Things I missed about Alberta: lilacs. Perogies. That accent. The big huge sky. Cars that stop and wait patiently for you to cross the street.
How come I never realized that there are no lilacs in Wales?
Of course the main thing is the people. It’s been great seeing everyone. I spent yesterday sitting on patios with people whose company I enjoy. Life is good.
The trip over was long but kind of hilarious. The plane was furnished with the usual orange flight attendant (only one orange one this time) with peroxide-white hair. However, I was also sat next to the most hilarious possible seatmate – a Geordie who was at least six pints down and hadn’t slept in 24 hours. He started off the flight in fine form by doing an increasingly jiggly dance in his seat as the plane waited to take off. Finally, with six pints straining at his bladder, he could stand it no longer and made a dash for the loo… just as we began taxiing down the runway. A series of increasingly stern messages was broadcast over the intercom: “Passengers are reminded that the fasten-seatbelt sign is on…” Eventually they caught him and frog-marched him back to his seat. As soon as the plane was in the air, he was off like a rocket, running back down the aisle toward the toilet.
By about Hour Three he had hit the sentimental stage, and was telling me (actually quite touching) stories about his “wee bairn” who got leukemia at only three years old. Eventually he went back to listening to music and I was half-watching the film (Dumb and Dumber, inexplicably) when he leaned over and poked me and whispered something about the toilet. I looked back, and sure enough the flight attendants were gathered around the back loo. Turns out he had been caught smoking (!). Sure enough, the stern announcement came over the intercom: “Passengers are reminded that the toilets are fitted with sensitive smoke alarms… passengers caught smoking may be removed from the flight, have their passports confiscated and may be refused passage on the airline”. Then one of the stewards came marching down the aisle with a long legal document and read it (ALL of it) out to him. He seemed very contrite. He wasn’t a bad guy, just a drunken dumbass.
Once off the plane, things got far more annoying. It is always my nightmare that my luggage won’t arrive, and this time it came true. There were only about twelve bags with Vancouver tags left on the luggage thingy, and my bag had not appeared. (The plane was to fly onwards to Vancouver after dropping us in Calgary). Several large scary Aunt Agatha-style Englishwomen were in the same boat. We went and badgered an airport employee, and it transpired that they had accidentally unloaded some Vancouver bags and left the same number of Calgary bags on the plane. They loaded the Vancouver bags back on – and then took off with our luggage! Turns out there was a Globespan executive on the plane, who told them to IGNORE US AND FLY OFF TO VANCOUVER WITH
Anyway, I got a trip to Tim Hortons and a new dress (two, actually!) at Winners courtesy of Mom, so I wasn’t as upset as I might have been.
The high school reunion was weird. Loads of people have barely changed. They nearly all have kids, though. I was told that I have changed completely, that I never used to wear dresses, that I should be in jeans and a t-shirt (thanks Jonathan), that I have an accent, that I don’t have an accent, and that I’m way more outgoing now than previously. Looking at the little slide-show of high school life… I HOPE I’ve changed! There were a couple of extremely cool people to hang out with, though, and some interesting conversation was had. Better than the first half, which was all, “Sooooo…. What have you been up to for the last ten years?”
Have spent the last week in Rocky and Edmonton. Rocky was mostly sorting out my affairs (the financial kind, not the interesting kind) and have been having a slow start in Edmonton as I always forget to warn people in advance that I’m turning up. But there is a dance tonight and a tea party tomorrow, so should get to see a fair few people.