Monday, May 17, 2010

Split City: Both Halves Boring

There's no flying for me this morning, so I walk to Saskatchewan. The official border is about five blocks away, but visible from the hotel as it's marked with giant orange pylons. It's three degrees outside but so sunny that I go out in just a sweatshirt over a t-shirt. I have to detour around piles of snow blocking the sidewalks, but the weather soon warms up to t-shirt level. Disappointingly, the most interesting things about the place are its double-L name and it's location. And I seem to be the only one who cares about that. I walk all over town without finding any place that will sell me a souvenir postcard or refrigerator magnet to prove that I was here.

The border really does go through the middle of town, right down the centre of 50th Avenue. How harsh a coincidence is that? Or maybe they moved the middle of town to coincide with the border. That would explain the boringness of the buildings there. Perhaps the original ones were destroyed in a fire or something.

There's an appropriate civic government building on the Alberta side, and a museum, but it's on the Saskatchewan side, far enough out that it's not worth the walk. I think it was the Museum of Crude Oil or something. Not enticing enough to get me to walk six kilometres, or whatever it was. Although I'm told the tar sands museum in Fort Mac is worth the trouble. I haven't had a chance to see that one.

The hotel doesn't have a free breakfast, so I buy breakfast food at Safeway. Three dollars will get me 325 grams of instant oatmeal packets laced with too much salt and sugar, or 900 grams of plain oatmeal, which looks like enough for two months, at least. I choose the packets, effectively paying a 200% premium to not have to throw a bunch of food away, or to schlep it around. I'll probably only be here a week or so. I also buy some other groceries, including organic bison rib steak (you wondered last posting what I was doing outside a slaughterhouse, didn't you?) and some fixings for it.

The other pilot (we'd already agreed to divvy the duties here with me in the a.m. and him in the p.m.) has gone flying, so I know I'll be flying in the morning.

Also, note to everyone on the Internet: if you aren't able to spell "voila" reliably, then please replace it in your lexicon with "trumpet fanfare." (Or, if you insist on poor spelling, "trumpat fanfair.") A viola just doesn't suggest "here it is!" and it confuses me every time you write it.


amulbunny said...

At least it wasn't spelled "wallah!"

Aviatrix said...

amulbunny, I stared at that thinking, "like a guy in India?" and had to come back here to figure out what it meant.

Jimmy said...

'Wallah' lol...

The best I've seen so far was someone interpreting 'genre' as 'jondra' on a forum. Took me a while to figure out from the context what the hell the guy meant.

Paul B said...

The English language isn't like it used to be.... nor is the bastardised version used by the Americans!!!

Nor is Franglais for that matter!

(I was very pleased to see on a website recently, amongst the choice of languages, "Queen's English"!!!).