The ongoing story of a girl and her van on an epic journey across Canada.
Day 76-82 (July 24th-30th)
Do you know what the weirdest part about returning to a city you lived in years ago? Feeling kinda dazed and disoriented, like you’ve just woken up from a long and convoluted dream that may have been really important but you can’t quite remember it. It’s like those Pevensie kids from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I stumbled through a closet and grew up in a world with talking beavers that’s ruled by an ice queen. And now, years later I’ve somehow been drawn back to my home planet — a child again, with my experiences in Narnia just a faded memory.
Except in my case I didn’t spend the last eight years in a deluded fantasy world, but rather in Victoria. And the significant amount of greys on my head suggest I haven’t reverted to my 22 year old self. DAMN IT!
Still, it does feel like I never left. And when I tell my old theatre friends that I’ve spent a good portion of the last decade in a corporate job working with the internet, they give me a surprised and disbelieving look like I imagine Lucy got when talking about her good friends, the faun Mr. Tumnus, and Aslan, the lion that rose from the dead.
I spent most of the week tracking down and hanging out with old friends. But I’ll spare you the details of all the cups of coffee and pints of beer I drank while catching up on years worth of gossip.
I also had made a plan. It was thus: I would spend a week in Halifax, then leave on Sunday (last Sunday, to be precise) for Newfoundland.
And what happens when we make plans?
Or more specifically, what happens when I make plans?
That’s right. My van breaks.
Two Friday afternoons ago I was walking home (home being the spare room in the apartment of the lovely Tina and Gavin, who kindly took me in for what has turned into an extended period of time…) and I happened to throw a glance towards the van. What’s that I see? Something dripping from the back, all over the concrete?
Being the end of the work week, and the start of a long weekend, I had to wait until Wednesday to get it checked out. There is only one mechanic in Halifax that works on the rare beast that is my van, and he is out in the middle of nowhere. I smartly did not have breakfast before I drove out to him, even though I knew full well that I’d be stuck there until he fixed whatever turned out to be wrong. I asked him if there was a coffee shop or something around and he said there was an Irving about a kilometre up the road. Normally I wouldn’t go for a gas station breakfast, but I was desperate. So I started walking. About three kilometres later there was no gas station but a lot of rain. I hung my head in defeat and sloshed back to the garage, where I waited for another hour in a puddle of my own sog.
Turns out the guys that did my oil change in Detroit stripped some plug, which needed to be re-drilled. Thanks, Detroit!
Oh, and apparently I forgot to take pictures for two weeks. But that’s okay, because my words are worth a thousand pictures. Right?
“The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” movie poster
This article was first published on Raggedy Threads in August 2010.
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