Tag Archives: story

Here comes the bride…

18 Oct

Choose-Choice.jpgI love weddings.  Love + friends + family + food + wine + dancing = a great time in my books.  Both my mother and father come from very large families and so going to weddings was always part of my childhood.   One summer there was something like 7 of Mom’s first cousins got married.  That big family is still there and added to the mix is lots of friends from all of my various avenues in life.   At this stage in the game weddings are an awesome way to get together with friends and family – it doesn’t end up being just about the bride and groom as it is a reunion of sorts for guests as people now live all over the world.  I was at a wedding this past weekend and it was a roar.   As I was pulling a ‘slide out to bed’ from the after party I heard some of the guys (who are now married, have children and had consumed copious amounts of alcohol) reminiscing about days gone by.  ‘Sean, do you remember when you shit in my bathtub?’ followed by  ‘Do you remember when Andrew shit in my bbq?’.  Upon hearing this I was certain it was a great time to go to bed.

Getting married is very different than it used to be.   In the past people got married young and typically would tie the knot with someone who lived down the road from them or went to the same school.  Someone who was compatible enough, came from a decent family, and let’s be honest, so they could have sex.  Fast forward to present day – we get married later, women have their own finances and their own properties so we are not living at home pining to move out of Mom/Dads house, the church does not dictate what we chose to do or not do, we own fewer farms and have less children.   We can live anywhere we want in the world.  And toss in the old World Wide Web and suddenly we have access to people from all over the bloody world from our living rooms.  About 10 years ago my best friend (who grew up in the same rural community as I did) and I were having a conversation about this topic.  We said ‘Can you imagine marrying someone from our elementary school? Who would you pick?’  If I recall correctly,  I chose one of the O’Brien boys who always reminded me of Chris Isaac and Sarah chose a redhead from over the road who is now a surgeon.  We both went older – I went for looks and she went for brains.  But the notion of it had us roaring with laughter.  I am reading a book right now called Modern Romance and it talks about this subject.  Is the notion of having too many choices too much?  When I think of this I think of my parents living room.  Growing up there were only say 2 places to get furniture from.  When my Mom needed a new piece of furniture (we never had all new furniture at once as they saved enough money to buy what they needed at that time vs using to credit to do over everything all at once).  She would go to town, sit in a few chairs and make a decision.  Now, on the other hand, we can order furniture from a 100 different places.  And we need to look on Instagram, Pinterst, Houzz  and magazines to get inspiration.  We end up spending hours and hours and hours looking, searching, deciding and wondering IS THIS the right chair or will I see something better somewhere else?  Do we end up anymore satisfied in the end?   I would think less as the damn chair is so nice and you put so much time into finding it that you don’t want your kids, pets or anyone eating food or drinking wine to come near it in fear of it getting dirty.

Maybe that could be true for relationships too. We have so many choices now that we are overwhelmed by the options.  I remember when one of my brothers was first seeking a nanny to look after his kids.  Of course they had visions of Mary Poppins floating into their house. Someone who could cook, clean, sing, dance, be patient, creative and give a little bit of sugar to help the medicine go down.  In reality, they got a very mixed bag of applicants and by the end of it I heard my brother say ‘Mary Poppins does not exist… especially for 12 bucks an hour’.  Instead, they found someone who was reliable and trustworthy.  Writing that line has brought memories of that nanny.  I could easily write a blog about her- she was something else.    Here is a favorite memory of her.  She walked in on a Monday morning and I asked her how her weekend was (not sure why I did as listening to the answer was always a lesson in torture).  There was ALWAYS something massively negative which followed… flu,  113 (or some crazy number) of hours in emergency, didn’t sleep, rabbit was sick.    On that particular Monday it was especially foul as she replied ‘it was terrible I found out my brother is actually my father.’  Bam.  The next Monday she showed up with a eye patch on.  I didn’t ask how her weekend was that day.   She is single.  Moving on and getting back on topic now.  Just like Mary Poppins perhaps Mr Perfect or Ms Perfect does not exist.

