Thursday, July 10, 2014

a survey of Canadian cities in seven days: Ottawa

Continuing my stories of each Canadian city I visited during my seven day sprint across the country:

When I arrived at the MacDonald-Cartier International Airport in Ottawa, I thought about how an airport never looks so welcoming and lovely as when you've come home for the first time in a long time.

The infamous rings of Jack Purcell the story here

my first Suzy Q doughnut

home-cooked meals by mama

But after a while, sometimes you find that home has changed and doesn't feel like home and soon you are writing about it like a tourist, in a blur of memories.

I got lost on my way to a party because I couldn't remember where things were. I had to consciously remind myself to look both ways before I crossed the road.

Crissi Cochrane performs at Fringe Fest

HIGHS performing at Fringe Fest

I went to a dance party at a jail bar that was advertised as a rehab pizza party. Because pizza was being served, which is a great idea. It is a bar that used to be a jail. The dance floor is the old gallows where people were once hung. Now people dance and eat pizza in the courtyard under the protective cover of a giant tree. Between the branches I can see the Big Dipper constellation. I am experiencing night time for the first time in months.

There is a performance by a band called Stakr - proncounced Stalker but made less (or more?) creepy by removing some of the letters. It consists of a big guy rapping at the top of his lungs while his partner works the beats behind him on a laptop.  The crowd loves this and keeps on dancing.  I try busting out my zumba moves on the dance floor.

The pizza arrives, and suddenly there is a giant mob descending on the cardboard boxes. 

I sit on the washing machines while I wait in line for the washroom. I listen to the other girls in line talk about where they can go for the cheapest hair cut.  They complain about having to spend $30 on a hair cut when they have short hair like a boys.  They say, maybe they should just give up and go to a barber.  I think about how it would be nice to have a hairdresser in Cambridge Bay.

After these parties, we often stand in the parking lot, some of our friends having drunk just enough to be filled with indecision. That lovely indecision stemming from having too many options, paralyzed with freedom. What do you want to do? Where should we go?

I found out that Ottawa has a new self-serve frozen yogurt bar.

Everthing is decked out in pink.  You have your selection of fro-yo and then you go to these seemingly endless buffet table of toppings. You pay for your gluttony by weight, and then you sit in a pink seat and watch the Simpsons on the big flat screen TV.  So basically it's heaven for adults who grew up in the 90s but still refer to themselves as kids (me).

I was overambitious

Speaking of bars, Ottawa also has a new brow bar. This is a different kind of bar, where you sit in a chair, and a lady who doesn't speak English pulls out your eyebrow hairs with a spool of thread, and then you pay her ten dollars for the painful process. I think this is a genius concept. Sometimes you have to leave home to properly fall in love with your hometown.

leaving Ottawa in an empty airport...time to shoot a Celine Dion music video?