places we've eaten or taken coffee. the friendliest people, happy for something i don't know what. i'll never discover. it's as elusive as the sasquatch. we near toronto and the caravan of trucks turns into an endless stream of cars, the sun glistening of their backs. two lanes become sixteen. tress turn into concrete. it's a different world entirely.



13.05.2010

so we've had a busy week, ey? see what i did there? it was clever, ey? i can totally speak torontonian. but anyway, where to restart?

there was the party on friday night, and since we'd made it back from cochrane in one day we had the whole friday to prepare. although it seemed most of the preparation time was in the supermarket trying to find 'strange' ingredients. i also recognised someone off the internet (no one famous, but that makes it all the weirder). we put together a delicious selection of salads and had a good and steady trickle of guests. all very civilized. it was nice seeing julie's old university friends again. and all these people we know come together. a great time was had by all.


saturday was TCAF, so i was up early and over there at 11am to spend copious amounts of cash on new books. it was totally overwhelming, so many lovely people and so many comics. not enough hydration and not enough baggage allowance. saying hello to jeff and joey. dash shaw totally defaced my new book. his new book. saw some old friends. what i shouldn't have done was taken that trip out to the bank. nevermind.

that evening we met up with the rand/maize family for dinner at la palette, probably everyones favourite restaurant. the owner recognized me, which was nice. everyone was very impressed with the meat. head cheese, ffs. but i'm happy for them enough. catching up was wonderful but all too brief. we had cake back at ours, future cafe cake leftovers from the party. then us kids went out for a few drinks on college.


sunday was mothers' day so we took the parents out for breakfast at a posh diner near high park. the excellent brunch was worth the hike. those 'chefs' up north have no excuse for their crappy food, it's not like there's anything particularly complicated going on in this guy's kitchen. after eating we had a brisk walk through the park, seeing the lamas, peacocks, highland cattle, bison, yaks, and emu, etc. there was a second quick trip to TCAF (because 10kg of books isn't enough), then a subway ride down to the distillery district, somewhere we never even knew existed when we lived here before. all the old warehouses have been renovated into an expensive car-free tourist area. bricks and brass. it made me feel poor. these people must shit money.

we hung out there for a while, coffee and cake, visiting our friend's local church. said more goodbyes. so many goodbyes. then took the streetcar east to the beaches where we were to have dinner with our new friends the greeks. so very hospitable and welcoming with their vats of humus, taramosalata, and a mess of bruise purple octopus tentacles. it was excellent. me and emil spent most of the time in the basement with their kids, feeling awkward as they bickered. strangely familiar, playing guitar hero in the basement. helping ourselves to beers. before we knew it everyone else had left without telling us. perhaps that was funny. we finished our beer and the host drove us home, cruising the gardiner expressway beneath the bulk of the downtown core, twinkling shiny black towers against the pale purple of a polluted sky. just massive. it's amazing how so much ugly steel and concrete can be beautiful.


monday rolled in. taking a lunch on bloor. after the previous night's feast a buffet was the last thing i needed, but i couldn't resist the chance to remember what indian food tastes like, something you can't do in denmark. and now i'm not sure what is heavier, my pile of new books or the increase in my bodymass. we shopped a little on queen st, i fell in love with a bag and made a crazy impulse purchase. then falling asleep in the sun. back garden, fat and lazy after a salad dinner. the air conditioner hum blends into the city sounds and becomes a river i could float in forever. in the evening we took emil out to the cinema for his birthday. nightmare on elm street, complete with audience screaming (and apologising for it, "i can't take this anymore"). we had a drink in the bar beneath the flatiron building, touristy but a great shape. explored the PATH a little. had a good pitcher of rickards red.


tuesday had big plans but terrible weather. it's cold out, ey? there had been talk of canoeing over to the island with angus and jason. but instead they suggest a picnic down on cherry beach, where we could still take the canoe out. we must be the only people who think that the weather is suitable for a beach picnic. we made a shelter with a plastic tarpaulin pulled tight between two trees and ate our vietnamese tofu sandwiches. played with the dogs. sank a beer. didn't sink the canoe. it was calm sailing, rain gently pocking at the water, silent apart from the occasional jet and the factory rumbling across the way. not silent at all.



wednesday, the start of the end. we met laura for lunch at vegetarian haven. julie would have been too disappointed if we hadn't gotten around to eating there. it's still great, down to the very last slice of vegan vanilla cheesecake. in the evening we took a final trip over to see angus and jason again for a last drink and goodbye.

it's sad leaving. amongst dreams making me sentimental of cities i've never lived in. these places i can't return to, not because they never existed, which they didn't, but because it's not the location but the moment. talking shit now, but i missed this city more than i realised. it's comfortable in so many ways. and despite heading to new york, our holiday restarting, it already feels like it's almost over already.





so next stop.. new york!

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