Choices, choices, choices, choices.  I recently had a big work event and I had in my mind that I wanted to wear a red dress.  When I get something in my mind I can’t settle.  I just can’t.  I looked in all the local stores, I looked online, I looked in local stores, I looked online… I saw one dress I really liked, but didn’t order it right away as I kept on looking for other options and so when I finally decided that was the THE ONE – my size was out of stock. I missed out as I had so many options I couldn’t make a bloody decision.  I wore a black dress.  A perfectly nice black dress.  And I will be able to wear it again unlike the Oscar worthy red one I had in my mind which was impractical and likely would have cost another $100 in alterations.  I could have done better things with the time I spent contemplating.  I recently read that President Obama only wears grey or blue suits.  He doesn’t like to make decisions about what he wears or eats as he has too many decisions to make – so he limits his choices.

Perhaps we need to be like Obama and scale back on the amount of decisions we need to make.  Keep it simple.  Maybe I should pop over to the houses of some of the boys from elementary school…

 

 

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How did you become you?

13 Oct

brain

For those of you who don’t know me well you should know that I love people.  Understanding them, analyzing them, observing them, laughing at them, wondering about them and of course impersonating them.  I see people on a daily basis who make me wonder – how in the world did you become you?

There is a lady who burns around Spring Garden Road on a scooter.  She drives that thing as aggressively as Mario Andretti drives his race car.  I see her pretty often so I have encounters with her on the regular.  There doesn’t seem to be an apparent aliment or mental illness, but man she is a ticket.  One day I was walking with Millie when she stopped her scoot to ask me what kind of dog Millie is.  She reached down to pet Millie and at the same time let out a massive belch.  She said ‘Oh man, I’ve been having bad gas.  From both ends’.  And she peeled away.  How did Joan become Joan?

There have been a lot of tourists in Halifax recently due to cruise ships having scheduled stops and some diverted due to hurricanes in the US.  I spotted one couple who really turned my head.  They were BOTH wearing solar shields (you know those big ugly sunglasses with panels on the side that make everyone look terrible), his and hers track suits and she had on a fanny pack.  How in the world did those two people a) find each other b) toss away any sense of sexual identity they have c) chose this look to rock while on vacation.  How did they become who they are?

There was a girl who used to take her dog to The Commons.  She would often talk through her dog Shadow in this dorky-alien-like voice.  She would say things like ‘Shadow says that mommy says that she wants a Starbuuuccckkks, so we have to go’.   She was a lawyer and had recently moved back from Toronto after a breakup.  Both of her parents were doctors (Psychiatrists in fact – this is important to note as you read on) – although she was a very educated girl, she said some of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard someone say (not always through the voice of the dog).  One day when talking about ways to increase biking in Halifax, with a guy who works for The Ecology Action Centre, she said ‘I don’t really care what my cars do to the environment.  I have two of them. One is an SUV and one is a BMW.  They both have leather seats, I crank the air conditioning, I drive to the office when I should walk and I love it.’ Okay.   There was a really interesting guy who used to come every now and again.  He worked on a sailboat that trained kids in adventure sailing.  One day when talking about kids and how so many have ‘conditions’ these days he said some more exercise, fresh air, less screen time and good food could change a lot of their behaviours (true).  Old Captain Polarizing drops that she thinks kids need more medication and therapy.  He said back to her – they would need less medication and therapy if they exercised and ate better.  She said – you are wrong.  Both of my parents are Psychiatrists and a  lot of them are just messed up and need medication.  He said – you are wrong.  I bet you are on medication as it is apparent that you are indeed crazy.  How did she become who she is at such a young age and how in the world did she find someone to date her?

I always love seeing how people react when they are put under just a little bit of pressure. Last year I was on a flight which went through Boston and due to switching terminals I had to go through security at Logan.  It was busy in the security line and one of the TSA guys decided to reroute some of us to feed into another line up.  Unfortunately, when he did this he moved one of the ropes wrong and we ended up on a road to nowhere.  Now, this error on his behalf was quite simple and easily fixable.  Well, well, well, did I ever see some Americans get their feathers fluffed.  ‘What the hell is going on here anyway.  You have us going nowhere.’ (add in the Boston accent and it makes it way better). Another says ‘I demand to be put to the front of the line.  People who were behind us are now in front of us.’  Wow, I would hate to see what they are like when they are faced with a real problem.  How did they become who they are?  Where did they learn to flip out and overreact?

