Friday, December 10, 2004

You Lost Me At Banjo


Searching for something to do yesterday afternoon James suggested checking out a photography exhibition at a gallery. He'd seen the after-hours event advertised in the paper and it apparently featured the work of a well known local war snapper. When we turned up, admittedly a little early, there were only about three people there, milling about and sipping champagne. No photos were visible, however. As I lurked behind a pretentious looking book, James asked a woman what actually was going to happen. "Well," she said, "it's going to be an hour and a half long. He likes using the photos as a slide show and to have a couple of people singing. He's also brought his banjo..."

It was at this exact point we both decided we'd heard enough and quickly legged it to meet Jon for some beers. It was a narrow escape.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Keep On Truckin'


I'd like to say I've seen a lot of Toronto over the last couple of days but the truth is all we've done is drink and come up with in jokes. Jon's current transport is a ridiculous blue Ford pickup truck which makes me feel very North American. He even has some wood in the back which he claims is "for work" although I think he just has it there for effect.

Jon was otherwise engaged last night so me and James went to see some bands at a famous local venue, the Horseshoe. As the first act ran through their set I couldn't help noticing the huge 'Horseshoe' sign behind them looked more like 'Horses hoe.' Thankfully the show didn't feature anything equine or sexual, which came as a relief to both of us.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Party Time


It didn't quite take me four days to hitchhike from Saginaw, but for a while it looked as if I might have to. The morning after the party I was going to take a cab to the bus station, but the driver rang the wrong buzzer in the block of flats I was staying in so I had to suffer looking out of the window to see him drive off. Foolishly I tried to run after him, foolish because I had no chance of flagging him down and once I was outside I had no way of getting back in to the apartment. Feeling pretty bleary and with time ticking away I ran down the road to a 7-11 only to find the phone outside wasn't working. I went inside and begged the woman to let me use the shop's phone, and I managed to get through to the one taxi company that bothers to answer the phone in Saginaw on a Sunday morning. The guy on the other end said it'd be 45 minutes before he could get another taxi out to me, by which time my bus would be halfway to Detroit. With no dignity left I decided to beg him to help me out too, and then I went outside to freeze and hope a taxi would turn up in time. I've never been happier to see a fat man in a yellow car as when it came into view, and I made it to the station just before the bus pulled out. It's the kind of thing you don't need when you're hungover.

The party itself was quite an event, in a huge mansion in a gated community on the edge of town. The handful of brand new houses have a golf course running through them, that's how posh it all was. Borrowing a shirt I managed to look vaguely presentable and was able to charm my way round the place, nibbling on the fancy food I spent the afternoon helping to put together and knocking into the mulled wine. I'm not used to that level of wealthy company, but when you've got an accent over here it's just too easy.

And so I've made it here to the last stop on the line, safe in the knowledge I'm never going to have to ride on a Greyhound bus ever again. Jon met me at the station and James joined us later on for a few drinks. It was good to get back to some quality Canadian lager and tell five-year-old in jokes all night. We all look a bit older but in every other respect not much has changed.