Sunday, July 2

half-way home

writing from my lousy hotel in Montreal simply because I am feeling so bored and whiny...

it never ceases to amaze me that when a woman is traveling alone, the stupid hotel clerks don't think twice about putting her in a far away room, way down the end of a long hall, nowhere near the elevator (for ease of carrying all her heavy luggage) and nowhere near an emergency exit (for ease of exiting in an emergency, like if a rapist breaks into my room). I guess this is Canada, but I prefer a little extra caution when travelling alone.

So I asked for another room and they acted all burdened. And now I'm in a smoking room which really doesn't seem any closer to the elevator. I hate stupid Ramada. Also it was freakin' hilarious-pathetic, their van driver today did not lift a single person's luggage, he just opened the back door, and stood there with an expression on his face like, Right then, help yourself.

Welcome back to North America. Actually so far I haven't experienced the culture shock of everyone speaking English or anything, but I have had a couple Canadian strangers look at me funny when I speak slowly and clearly to them, like as if I'm treating them like idiots. Gotta break that habit.

And I have noticed that I now have an uncanny ability to guess what country people are from without hearing their voice, just based on what they're wearing. Seriously! Well I guess you can tell I was bored in the airport and waiting in long lines today. Germans and Italians are seriously so unmistakable to me now.

So the night train last night was a little scary to do alone, but I survived it. They do pair females together in compartments, so that was a relief, but I was really anxious from horror stories I've heard of people being mugged, even though my luggage was locked down, and even though I have nothing worthy of stealing, which is quite obvious from the looks of my bags.

The problem with the Sweden night train is half of the journey is over water, and there's no tunnels from Germany to Sweden, so the train car goes on a ferry (yeah, trippy). And while the train car is in the cargo hold of the ferry, there is like no air to breathe even with the windows wide open. The compartment was SO HOT that I couldn't keep our compartment door closed, and then I couldn't sleep, because I was nervous that the door wasn't locked. This lasted like 2 or 3 hours. Sigh.

But bad hotel or not, I am glad to be stopping over a night now before flying home, because I don't want to get home all crabby and needing a shower really badly. Oh... just noticed it's like 3am Europe time right now, so I reallllly gotta stop whining and get some sleep now.

But one more thing -- I can't believe no one has commented on the jackass dude yet - that is worthy of comments, people. And also shocked there weren't more comments about Kate's random unexplained owl picture on her site. That was supposed to spark discussion.

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