While I was in university I worked at Shoppers Drug Mart.  First as a cashier and then as a pharmacist assistant.  Working in a drug store allowed me to see a wide range of people doing very strange things.  The day the flyer came out there was a stampede of cheapies who came in to stock up.  God I hated having to tell someone the shipment of toilet paper didn’t come in and that I would have to give them a rain check – they would act like I just spit in their face.  Where is the sex jelly, one guy with really bad buck teeth asked me once.  Another guy tried to hand me his used tube of anal cream that had a ‘hair’ stuck to it.  One day when I was working the front cash a real ringer came up to me.  He was wearing really bad jean cut offs and flip up sunglasses (nearly as bad as the afore mentioned solar shields).  He was asking me where this place called The Pub was.  Unfortunately he was pronouncing it the way  you would pronounce the type of hair that was attached to the afore mentioned tube of anal cream.  So I said ‘Pipers PUB’ is around the corner at the lights.  Just then a very attractive woman came up to the cash and this guy caught sight of her.  The way he talked reminded me of Cousin Eddie on National Lampoon.  He said ‘Wow.  Look at you. (he said that part very slowly) Where are you going because that is where I want to be.’  She was fairly confused by his forwardness (I mean this was Shoppers Drug Mart in a small town) and she clearly was very out of his league.   How in the world did this guy become such a massive power geek who thought he could approach a woman in this manner?  He must be immune to the word no, and well, he was American so his perception of self might have been a bit inflated.

What would I do if there weren’t any characters floating around?  I wouldn’t have as much to write about.  Let’s be honest people who are normal are boring after all.  Can’t really write about how I witnessed someone wearing Ray Bans walk around taking pictures of Halifax with their iPhone.   People who are a little less vanilla are right up my alley.  In the words of Bonnie Raitt – they give me something to talk about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You won’t believe what happened…

28 Jul

Today a bird shit on me.  Almost a year ago to the day a bird shit on me.  I am not sure what I did to attract that action, but most of the time the stuff I attract is at least funny, almost always good and very seldom is it shitty.  It always amazes me when random things happen.  Of all the places for my feet to be, of all the moments in the day and all the places my eyes could have been looking…

Now that the weather is nice I’ve changed my morning routine around.   I used to take the dog over to a green space near my place, throw the ball for a half hour, return home, get ready and then walk up Citadel Hill on my way to the office.  Now, I get ready for work and leave in time to go for at least an hours walk before hitting my paid duties.  I’ve been walking the waterfront before climbing back up the hills of Halifax to eventually end up at my office.  As I was following this route something so incredibly funny happened the other day.  I don’t normally listen to music when I am walking as I like to be engaged in my surroundings and when I have headphones in I am not. Since it is early and there are really not many people around, I’ve been listening to music as I walk.  Well, sometimes I listen and I sometimes (often) sing along.  So as I was belting out the words to Meatloaf, Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad when I came to an area where there are two large office towers.  Due to a set of stairs which come down from a pedway above you can only take one route – which is maybe about 10 feet wide.  As I came closer to this little area I could see a woman doing exercises with a tension band on the stairway posts.  As I got closer I realized it was my ex-boyfriends-ex-wife.  As I got even closer (and the stairs were not obscuring my view) I realized that my ex-boyfriends-ex-wife was being working worked out by his current and much younger than her girlfriend.  So, in this 10 foot wide area there was: an ex-girlfriend, ex-wife, current girlfriend, and just for drama sake, an ex-dog..  My best guess is that they have no idea who each other is.  The ex-wife knows who I am.  The current girlfriend knows who I am.  I know who they both are and Millie is clueless.  Take that for a multi generation smash up.  This was a real Hollywood like moment.  It gave me something to chuckle about the rest of the way to work.  Of all the places for my feet to be, of all the moments in the day and all the places my eyes could have been looking…

