I am not here today. I am setting back US foreign relations a couple of decades by guest-posting a Canadian Travel Journal entry over at LeSombre's blog.
I am thinking today's lunch will be courtesy of Taco Bell. Things are looking up already!
UPDATE: My guest post has been archived in an extended entry in case LeSombre should decide to disappear from the internet one day!
This is not LeSombre.
This is Dave from Blogography, and I'm guest-posting here while he is goofing off in Africa. Since Senegal's national language is French, and LeSombre is a native speaker, I'm guessing he will have an easier time of it there than I would. I studied French years ago, but am barely functional in the language now. About the only thing I remember is how to say nonsensical things such as “I love cheese!” and “May I have some sugar on my waffle?” The good news is that I won't starve when traveling to French-speaking countries. The bad news is that eating nothing but waffles and cheese will undoubtedly cause heart failure after a week.
For some reason I am also able to understand that “Le Sombre” means “The Dark,” which is kind of a cool name for a blog, if you ask me.
To be completely honest, I am surprised that LeSombre would allow me to guest-post, given my track record…
And yet, LeSombre was undeterred. He still wanted me to write for his blog. I don't know what this says about his sanity, but I'm going to work hard not to let him down. Thus, in honor of his homeland, I give you… DAVE'S CANADA TRAVEL JOURNAL! You're in for a treat… I'm in a unique position to comment on The Great White North, because I live in Washington State. Sarah Palin may be able to see Russia from her kitchen in Alaska, but I can see the West Edmonton Mall from my office!
- My first trip to Canada was escorting the Chelan County Fair Royalty to a parade up in Penticton, BC where the motto of the town is “A Place to Stay Forever.” Since I left after two days, I find their motto to be a bit deceptive. My biggest thrill was seeing the infamous sea monster “Ogopogo” in Lake Okanagan. NOTE: At least it was my biggest thrill until somebody told me that it was a piece of wood floating in the water.
- My next trip to Canada was to visit World Expo 86 in Vancouver with my mother and brother. It was very educational and I learned many things. NOTE: The US Border Patrol doesn't ask any questions after learning that you have your mother in the car with you. Thus the most important thing I learned was a sure-fire way to smuggle drugs across the border, assuming your mother likes road trips.
- My next trip to Canada was to visit World Expo 86 with my friends. I drank too much and ended up with blurry pictures of somebody's bare ass on my camera. The ass may or may not have been mine. NOTE: One thing is for certain, I never went back to that One-Hour-Photo again.
- My next trip to Canada was for a friend's bachelor party in Vancouver. I drank too much, went to no less than six strip clubs, was mistaken for a terrorist, got kicked in the balls, passed out in a motor home, and was very nearly detained by the US Border Patrol trying to get back into the country. NOTE: Do not joke about having girls in the back of your Winnebago when you're asked if you have anything to declare.
- My next six or seven trips to Canada were to strip clubs in Vancouver. I drank too much, but enjoyed the scenery every time. NOTE: Back in the early nineties, the US Dollar was actually worth something. So much so that your lap-dancer was happy to throw a little something extra your way if you tipped in American currency. Those were the days.
- My next trip was to the Hard Rock Cafes in Whistler and Vancouver before they closed, AND to try McPizza at McDonalds, which was only available in Canada at the time. I drank too much, lost my wallet, and was very nearly detained by the US Border Patrol trying to get back into the country. NOTE: Do not say “I went to McCanada for McPizza at McDonalds” when asked for the reason you went to Canada… even if it is true. Especially when all you have for identification is a crappy fax of your birth certificate with your license number scrawled in pink marker at the bottom.
- My next trip was to finish up visits to the remaining Hard Rock Cafes in Kanata, Toronto, Niagara Falls, Ottawa, and Montreal in 2001. I drank too much, fell in love with Ottawa, made a very unfortunate joke to a US Border Patrol agent, and was detained for an hour while crossing to see Niagara Falls on the US side. NOTE: The US Border Patrol has no sense of humor, especially when said humor concerns a newly-elected president George W. Bush, and an observation comparing American Bush to Canadian Beaver (I, however, found it to be hilarious).
- My next trip to Canada was to Toronto with my then-girlfriend. I drank too much. Period. NOTE: If you want your girlfriend to break up with you, a drunken adventure in Toronto will do the trick.
- My last trip to Canada was to beautiful Victoria Island, BC with my sister in 2003. We both drank too much, were kicked out of a bar for not understanding the “cannot order alcohol without the intent of eating food” law, were kicked out of another bar for an unfortunate incident involving small plastic animals we were collecting from the drinks we were ordering, then got dissed by our waiter while having Afternoon High Tea at The Fairmont Empress Hotel where we were staying. Apparently, it is “inappropriate” to have fun while drinking tea there, as they are really frackin' serious about drinking tea. I had no problems entering the US, but did get sick on the Clipper Ferry back to Seattle. NOTE: A boat is probably not the best way to travel with a hangover.
And there you have it. My Canada Travel Journal.
After reviewing the above, I have come to the conclusion that Canada has a serious drinking problem.
Worse yet, it seems to be contagious, and I am highly susceptible when I visit. This would explain why I haven't been to Canada in over five years now. This is something I really need to remedy soon.*
*Assuming they'll let me back in the country and Obama doesn't mind risking an international incident so soon into his presidency.