Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Lost In Translation

I was way over due for a vacation.  Last year, I opted to lose lots of vacation days, so I would have overtime in my paycheck.  Work has been BEYOND miserable lately, so I felt that Memorial Day weekend couldn't come fast enough.

My buddy wanted to visit Montreal for his bachelor party.   I didn't think much of it.  I just figured that he's the bachelor, so I'll just go along with it.

Before I continue, let me tell you a few things about myself.  I failed language classes in high school (miserably might I add), without realizing it I'm loud and a lot, lastly, I drive like every place is midtown Manhattan.

Ok - back to the story.

About two minutes into Canada, I felt the anxiety kicking in.

More and more signs were becoming French.  I wasn't worried at first, because there's an app for that.  I hit Google translate on my phone.  But slowly the 3G service vanished.  Ok, I can manage still.

Then suddenly the heavens opened.  We had about 10 minutes of a torrential downpour.  So now the signs I could read, were barely legible.

I know, awesome right.

So we finally made it to the part of Montreal we had to go visit.  At least we thought.

My friend was telling me the streets to head down.  By telling me, I mean that he was butchering the pronunciation of the words.  So as he was talking, it went in one ear and out the other.  I missed turns and kept asking where we were heading.

The anxiety was rising.

Intersections are much different in Canada then here in the states.  Traffic lights & street signs are set on the side, so I had lots of problems seeing them in time.  On multiple occasions I had to make sudden stops or get honked at for not moving.

The anxiety was reaching critical mass.

I wanted to find the damn place we rented, and get the hell out of the truck.  Sooner the better.  The only way to make, sooner happen, was acting like my Chevy Trailblazer was more like a Chevy Camaro.

I was gassing it, driving though gaps of people, yet in no way endangering anyone.  My friend's though, didn't share my thoughts.  They were holding on for dear life and telling me I'm not driving in New York.

The anxiety was in full motion now.

Literally as I was about to freak out, my friend said, "There it is!"

Slowly, with those words, the anxiety went into remission.  I took a deep breath and figured out where to park.

I had other moments of culture shock on the trip, but nothing nearly as bad as when we first arrived.

It's amazing how even with our neighbors to the north, life is so much different.  Kind of makes you appreciate your surroundings.

Overall it was a great trip, and I'm glad I did it.  But like Dorothy said, "There's no place like home."

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