There is this man who I’ve ‘known of’ for quite sometime. I’ve never met him, but I know a lot about him.  I’ve seen his picture, seen him on TV and read things he writes.  I think if I ever met him we would like each other (I also think Oprah and I would love each other if we met).  Last week one of my best friends and I did a tandem work trip to Prince Edward Island (where this guy lives).   On the way there I told her about this man (he is a man not a guy).  Imagine, the next morning I was sitting in a coffee shop working when he walked in.  He was standing about 2 feet from me.  I fervently texted Kristen as I choked on my morning glory.  She said ‘Oh my god – go talk to him.  If anyone can do this you can.’  He sat down and started doing some work as I was sitting by myself concealing laughter. Again in this situation – he has no idea who I am but I know who he is.  It seemed too awkward and the conversation would have been overheard by at least 7 other espresso drinking coffee shop dwellers.  I did inspect him in real life.  He had on nice socks which says a lot.

I am a big believer in energy and attraction.  My family and friends can attest that they hear me saying on a regular basis – you won’t believe what happened! Sometimes you have no idea who is around you.  You have no idea what they are thinking about.  You have no idea how they are connected to people you know.  You have no idea how much they know about you.  Although I was glad to be wearing earphones the day I walked through the Exes and Ins Club on the waterfront… I normally would say take them off and engage in the world around you.  I bet you are missing out on a few great stories.

 

 

Kiss Me I’m Irish – Kind of

17 Mar

St Patrick’s day has always been one that represents utter foolishness for me.  I really do have a soft spot for the Irish.  My grandfather was a McCarron or as my ‘likely autistic but never diagnosed Grand Uncle Eddie’ says ‘I am Eddie McCarrrrrroooonn’.   One time another Grand Uncle, Leonard (brother of Eddie and Grandpa), decided to scoot into the bathroom at a family St Patty’s day party and literally poured a bottle of green food dye in his hair.  Leonard’s hair was usually a wild mound of white locks so his new ‘do’ was crazy.  I remember he had green dye coming down his forehead and all over his hands. I don’t think I understood what being drunk was at that time.

I’ve been to Ireland 3 times and had some of the biggest laughs I’ve ever had while visiting there.  I don’t know what it is about the men.  They can literally be a 7/10, but when they start to talk and joke – all of a sudden they are a 9.   One of the trips was with my friend Alexis at a time when we were both single. The below picture was taken outside of the Guinness Brewery.  This close talking fella had snow on the roof but a fire in the oven.  His large Clydesdale horse is standing outside of the picture.  He was a foolish flirt.  He asked me ‘Do you talk in your sleep?’  to which I replied ‘I don’t think so’ to which he said ‘Want to prove it?’.  Thus the large laugh taking place.

Irish

When I lived in Toronto I worked as a sales rep for a wine and spirits company.  I had some big Irish brands in my portfolio.  I would often have brewers from the various distilleries come to town and because I covered downtown/had large stores I would scoop them at the airport and show them the market.  The Master Distiller from Jamieson’s Irish Whiskey was in town for St Patty’s Day once and we got along quite well.  He invited me an event which he was the guest of honor.  That night I found myself sitting at the head table listening to people speak Irish and sipping whiskey. They literally played happy birthday on a flute and sang happy birthday individually to every person who celebrated since the last meeting. I started committing mortal sins by adding ice, orange juice, whatever I could to  dilute my drinks.  I hate whiskey.  Before I knew it I was pie-eyed drunk.  It seems the old guy can handle a lot more than me as he seemed sober.  I had planned to go meet my girlfriends but ended up in bed by 9.

