Print Story tuesday morning travel diary-post boston
By misslake (Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 03:35:38 AM EST) boston, b-husi meet, bus, greyhound, snuggles, cheese (all tags)
i am doing this rather out of order.
but here is the story of my return to toronto.

bedroom scene
greyhound scene
american bus station scene
comments on economic and social issues
the toronto transit authority
the flowerpot shop

the alarm clock goes off. we both groan and murmur.
i stretch out a desperate hand into the cold darkness and aim it drowsily for the sound. i flail it about wildly, the sound stops. i collapse back into the covers. he rolls over, draws the covers over his head tighter, pulling them away from me. i cringe as my skin is exposed to the cold dark air. i slip my legs over the edge and toe the floor.
8:15 can seems so cruel.
shortly outside of boston early yesterday morning our bus got a flat tire. we were at the riverside station on the green line, it was early and few people were awake enough to be concerned. the driver had a faint irish accent. it was reassuring. i drew ni closer to me and fell asleep. 2 hours later we were thrown off the bus and made to wait out in the rain for the replacement bus. we had no american money left, and despite parity the us customer service industry still had a terrible disgust of Canadian dollars. there are signs up at the snack stands, NO CANADIAN MONEY with helpful triple underlines and a nice purple ten taped up there too. i try asking politely, but to no avail. they looked at me like i've just insulted them.
here in soviet canukistan, i have never heard of anyone having a serious problem taking american money. smaller shops won't, but in general USD is recognized as currency. most places usually won't take 100$ bills, anyway, large stores often have a USD$ option in their sales systems, and happily calculate the exchange and how much CAD to give as change. bus stations and rest stops have the exchange rate posted. when working retail, on the rare occasions i would be offered USD, i would apologize and regret to inform the american that i would prefer they spend CAD but if they don't have any i can only take their USD at par and give change in CAD.
it was a long way to travel, with nothing to eat but crackers and a large block of tillamook cheddar, and nothing to drink but the one bottle i had filled with water before we left ana and toxic fur's the night before. we were thirsty.
we didn't actually end up in syracuse for very long by the time the bus connections were ironed out. didn't get back to toronto until 12, and didn't get home until 1.
this morning was a painful. shortly after i had dragged myself out of bed, the alarm clock went off again. i hadn't shut it off properly, i had just hit snooze. ni made unhappy noises from under the blankets and curled up as far away as possible from the sound. i stumbled over and mashed the clock's buttons again. it shut off, with only minor alterations to it's time.
it was a cold wet morning, and the subway was packed. no seat for this tired kitten. my unhappy mood was made worse by the crush of damp and unhappy people. i was late for work. it was 10:05 when i got there. luckily i was working with Miss Iron today so she had already gotten the shop all ready to open. The New Girl, who is unfortunately useless, will stand and stare blankly into the dark shop and sometimes even leaves and gets coffee if she happens to arrive before me. Miss Iron is a capable shop girl, pleasant and understanding, and gladly took up the slack for me as i slowly regained consciousness.
as soon as i began chatting with Miss Iron, the unhappiness fled, as i had the chance to recall and share the tales of my delightful weekend in boston.
those tales i will shortly share with you, dear hussies.
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tuesday morning travel diary-post boston | 40 comments (40 topical, 0 hidden)
"8:15 can seem so cruel." by greyrat (3.33 / 3) #1 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 04:14:59 AM EST
HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!!! OK. Along with everything else (like the fact that you'd never want to be within 25 feet of me), this is a major reason we could never have any kind of relationship. Usually by 8:15 -- even on weekends -- I've:

I'm sorry for you. by mrgoat (4.00 / 6) #3 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 04:20:40 AM EST
That's... that's just no way for a human to live.

By 8:15 I've:

  • Put on Pants (Sometimes)

--top hat--
[ Parent ]
troll by joh3n (3.80 / 5) #4 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 04:36:44 AM EST
you ate all your pants long ago

I just ate about 7 pounds of meat

[ Parent ]
Au Contraire. by mrgoat (4.00 / 4) #7 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 04:49:48 AM EST
I ate all your pants long ago.

