Wednesday 22nd October. London, Ontario, Canada.
Gerry was up and gone before the sparrows. Lucille cooked me a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs, and drove me back to the highway, not far from Cambellville where Deb had dropped me the day before. It was one degree celcius outside, just above freezing for you Americans who don't understand celcius. My first lift was with a guy in a Mustang. He took me about halfway to London, which was my next stop. I wasn't standing long there before a bright yellow two door coupe pulled over to the shoulder, about a quarter of a mile past me. It seemed to be too far way to have stopped for me, but I picked up my pack and started walking towards it anyway. No way I was going to break into a run, just to have the driver speed away as I approach. Yes, that has happenned more than a few times. When the driver stepped out and opened the trunk, I realized he was 'fair dinkum' and started to hurry a little *difficult to hurry gracefully with a heavy backpack and a laptop computer* so as to not look unappreciative.
The driver and his girlfriend were going all the way to London, so dropped me off at a coffee shop, where I phoned Mary-Kay, who was hopefully expecting me. I hadn't confirmed exactly when I'd be arrivng, but the last time I contacted her, I'd given Wednesday the 22nd as the likely date. That was fine, she said, but she'd be busy until six o'clock. That's cool for me; I spent the day in internet cafes and coffee shops, writing my journal and working on plans for a book. That's right, for some time now I've had book ideas floating around in my head. Finally, I've had a chance to put ink to paper and have plans for at least thirty-two chapters! It's not just going to be a copy of my journal updates. It'll be a collection of my perceptions of North American society and the changes the continent has undergone since my two previous visits in 1992 and 1994. It's my thoughts and observations on the challenges that the continent faces as the twenty-first century unfolds. Naturally, it will be interspersed with stories of my adventures, and the many incredible and bizzare experiences that for one reason or another have had to go unwritten...until now! *ooo...some nervous readers now, eh?* I'm sure you realize that the brief daily journal updates have barely been scratching the surface of my experiences on this trip. Don't hold your breath though. It will take some time, and time is something I don't have at the moment. Maybe when I get to the UK, I'll be able to slow down and stay in one place for long enough to start putting my thoughts into words.
Mary-Kay met me at Starbucks at six o'clock as planned. She told me she'd joined Hospitality Club when her twenty-three year old son Allan had travelled through Europe. Incidentally, I received an email from the founder of Hospitality Club the other day, thanking me for the new members the club has received through my travels and through links on this website. Hey, I'm happy to help. Allan was on the computer when we got to the house. He leads a busy life, playing trumpet in an orchestra and training seriously for distance running, in between his studies. After dinner, Mary-Kay suggested that Allan take me out somewhere. I think she was concerned that a night at home would be boring for me. I didn't mnd either way, but when Allan said there was a hypnotist performing at the university bar that night, that did sound like fun.
Tony Lee was the hypnotist. His show is quite R rated, and those who are easily offended are warned not to enter. Well, you all know I'm a shy, retiring type but I went in anyway..for Allan's sake! The show was certainly adult oriented, with Tony making people do things that they definitely wouldn't do normally. Hmmm...not sure how much more detail I can go into here- my Mum reads this you know. Maybe I'd better leave it to your imaginations.
After the show, Allan and I headed into town where we found a great Irish pub with live music that was refreshingly not too loud for my old ears. I introduced Allan to the delights of Kilkenny Irish beer, and we spent an hour or two ogling the gorgeous girls *sheilas* on the dance floor. It was after two in the morning when we got home. Lucky I didn't have to be up early in the morning.