The next year we partnered with Diageo (company which represented Guinness) to have a big old St Patrick’s Day Party.  I had been allotted a certain number of tickets – rather than being strategic and give them to customers I gave them to my girlfriends.  As people started pouring in it became very apparent that this was going to be a fun night.  Texts/calls started flying and in the matter of minutes I had about 20 people coming to the event and only 5 had tickets to give out.  I decided to rip out my country girl charm and chat up the head of security before he got too busy.  I asked him lots of questions, made him laugh, told him my role, brought him water, etc.  Over the course of the night I asked him to let in at least 15 extra people.   He obliged and I remember him saying ‘People usually ask for 1 or 2, what the hell Nova Scotia?’  I think we even had a cousin picture taken with him.  I was on professional duty until lets say 8 pm.  After that I jumped into the foolishness.  There are two specific memories which come to mind.  One involves a very large Australian rugby player and the other a police officer who was in and out of uniform.   My friend Sue (who is somewhere around 5’9) and I were hoisted into the air by this said Aussie.  At one point this beast of a man had the both of us on his shoulders running the length of the hall.  Now, if I recall correctly (and my memory usually does not fail me) he was almost 7 feet tall and if we were sitting we are half our height so we were over 10 feet in the air and he had already consumed copious amounts of beer.  At this point a police officer saw what was happening and decided that he needed to intervene.  It happens this officer was rather attractive.  Once we were back on the ground the said officer became the victim of our antics.  It seems we must have impressed as once off duty he and his partner came back in plain clothes to have some pints with us.   I think we may have even gotten driven home by police officers that night.

March 18th over the years has involved having some of the worst headaches I’ve ever had and even naps under my desk. Oh you Irish.  You have a way of getting me into trouble. Tonight I am doing something far more Canadian than Irish – going to a hockey game.  Alas, I will still have some beer in honor.

I Like Big Underwear and I Cannot Lie

9 Oct

Grannie panties

I grew up in a small town where there was a store called the 5 cent to a $1.  An old fashioned department store where you can get anything from film and baby gifts to material for sewing.  You can also buy great big underwear there.  When we were kids we would sneak into that section and put the biggest pair over our heads or pretend to wear them – my mother was likely mortified by our behavior.  Now these underwear weren’t just big in style they were big in size.  Like, really big.  In fact, I always wondered who could fill those puppies out in Antigonish.  The Sears catalog was also a terrific source of laughter.  Pointing out the most pointy bra or the biggest undies.  Well folks, I am going to tell you – I like big underwear.  Not the big in size variety, but the big in shape style.  One of my best friends says one of her favorite things to do is pull on a brand new pair of white athletic socks.  I am chuckling thinking of the day she confessed her secret love for tube socks.   One of my favorite things these days is pulling on a big old pair of undies that aren’t going to ride up, fall down or lose the elastic in the band.

In the past I purchased every type of underwear – thong, boy short, full back – low front and for quite sometime I boycotted wearing any at all.   Ever since I was a kid I hated things being low around my waist.  I remember having a full blown freak out in grade 2 about having to wear a pair of green pants with an elastic waist band that I could feel (I also hated the fact that Mom hemmed them too short – not only were they green but they were flood like and I always have been particular about what I want to wear).  When it comes down to it I love the big, cover it all, come up to at least my belly button variety.   I remember the only time I ever got spanked was because I was doing cartwheels in a nightgown in front of my brothers friends… I wasn’t wearing any undies.  Mom said “You knew what you were doing”.  Over the years I have spent hundreds of dollars on pretty bras that part of my boob didn’t fit into and my boobs fell out of  when I leaned over (cart wheels were difficult in this type). Oh no, I am all done with that folks!  I have embraced what my boobies need – a full cup, a wide strap and at least 3 buckles on the back.   So there you have it… under my leopard print dress I am wearing big undies and a substantial bra.

Spanx – I love them. They trick you into thinking you are skinnier than you actually are, however, they come with some challenges.  In order to avoid having lines the best ones are shorts.  If you are wearing a short dress your dirty little secret often gets exposed when you cross your legs.  On the red carpet this week Jennifer Garners purse pulled up her wrap dress and exposed her big old Spanxs to the world.  I am sure she wasn’t proud of that moment considering 100 photographers snapped her unmentionables.   And they are hot as they cover about 50% of your body and are made of thick spandex!  So, recently I saw a pair of thong Spanxs – they still suck you in,  but they have a thong to limit lines.  What a novel idea!  Let me tell you the utter discomfort I felt far exceeded the lack of lines on my butt.  I could barely focus in conversation as these underwear ride up and slide forward as they do so.   Since they are tight they ride up in a very unique way.  If anyone paid attention to my movements that night they either thought I had a bad case of the trots or had been diagnosed with A.D.D. – I was distracted and went to the bathroom about 5 times to adjust.

