My shiny little online spot to help y'all keep track of me while I galavant around London.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Ottawa, again

A new job means a new work permit, which means I needed to make another stopover in Canada's mushy-and-slushy capital, Ottawa, to obtain another visa.

Like last year, I arrived at midnight. Unlike last year, I stayed over at Ryan's apartment (last year, it was South who was nice enough to put me up/put up with me).

Ryan wasn't home, but his two kittens were. Socks and Whiskey are very cute, but violently hyper. They frequently -- several times an hour, throughout the night -- disrupted my sleep by launching themselves onto the bed, fighting under the covers, biting at my toes, or sneaking up to my head and staring at my face until I woke up. It's rather disconcerting to awake in the middle of the night to two sets of black little eyes peering at you (and then thinking of this).

(The next day, at lunch, Ryan asked: "Why didn't you just close the bedroom door?" Um, yes. Good question indeed.)

The next morning, tired from my interrupted sleep, I attempted to take the bus downtown to Elgin Street for my visa-gettin' appointment. I must have missed the bus or the internet lied. I stood there, feet already soaked from walking just a block in the slush, waiting and starting to get worried. If I missed the appointment, I'd wouldn't get my visa and would have to change my flight. I flagged the next cab, and it cost a whole tenner to save my ass. Money well spent.

Arrived at the high comission, where the super-nice security guy proceeded (while searching my bags, he's rather efficient) to warn me against returning hotel keycards back to the hotel; apparently they encode your credit card details on them until the next person uses them, and anyone with a $14 card reader could get said details.

Good advice. Funny, because I swear the security guy last year told me the same thing. Same dude? Who knows.

The getting-of-the-visa was simple. Show them the paperwork, pay the fee, listen to lecture about the shitty state of my passport -- "They might not accept it, after you've put it thru the wash like this." Okay. It wasn't washed, it was apple juiced. And every single border control person has looked at it, lectured me, and then let me pass thru without any trouble.

With a few hours to kill before catching my flight, and having already seen the stirring sights of Ottawa, I proceeded to the local tourist authority to enquire as to the whereabouts of the nearest internet cafe. I was there informed that the local library will let you use their internety computers, even without a library card. Such kindness!

After a few minutes online, I left to get a coffee (Tims, mocha no topping, and a Boston Cream) and to wander around parliament. I tried taking photos, but my camera is having light meter problems, and thinks everything should look like this:

So instead, I took video. I also narrated my video. I hope you can hear it, as it's really rather insightful. I at no point say "Uhhhhh" or "Ummm" or "Anywaysssss...".

As you can probably see, there's not much snow in Ottawa. Normally there is several feet piled at the side of every road. I'm not joking. It's ridiculous. (See: last year's photos.) There is just enough snow, however, to melt into thick slushy, which soaked my socks thru. Amazingly, I saw some retard walking around in those rubber, hole-punched Crocs clogs. Not only are they ugly, but holed shoes are not a smart (or dry) idea for the slush capital of Canada. Then again, I was wearing solid shoes and my socks were soaked anyway.

Post-parliament, I missed my bus (out of stupidity, not poor timing) so cabbed it back to Ryan's for lunch. Post-lunch, I cabbed it back to the downtown area for coffee with South. Post-coffee, I finally figured out the bus system and caught one to the airport...

Edit: In case those videos didn't work for you, try these Google Video links: kittens, ottawa 1, ottawa 2.

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Blogger Nat said...

Thanks for the comment "Don't think about falling."

You're awful.



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