My Saturday Morning in Canada


3.45am: Alarm. Snooze button.
3:54am: Alarm. Alarm off.
4:01am: Zoe. Get up.
4:07am: Tea, breakfast, email.
4:50am: In the car. Warm up the engine. Indicate, down Wilmot, right onto Oak Bay Drive, right onto Douglas. AM radio talking about Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), then the regime of Robert Mugabe. Change to shuffle on the Ipod. It starts to rain.
5:11am: Stop for petrol at Shell. Unknowingly leave the petrol cap on top of the bowser.
6:20am: Raining harder. Stop for watery, burnt servo coffee. Cigarette in the car. Still dark.
6:50am: Raining really hard now. Still fucking dark. Windy roads through the Malahat. Slow to the speed limit, peering through the rain and the dark to find the sides of the lane. Notice faint glow of first light blue over the highway shoulder.
7:12am: Hmm. Transmission.
7:34am: What’s that smell? No. That’s not your engine. No, it’s gotta be outside.
7:41am: Dude. Transmission.
7:50am: Zoe. Seriously. Transmission. Stop at Petro Canada in Nanimo. “Hey. I need to get to Tofino but I think my transmission’s shot. Is there a bus station somewhere here?”
7:51am: “Petrol cap. Where’s my bloody petrol cap? Oh for fuck’s sake.”
7:56am:  “The bus costs $44.75 to Tofino.”
“When does it leave?”
“10:45am.”
7:58am: I could make it to Port Alberni. Yeah. I’ll just leave the car there. Hitch to Tofino.
8:01am: “Do you guys sell temporary petrol caps?”
8:57am: Miss the Port Albery exit. 30kms before it’s possible to turn around.
9:10am: Transmission…
9:18am: Transmission…
9:26am: Shit.
9:32am: Pull over. Jehovah’s Whitness Community Centre carpark.
9:33am: “Sure, you can leave your car there. The bus station is just down Johnson out there. Yup, just go straight down Johnson and it’s on your left. If you can want a moment, we just have a 15 minute meeting here and we can give you a ride. Can you wait 15 minutes?”
9:48am: Into the car with the Jehovah’s Whitnesses. “So, where ya from?”
9:52am: Pull into the Greyhound carpark. “Yeah, no problem. No problem at all. You sure picked the right place to pull in, ‘ey. Hey, do you know anything about the work we do? How about we give you something to read on the bus? Here, I’ll just give you a bit of literature.”
9:52am: Two-and-a-half hours ’til the bus to Tofino. Gets into town at 2:35pm. Try to hitch but it’s raining too hard and my oversized rain jacket makes me look like a crazy person.
10:20am: Leave my backpack at the bus station. Go for a walk back up to my car to get a few things I’d forgotten in my rush not to inconvenience the Jehovah’s Whitnesses. It’s further than I thought. Catch a lift with a farmer at the Petro Canada.
11:04am: Start walking back to the bus station in the rain. Try hitching there for the hell of it. Sure beats walking. Couple of Germans pick me up. Just so happens they’re heading to Toffino to go hiking. Not really hiking weather, is it?

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4 Responses to “My Saturday Morning in Canada”


  1. 1 Jeanne Harvey November 27, 2011 at 7:26 am

    Love, love, love it!

  2. 3 S'Mat November 28, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    all along the Watchtower… to find: Tofino!!!!!!


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