My grandma always told me I was crazy when I was younger… well look at me just getting practical.  I am still doing all the same things I did when she accused me of being wild, the only difference is I am wearing big undies and a lock ’em in bra while doing cartwheels.

 

The Aloha Spirit

29 Jan

Image

I am on vacation in Hawaii and since arriving here I have certainly felt something other than the bright sun shining.  I have felt an abnormal sense of friendliness and community.  Everyone says “Aloha” to you, people wave when you pass them on the road, the radio announcers say “make sure you are kind to others today” and on the holiday last week they said “enjoy this day – get outside and be sure to go visit with your neighbors”!  There are hitchhikers that people actually stop to pick up. Dogs run into the yards of neighbors and no one seems to mind. Obviously this is a vacation destination so locals are used to people from other places being here, but everyone we have met takes a really genuine interest in finding out more about us and where we are from.  I also have been shocked at this fact – only 2 people that we’ve met did not know where Nova Scotia is.  I mean this amazes me because Hawaiian’s are American after all. 

In the state of Hawaii there is a bylaw against light pollution as lights at night confuse many of the seabirds. Their migration paths get messed up as they think the lights are the sun/moon. We are staying in a very populated beach area on the island of Kauai, but once the sun goes down it is as if you are in the country.  Very dark. I have noticed a funny vehicle that buzzes around this area.  It looks something like a trolley car you would see at an amusement park, but this one has a grass skirt as a roof and a ‘free shuttle’ sign on this side.  The night before last we walked to dinner as we wanted to have some wine and therefore not drive.  As we were trotting down the very dark road on our way back home the trolley came along, beeped at us and pulled up.  “Aloha, do you need a ride home?”   We said “sure”!  So this retired guy runs this free shuttle all through this area.  He has music playing and his Cairn Terrier named Aussie sits with a great view in the front beside him.  He says that he goes by the “Aloha Spirit” meaning what you put out into the world you get back.  Of course his offering of a free ride results in a tip from most people he picks up.  What a great thing he is doing – cruises around in the warm air, playing music, meeting new people, doing a good deed, hanging with his dog and making some coin in return.  I love it.

I’ve done a little Aloha research and I love what I’ve found.  Aloha is the essence of relationships – each person is important to every other person for collective existence.  I heard about a town on Kauai that exists in this manner.  In days gone by those escaping development/Capitalism moved to this area and created a community of people who live off the land and maintain Hawaiian traditions.  It is one of the poorest areas on the island.  In the late 1800’s a rich scottish woman acquired an enormous plot of land (somewhere around 50,000 acres) from the King on the promise that the land would never be developed commercially.  Now, this land could make them millions and millions of dollars, but instead they are barely able to pay the taxes on the plot because they have stayed true to their promise to the community. Most of the land is a conservation area and a small portion has allowance for certain tourism helicopters to land at certain waterfalls for a fee – one of the ways they raise money for the taxes. I am sure it is bizarre and obscene to most but in many ways it is beautiful.  The movie the Descendants tells a story that I am sure involves influence from the history of the land and the Robinson family.

I think we all need to come here and let the “Aloha Spirit” hit us over the head and bring it back to wherever we call home. Not to think that we are all going to run a free shuttle or donate our land to conservation efforts, but we all can be a bit kinder, more patient, more considerate, more open, more generous, more charitable, more understanding and a bit more community minded.  A collective effort results in a big effect. 

