1) The girl working at Northland Mall Hallmark, who, when I asked how to get to Brentwood Starbucks, gave me the wrong directions.
2) Northgrove Drive. As part of my directions, I tried to find a way off of this street to get to Brentwood. The first time, I was scared I missed the turnoff, since I didn't see any of the landmarks she told me.
So I doubled back. And drove it again. And found myself on 23 Ave, instead of 32 Ave.
So I doubled back again. And found myself on 14 St and 64 Ave. Once I hit John Laurie Blvd., I was ready to torch most of North Calgary.
3) St. Francis High School. Because I saw it about seven times.
4) 30 kph school zones. When it takes me 45 minutes to find a place that should only have a five minute travel time, the last thing I need is zones to slow me down.
5) The 7-11 in the middle of nowhere I stopped at gas for. I was on 28 Ave or so in the upper north, and I stopped there for gas. The girl at the counter looked at me blankly when I asked how to get to Brentwood.
"32 Ave.? London Drugs? Anything?"
Yup. I had to get the girl who couldn't speak English.
6) Girls who can't speak English.
So, by the time I FINALLY found the Brentwood Starbucks, to give a surprise visit to A-Lo, I realize that it was EJ's ex, not A-Lo, who worked there...
* * *
Sorry, a bit of background. I was in Calgary today, on my way to Moose Jaw for the wedding this weekend.
I decided I'd go to Northland Mall to get some shopping done (Penny's wedding card, new headphones for me...), and thought I'd go into the Starbucks and surprise A-Lo.
Brade and I would be travelling to Moose Jaw, so he said he'd be done his drywall work in my aunt's place at about noon or so.
At this point, after my 45 minute cultural tour of Northern Calgary, it was about 12:10.
And I was at a different Starbucks than I should've been.
So I go in, and ask the girl working there, "Is Kyle in?"
Alas, he has the day off.
"Okay. I've got a friend - A-Lo - who works at a location around here."
"Hmmm...I think she's at either Northland or Dalhousie."
Well, since I was in the mood to burn down Northland Mall, and since Dalhousie actually sounded familiar, I went to the Chapters there. And found out she wasn't working...
I travelled back to my aunt's place, saddened that I wouldn't have been able to see her for a bit before I went east.
"Hey, Lorna. How's Braden doing on the drywall?"
"Oh, it's going to take a few more hours, at least."
"Okay, then. I'm heading out again...See ya..."
I get to A-lo's place, and her roommate said she was out shopping at WalMart. So I had a bit of time to kill, and ate at Harvey's.
When I got back to the house, A-Lo was putting some boxes in the back of a car. I park behind her, saunter up the the car, and lean on the side.
"Oh, hey. How's it going? [long beat] Oh, my God! Jago, what are you doing HERE?"
So we hung around and talked for a while. Even though she was cleaning her house frantically and I was just following around in her wake, I was still calmed down from my morning's adventure just by being around her. Which was good.
* * *
Sign seen on Medicine Hat, on the side of a truck:
Daffy's Ducts (and Furnace Cleaning). With a picture of Daffy Duck on the side.
* * *
So getting to Calgary was also quite the adventure.
I was supposed to drive down with a friend of Brade's, but I wasn't having any luck contacting her to see when she was planning on leaving.
When I called up Braden last night, he said, "Oh, yeah. Chantelle MIGHT not be coming down, because her sister MIGHT be coming up from here. I'll give her a call."
Me: "She's not at home. I just called there, and had her roommate tell me."
Me: "Yeah. What time is it? 7:30 p.m.? And when does the next Greyhound leave?"
I check it out. 8 p.m. Oh, god. Granted, it's fifteen minutes before it gets to the South station from downtown, but, still. Time for a split second decision.
"Brade, I'm hauling ass to the bus depot. If I don't call you before 9:30, assume I'll be hitting Calgary at about 11:30."
I perform the quickest packing job ever, call a cab, and make it there with fifteen minutes to spare.
In front of me is a native woman who smells of booze.
Cashier: "Have you been drinking, Ma'am?"
Customer: "Two beers."
Cashier: "Greyhound has a zero tolerance alcohol policy, just so you know. The driver might not let you on the bus."
Customer: "Fine. Just sell me the ticket."
Cashier: "If the driver doesn't let you on, you can get a refund on the ticket, just so you know."
After I get my ticket, the native woman's also-tipsy boyfriend buys one. Same spiel, about how he might not get on the bus if the driver smells booze.
I sit myself down, and turn on my discman, listening to the bootleg Barber's dad made of the Kow show. (Yup. We've got free bootlegs of Kow's fringe shows. If you want some files to share with others, let me know...)
I get on the bus, and pick a seat that overlooks the depot.
Sure enough, the driver stops the two drunk fares, and brings them back into the depot. To which the drunk guy starts yelling, and gesturing hand job motions to the cashiers.
In the mute theatre I'm watching, one of the cashiers goes to the phone and calls the police, at which point the pair leaves.
The woman comes back in to use the washroom, but the two cashiers block her way, saying the depot's closed, since they're turning off all the lights.
I, on the coach, just shake my head, thinking, "You know, those two really were warned enough times this might happen. Serves 'em right..."
* * *
So, now I'm in my parents' basement, getting prepared for the seventh wedding I've attended since November of last year. (And I had to decline two more that I couldn't make...)
Meanwhile, the Frenchman hasn't been to a single wedding yet...
Off to bed.