--top hat--
[ Parent ]
I used to think/be that way too. by greyrat (4.00 / 1) #5 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 04:44:41 AM EST
But then I realized that life is too short to spend lolling around in bed -- unless someone is giving me a damn good reason to...

[ Parent ]
Life's too short /not/ to. by mrgoat (4.00 / 3) #6 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 04:49:04 AM EST
Also, what are you typically doing at 11:30 at night? I think that makes all the difference.

--top hat--
[ Parent ]
At 11:30 we're usually fighting to stay awake by greyrat (4.00 / 2) #9 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 05:02:41 AM EST
and finish the last TV show we taped. It's the middle-aged, middle-'Merkin dream I tells ya'!

[ Parent ]
middle-merkin by joh3n (4.00 / 1) #17 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 08:07:54 AM EST
that's an image I dont wanna have!

I just ate about 7 pounds of meat

[ Parent ]
Mmmmmm... I do... by greyrat (2.00 / 0) #25 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 09:09:53 AM EST
Mmmmmmm... Tasty...

[ Parent ]
who prefers their merkins off to one side? by misslake (4.00 / 1) #34 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 03:05:40 PM EST
the properly centred pubic wig is really the genteel way to have it.

[ Parent ]
Haahahaha by littlestar (4.00 / 2) #19 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 08:41:19 AM EST
I love you.

[ Parent ]
Work made me a morning person by jayhawk88 (4.00 / 2) #10 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 05:42:52 AM EST
I high school/college I could sleep until 11 or 12 easy, but for some reason when I entered the real world, that went away. Even on days off I'm usually up by 7 easy. I also rarely nap; generally only when I'm sick or on occasion if I've worked hard on something. I don't exactly go Captain America like you but it's usually "Might as well go play some Warcraft" or whatever.

What's funny though is I married my exact opposite in that respect. I've seen Jenn sleep 16 hours in a 24 hour period when coming off a marathon week at work.

[ Parent ]
I almost wish that happened to me by MillMan (2.00 / 0) #15 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 07:42:32 AM EST
Every Monday morning is a battle of trying to wake up off of four hours of sleep.

When I'm imprisoned as an enemy combatant, will you blog about it?

[ Parent ]
Dear Sir, by crux (2.00 / 0) #26 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 09:15:46 AM EST
Why not cycle to work?

That way:

  • you get to ( look at the beautiful scenery | get high on exhaust ).
  • can ( shower at the office | have a personal space dispersion field ).
  • you will either be in really good shape or learn the benefits of a slightly slower pace.
  • get to cycle back at the end of the day!
(Okay, 35 miles would be a bit much for me to do every day, too.)

[ Parent ]
Because I don't have the strength to by greyrat (2.00 / 0) #28 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 09:25:29 AM EST
Drop off and pick up both my teenage kids (approximately 100 pounds apiece), and all their books gym clothes and other accouterments (probably 40 pounds apiece). Nor do I have the time (say three hours one way via bike vs 45 minutes by car) or the roads (six lane interstates are not usually push bike friendly).

[ Parent ]
usually i'm all bright eyed and bushy tailed by misslake (4.00 / 1) #33 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 03:03:22 PM EST
by 8.

it wasn't a complaint about 8:15 in general, but a complaint about how hideously soon it arrives after a solid husi weekend of drinking, less than an ideal amount of sleep the night before, all day and evening previous on a bus or in a bus station, and only 6 hours of good rest the nigh before. in that situation, 8:15 though usually a delightful hour for sex and breakfasting, becomes rather retched.

i am a morning person. just ask ni and R343L.

[ Parent ]
indeed she is a morning person by R343L (4.00 / 1) #36 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 06:41:59 PM EST
Scarily so. All chipper and everything. I can get up early (and survive on short sleep for weeks at a time), but .... not cheerily before ten or so when I do. All I can manage is a general stiffness. I do avoid biting peoples' heads off ... not their fault.

misslake though ... I personally watched her cook (and not just oatmeal, but like pasta and some kind of veggie esauce) in the morning. And she was happy and smiling while doing it. shiver

(Note: hungover, possibly I don't remember correctly. ;)

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot

[ Parent ]
Once you get about by debacle (2.00 / 1) #2 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 04:15:52 AM EST
Oh, three miles from the border, no one really knows where Canada is or what to do with your currency.