The next time someone does something in traffic that annoys you – think ‘I have been that annoying person before’ and don’t blow your horn, give finger, or call them an idiot.  Invite your neighbors over or even shovel their driveway.  Say “Hello” to people you meet. Reach out to a friend that you’ve been ‘too busy’ to see.  Call not text someone. Volunteer. You get the picture…

I climbed a mountain and I looked around… Part 2

11 Oct

My father has always been a VERY conservative driver.  When we were kids we used to joke and say that nuns passed up.  On a regular basis Smart Alecs would “row” by our vehicle as Dad confidently drove at least 20 km’s below the speed limit on the highway.  Prior to heading out he would (and still does) check the tire pressure, oil, etc.  On top of being conservative in his pedal pressure Dad always takes back roads which are often dirt.  When he drives on a dirt road he is very considerate of his vehicle – he drives slow enough that he can avoid hitting most potholes.   Every time I was in a vehicle in Tanzania I thought of my father and how every driver I had defied every “rule of the road” my Dad follows.  The bus which picked me up at the airport took a detour to drop off a female tour guide at her home.  The road we took literally had the largest potholes I have seen and as well had “speed bumps” which looked to me like logs laid across the road with mud  packed around them.  Our driver hit that dirt road like he was Mario Andretti – less the race car.  Any thought you ever had of catching a nap after flying 24 hours was quickly gone out the window. The ride was similar to riding a mechanical bull at the Calgary Stampede. We dropped off our passenger at her home and made our way back to the main road. 
After doing my climb I went on a 3 day safari with 3 other gals.  Our guide was Emmanuel and imagine the fact that he does some kind of car racing on the side.  Our vehicle for the purpose of the safari was a Toyota Land Cruiser.  The safari involved a lot of driving on various forms of roads – paved, not paved, off road, etc.   It was our first time being on safari so everything was exciting and new.  For Emmanuel he had done it 100 times over so I think he sought excitement from the driving end of things, not by seeing an elephant standing with his penis hanging out.  The Land Cruiser only had seat belts in the front (where we weren’t sitting), so we were left to bounce and jostle around in the back.   I didn’t contact the Department of Transportation prior to hitting the roads; but it seems to me that the rules are made up as you go.  One of the national parks we went to was called Ngorongoro Conservation Area.  In order to get to the crater we needed to drive up the side of a mountain, all along the edge of the crater and finally down into the park.  The dirt road was something similar to OJ Simpsons story – there were holes everywhere. Let’s just say Emmanuel didn’t use the same precautions that my father did while driving on the that road.  We were driving so fast and bouncing so much that I think I got whip lash from my boobs hitting my chin – I need to wear at least 2 bras to do jumping jacks… I wasn’t prepared for all of this flopping.  As we burned along the dirt road we would come across members of the Mosai tribe walking with their herds of cows.  Cows are particularly important to the Mosai tribe as the size of the herd indicates how many wives the owner can have.  It seems Emmanuel didn’t want the owners to get another wife because he would burn right up to the herd and then slam on the brakes nearly hitting the cows.  I am more of a precautionary driver… you know if I was to come a long a herd of cows on the road in front of me I would slowly put on the brakes. I was holding onto bars on the roof in an effort to brace the bumps – that didn’t work and I think I broke my cervix as I felt like I had given birth the next day.
After the safari I needed to be delivered to the airport, buttttttt, we spent a little too long bartering at a shop, a few too many animals crossed the road and we hit rush hour in Arusha, so we were running late. ***I am usually pretty laid back about the whole timing of getting to the airport and sometimes like the drama of being late. I have always dreamed of being carried on one the 5 wheelers through the airport… beeping the horn and having people get out of the way while my hair blows.** I kid. Everything seemed to be further away than initially thought so I was worried about getting to the airport. Entry race car driver Emmanuel. It was starting to get dark as we got to the outskirts of Arusha so that made everything even anxiety filled for me. Although the roads have a centre line it seems you can pass, swerve, or drive beside anyone as you wish. Now it was dark with no street lights. Along the HIGHWAY (not a street or even a road) there were people walking everywhere in the dark, bicycles, motorcycles criss-crossing through traffic, buses with crazy exhaust… and us. Emmanuel drove 100 km an hour throughout all of this chaos – swerving in and out, headlights coming straight at us and a big piece of a bus flew off the side and went across the road. If a doctor had followed some of my vitals during the last hour of my trip they may have predicted that I was about to have a stroke. As in the last post I suggested that I thought I was going to shit myself when coming down the mountain – well this day ended in the same way….
Arusha