Thursday, 2 June 2011

Another Day on the Island

   Sometimes I worry that Downey and I have it much too easy in Victoria. Its officially day two in our tour, and what I had imagined we would be experiencing, is quite different from what is actually happening.
   What I had envisioned was both Downey and I being severely tired, cold and under nourished. Every morning we would be waking up at 6 am and peddling about 150 kilometers.We would be sleeping everynight in the ditch, all our gear would be wet, and Downey would be yelling at the sky with tears rolling down his face going "why God did I ever agree to this... Why!!!"
    But that is simply not what is happening. Instead of waking up in a ditch this morning, I woke up on my own very comfortable mattress at a very nice ladies house called Mable. Her husband passed away from ALS 12 years ago and she is a very active member of the ALS society of Victoria. Not only has she given us a beautiful place to sleep, eat, shower and do our laundry, but last night she let Downey and I borrow her car.
   It all happened once we started watching the NHL at Mables home.We all grabbed a glass of wine and settle comfortably on the plush sofa. Mable has had two boys in the NHL and it showed. Once the game started, she turned from sweet old lady to seasoned coach, yelling instructions at the television between sips of wine. After the first period she looked to me and said:
   "If you and your friend would like to borrow my car and partake in the celebration in Victoria tonight, your welcome to."
    To which I replied: "Mable, you are without a doubt an angel sent from heaven, and I will take you up on your offer. I can give you very little in return, but, I can promise to make you sound as tho you are an angel sent from heaven in my blog."
   Mable agreed, and after an excellent supper Michael and I were of once again to Victoria to celebrate a Canuck win.

   When in Rome, do as the Romans do.... But where do the Romans hang out? Michael and I were looking for the largest concentration of people. We were looking for signs of celebration, but apart from a couple of people hanging on the side of the street in jerseys yelling happily at the occasional car that sported a Canucks flag, we could not find "the" place of celebration.
   We decided to enter a pub, or sports bar and ask the locals what was customary to do in a situation such as ours. The first bar we went to we were refused entry. Apparently my manly five finger vibram shoes and my zip up pant shorts were no match for the Ed Hardy the Victoria boys were wearing.  The bouncer probably figured we were homeless and therefore cast us off. I would like to say I didn't care, but I did shed a tear on the inside.
   Shunned from the high class bar, we found a sports bar that would accept the likes of us. It was the kind of bar with sports memorabilia on the walls, rock music, and all the waitresses wore shirts with "two twins one cup" inscribed on it. The party had been long gone from when we arrived, the locals were not very helpful and even tho the hockey team won the game, people were generally in a bad mood. When we started drinking out cheap tasting expensive beers, we asked for our bills and left.
  Feeling dejected and depress, we followed our sense of familiarity and found ourselves once again at the Oceans Islanders Backpackers Inn. Instantly our mood brightened. Our friendly bartender Becca was at the bar and Downey made quick work of ordering a couple pitchers while I found a table of familiar faces. We sat down at a table with the British nationals; Carrie, Amy and Hannon. As we drank beer and conversed, I realized that it was open mike night. Downey dared me to go and sing a couple of songs, feeling confident, I made my way to the stage and opened like this:
   "Ladies and Gentlemen, I have been informed that this guitar if very slippery, and that being the case I may play a couple of bad notes. If you do hear something that isn't pleasant, please remember how slippery this guitar really is."
   Even tho it was the least confident opening to a show in the history of my life, it still got everyones attention. I started with an improvising of a song called "the winnipeg blues". All it was was a summary of my life in Winnipeg.
   "I live in a flood plain, the mosquitoes know me by name...." And so on.
   I played a couple more songs, the audience endured my music, we talked a little more, and called in a night. Day two was far too easy, and I worry that we will endure some real hardships soon.

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