Sure they do by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #22 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 08:59:40 AM EST
Canadian vs. US currency by Phil the Canuck (4.00 / 1) #8 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 04:50:41 AM EST
There's a good reason that many US shops won't take Canadian currency, and it doesn't have anything to do with xenophobia, or the American superiority complex, or any of those other things.

The simple truth is that many of the banks used for day-to-day business in the US do not deal in foreign currency. Not even a little bit. It was one of the major culture shock moments of my move, since I've never dealt with a Canadian bank that didn't offer at least a smattering of foreign exchange options. So, as you can see, while it's trivial for every mom-and-pop corner store in Canada to accept US currency, it can be a complete pain in the ass in the States.

Most american banks do, you just have to ask. $ by debacle (2.00 / 1) #12 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 05:53:20 AM EST


[ Parent ]
s / ask / demand by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #23 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 09:00:29 AM EST
8:15 by Merekat (2.00 / 0) #11 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 05:46:03 AM EST
Weekdays, I'm about 5 mins walk from work by that point.

Weekends, that time does not exist.

8:15 by Vulch (2.00 / 0) #13 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 06:09:39 AM EST

I'd be 10 minutes walk from work whatever day of the week it is.

But there again that's because my house is only 10 minutes walk away from work.

It actually takes me a bit longer to cycle in due to faffing around getting the bike out of the garage and locking it up when I get here.

[ Parent ]
many americans by alprazolam (2.00 / 0) #14 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 06:20:57 AM EST
take a certain pleasure in their ability to not go the tiniest bit out of their way to help somebody. but not all by a longshot. otoh the reason people don't take canadien monies is because they're basically useless. you'd have to go to an airport or some shady exchange place to try and get something back for them, and then how do you know you're not getting screwed?

in my experience by MillMan (2.00 / 0) #16 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 07:44:37 AM EST
the east coast is in particular a curious mix of "fuck you, you fuck" and "here, let me help you across the street."

When I'm imprisoned as an enemy combatant, will you blog about it?

[ Parent ]
texas very similar by alprazolam (2.00 / 0) #20 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 08:47:40 AM EST
there's a similar dia..dia....dia something in texas. some number of very polite and helpful people. and many angry rednecks who value being a mean jerk as a desirable quality in a person.

in the south people are more generally just friendly to everyone (except for the racists) and in the midwest people are a lot more in the middle and easy going - not likely to bother you with a wave or "hello" but just as irritated by jerks as anybody else.

don't know about the west. i hear everybody in california is a weirdo.

[ Parent ]
dichotomy? by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #24 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 09:01:59 AM EST
it works but it wasn't what i was thinking of by alprazolam (2.00 / 0) #30 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 10:51:19 AM EST
isn't there an even more obscure word, that starts with dia, that means basically the same thing? or am i just wrong?

[ Parent ]
diaspora, lol (nt) by slozo (2.00 / 0) #37 Fri Oct 12, 2007 at 04:56:40 AM EST

[ Parent ]
heh by alprazolam (2.00 / 0) #38 Fri Oct 12, 2007 at 06:13:54 AM EST
that came to mind and i looked it up...nope not it :D

[ Parent ]
That was just a joke . . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #39 Fri Oct 12, 2007 at 06:20:18 AM EST
. . . but what I think you were thinking of was the phrase "diametrically opposed". I think.

[ Parent ]
On what evidence? by johnny (2.00 / 0) #35 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 06:09:51 PM EST
Maybe it's just bigotry, but I find "Southern" culture saccharine and phony. And there is a big, enormous difference between being saccharine and being friendly.

I like the culture in the Northeast, where I'm from. The people in New York City are the friendliest anywhere. "Seinfeld" captured this perfectly. When you're Jerry's friend, you don't knock on his door, you just walk in. You don't ask if you can have something to eat; you help yourself.

I'm very comfortable in New York, Boston, anywhere in New England. If I had to live in Georgia I'd probably kill myself. And the "except for racism" comment is very telling. Racism is part and parcel of a phony culture based on appearances and dissembling.

