Friday, April 13, 2007

Do Not Touch The Moose

Yeah, Its Canada.

It's so strange being here. Not the least unsettling thing is the damn miserable weather. This was California the day I left (actually taken on the way to the airport).

This is Ottowa today.

The one saving grace is the overwhelming pleasantness that seems to be spilling from everyone in this city. We checked into the hotel 3 hours early today, and the manager came into the lobby and apologized profusely for making us wait 15 minutes until they cleaned our rooms. I went to the bank to exchange some money and happend to ask the teller where a good breakfast spot was. Ten minutes later, and with a substantial line forming behind me we had discussed San Francisco, Spike Lee, Canadian foreign policy and he had invited a few of us to a house party that his friends were having tonight. Madness. When I went to a hardware store later on, and told the guy behind the counter that I was from California he reached out and shook my hand. Maybe to these folks this 45-degree weather is the sign of impending summer, and the cold rain that seems to never stop falling means that they will have nice green lawns for six weeks until the frost rolls in again. I, for one, am baffled. I am confining myself to my hotel room until I feel up to receiving more unwaranted good vibes.

The one thing that I still don't quite understand is the Canadian fondness for all things English. A few years back I think it was Ontario that held a public vote to end the endless public reverence for the crown. This meant, mainly, that some hockey player would replace the queen's face on their currency. They voted against it. The streets are choked with statues of people who look like Margaret Thatcher and Benny Hill, the Union Jack is flying high on every flag pole and everywhere you turn the royal coat of arms is tacked to the side of buildings. This is all well and good if you are prepared to overlook the fact that the coat of arms includes a unicorn. That's right, a mythical creature, not unlike a leprechaun, graces the crest of England. I prefer the hockey player, or maybe a goose of some sort.

I read this in the paper today. Damn straight.

Too cold. You can find me in the tub.