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Friday, July 19th, 2002

The Trip

 

My first plane trip that I was old enough to remember was a wonderful experience, and way too short.  I left nose prints all over the tiny little window next to my seat, from my repeated attempts to take in the entire view. There were tiny little toy cars, driving on tiny little strips of road, next to little toy trains, all running through a chaotic checkerboard of cultivated land.  Yeah, I could have stayed up there a while.  From the air, Nova Scotia looks like a drying puddle in the grass.  When you get closer, you realise that the areas of water are actually hundreds of lakes of all shapes and sizes.  It's a strange and beautiful landscape.

After landing, as I was quickly rushed to the just departing shuttle bus, a thick, wet fog started to roll in.  I live near the St. Laurence River, so I have some experience with fog, but this fog rolled over the landscape like wet smoke, and smelled like brine and algae.  It smelled like the ocean.

The bus driver, however didn’t even blink, and drove confidently and merrily down the barely visible highway, which I found at least a bit reassuring.  He regaled myself and the four other passengers with a running narration of all things Nova Scotian, though I still haven’t been able to figure out what a “mini-home” is.  I’ll look into that.

He kindly dropped off my luggage and me just a few streets from O’Brien Hall, with a last shouted admonishment to “watch yerself”, in that wonderful maritime accent of his.

O'Brien Hall

I dragged my luggage and myself up the hill (is this town built on the side of a mountain, or what??), to O’Brien Hall, checked in, and made my way up to my closet/room. Five minutes later, I was back out the door on my quest to find Brian Downey and the Lexxian posse.  In-keeping with a lifetime of uncertain luck, half of the pay phones in Halifax were seemingly out of order.  When I did find one that worked, I had the challenging task of punching in the 65 or so (authors note: this number may be a slight exaggeration on my part) digits needed to make a phone call using the calling card I had purchased.  This proved to be a very difficult thing for my dyslexic little brain.  But I did manage it, repeatedly in fact, because the number I had been given kept connecting me to Stormsweeper’s cell phone answer service.  I discovered that no amount of shouting into the receiver could persuade it to give me the name of the bar where everyone was happily getting drunk without me, so I decided to keep trying until a got a real live person on the line I could shout at.

Downtown Halifax, which wasAfter a futile jaunt through just about every bar in downtown Halifax, which was blanketed in that same fog and looked like an out of control Metallica concert, I finally got through to Stormsweeper who was very much alive until I could get around to killing him, and found out the name of the bar.  You would think that this name would have been important enough after all my efforts to have stuck in my mind, but no, it didn’t. Someone clued me in though, it was the Seahorse Tavern.

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