OK, rant off.
... this is dreamworld after all... it isn't? Shit.

[ Parent ]
lifetime of experience? by alprazolam (2.00 / 0) #40 Wed Oct 24, 2007 at 12:05:46 PM EST
just two different opinions. i don't find southern culture, especially being polite, saccharine at all. obviously most northeasterners do. especially new yorkers, the whole "in your face" thing is just ya'lls way of "being friendly". i find it rude and irritating. i can't imagine just barging in to somebody's home and eating their food. totally inappropriate.

the racism thing, well i think your comment shows how judgemental northesterners are. it tells you what you want it to. there are racist people everywhere, they just hide it a lot more, disassemble about it more up north. not that i'm trying to defend any racist. 

just like you couldn't live in georgia, where people are polite and relaxed (or phoney and saccharine), i couldn't live in new york, where everybody is obnoxious, loud, and hell bent on being "in your face" because that's "real".

[ Parent ]
lovely service by R343L (2.00 / 0) #18 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 08:19:37 AM EST
You'd think they'd at least wait until the replacement bus had arrived before kicking you out off your only shelter. I hope you had some books on that bus ride ....

I'm not really surprised about the lack of acceptance of Canadian money though. Everyone makes a big fuss when it gets spread around that some business near the Mexican border accepts Mexican money (though plenty likely do). It's some kind of superiority complex about "the dollar" I'm sure (the US dollar of course -- I'm not sure that many Americans are really aware that several other currencies are called "dollars").


"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot

Are we sure than the whole USD/CAD thing . . . by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #21 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 08:52:15 AM EST
Isn't explained by the fact that, until very recently, treating US dollars as an equivalent currency meant the Canadian vendor was making more money on each transaction by essentially pocketing the exchange difference; whereas treating the CAD as equivalent currency would have meant the US shop owner was getting screwed on every sale?

The current near-equivalence of the two currencies is, what, a month old? We're pretty quick to ascribe what could be simple financial common sense and force of habit to some sort of alleged set of national character traits.

If the CAD rises in value to the point that treating it like an equivalent currency means American shopkeepers are making money, I'm certain shops in the US will be happy to take it. By the same token, I'm equally certain Canadian shop owners would no longer treat the currencies as equivalent if it meant that they were getting screwed every time somebody bought something from them. I don't think the supposed meanness of Americans and the legendary kindness of Canadians would make a difference.

Canadian vendors and $US by clover kicker (2.00 / 0) #27 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 09:18:22 AM EST
Canucks don't usually take $US at par, there will be a sign posted with an exchange rate.

Probably a usurious exchange rate, but them's the hazards.

I'm sure misslake would have been willing to pay a somewhat usurious exchange rate to allow her to buy goods or services, but the vendors wouldn't take her $CDN at any exchange rate.

[ Parent ]
Fox News coverup by spacejack (4.00 / 2) #29 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 10:00:44 AM EST
They don't want Americans to know $1CDN = $1.01907US.

[ Parent ]
But misslake herself says she took USD on par. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #31 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 11:01:04 AM EST
And I've had several transactions where I've had USD taken on par.

My point is simply that we might be dealing with profit motive and habit.

[ Parent ]
in the small hippie sprout shop by misslake (2.00 / 0) #32 Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 02:56:06 PM EST
we took american at par until we got a new POS system and the front computer got internets. then i just googled the current exchange rate and entered it into the POS and went through with the transaction. anytime anyone tried to pay with USD i'd get called up to "fix the machine so it took americans" and i'd google, enter the rate and go.

at the small grocery store where we had only mechanical cash registers i took USD at par and then  put my own CAD into the till and took the USD to the bank and got my extra little bit of monies for my trouble.
once i even took euros, it was late on a saturday and all the banks were closed. the lady had just gotten back from home and hadn't changed her money yet. she needed some groceries. after a brief survey of the crowd we decided upon a mutally agreeable exchange rate and she got her groceries. 

[ Parent ]
tuesday morning travel diary-post boston | 40 comments (40 topical, 0 hidden)