Saturday, 24 May 2008

On a relatively busy week

In the last week, I have come to the end of my Memories of Spain sequence, "booked" 5 to 6 nights of accommodation for phase 1 of Plan 5C (Montreal to Le Bic), booked my ticket from Deer Lake to Montreal (with Air Canada, despite its confusing website), worked out the logistics of getting Leonardo tuned up before phase 1, but after the Défi Métropolitain tomorrow, become a member of Hostel International Canada, acquired a new bicycle bell, secured the storage of Leonardo in Le Bic and picked up a new pair of biking sunglasses.

Where to begin? I arranged beds with both my cousin Marianne in Quebec City and with Philip's friend Pascale, la fille, in Le Bic. In both cases, I received a much warmer reception than I had expected. In case you were wondering, Philip has two friends called "Pascal". In order to differentiate them in conversation, it has become a trope in my family's conversation to refer to "Pasal, le gars" and "Pascale, la fille". (Confusing the matter, I have a good friend by the name of Pascal St-Onge (male). ;-) ) Getting back the subject at hand, I hadn't expected either Marianne or Pascale to turn me down, but the warmth of emotion they expressed towards me was considerable given that I am not particularly close to either. I guess it is karma as I also volunteered to house an acquaintance of Margo's this week. Then again, maybe I am also a nice guy who makes a decent impression with friends and relations.

In order to pick up a membership package from HI, I went to their hostel on Mackay street this morning. I was wearing my red MEC Slicker Jersey. As went in, an older man inquired, tongue in cheek, "How do you expect people to see you on your bike?" I thought it was funny. While I filled out the form, I was gratified to overhear two or three people inquire about when the bicycle tour of Montreal was going to start. Go bike-tourism!

The membership package included some remarkably useless pamphlets from Foreign Affairs Canada. Given that I will be in Canada the whole time, I think you can guess why they aren't terribly relevant given the issuing body. In addition, one of them was titled: "Drugs and Travel: why they don't mix". Well, duh! For the record, I have never, ever used illicit drugs.

While my old MEC chameleon sunglasses are adequate, they are getting rather scratched. Therefore, I took the plunge and bought a new pair of MEC Expresso sunglasses. These are rather fetching as they come with plain grey lenses rather than the blue mirrored lenses of my old chameleons. Furthermore, they come with a red frame. I like red. Red is best.

Tomorrow comes the first big challenge of the season, the Metropolitan Challenge! The weather conditions look very good: sunny, yet cool. The only possible weather hiccup is that the (light-ish) winds will be out of the southwest tomorrow which means they will be against me at the end of the day. I guess you can't have everything.

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