I left Vancouver two days after my first two terms of library school ended. There was a band sleeping on the floor of Brenda and Marlis’ living room when I left. I hope I didn’t disturb them too badly.
On the plane to Calgary, which is a much shorter trip than I’d expected, I watched part of Tron Legacy and was glad I didn’t ever pay any money to see it. I’d had a tentative deal with Caroline to come have coffee at the scenic airport if Pasiley’s sibling wasn’t in the process of being born, but she was sick and neither of us wanted to risk a YYC Tim Hortons delivery, just in case, so I killed my hours going through security and debating whether to eat or not. I had a bagel.
Flying to Montreal I realized this was the first trip I’ve taken in a long time where there wasn’t someone on the other end waiting for me (maybe not at the airport, but eventually). I mean, sure, I’ll be meeting up with my supervisor at the library on Monday but I’ll be meeting her for the first time then. It left me a little more nervous than I’d have thought I’d be. But everything went fine. Montreal felt like a foreign city, with all the language. On the flight the guy in the next seat asked where I was from and if I spoke French. I said no, not even Prairie French, really. Probably oversensitively I figured he took pity on me after that, all trying to make things easier for me, but really just putting me in a limbo space of language. Whatever. On the flight I also watched True Grit, which had enough differences from the John Wayne version to keep me on my toes, scene by scene (and was quite good, regardless).
I got to Montreal and took the bus into the city, stayed the night at a youth hostel and then this morning went to the bus station and got on the Boston-bound bus (after a good bit of wandering and finding the exact style of place I’d want to live in if I lived in Montreal). Crossing the border on a greyhound was weird. We all got put into a room where we could listen to the two agents question everyone ahead of us. Sometimes people would be asked to go into the main hall, but they all did eventually return to the bus I think. The customs guy asked why I was going to White River Junction and I said I was going to go hang out at the Center for Cartooning Studies for a couple of weeks. “Why?” “I’m a library student. They’ve got an awesome comics library. And Lynda Barry is coming to give a talk.” “And you crossed the country for this?” Eventually after showing him I had a return ticket to Canada he let me through.
Vermont is really pretty. Lots of trees and since the highway doesn’t cut through the rock the way it does up in the Canadian Shield but goes over the hills, you get a sense of the place. Very similar to the Pacific Northwest and some of the valleys we drove through there, but intensified. And browner. They have winter here and though most of the snow has melted it isn’t very green.
And now I’m in White River Junction. The Greyhound stop is about a mile up the highway from the historic district, where my hotel named after a president is, so I felt a little like a high plains drifter coming into this brick-fronted town with my laptop and my little bundle of clothes. It was beautiful out earlier when I went to buy groceries but now it’s raining. The guy at the desk here said the bar next door shows a lot of baseball (we’re in Red Sox territory), but has been known to switch to hockey on occasion. I might head out in an hour or so to see.baseball brenda calgary caroline center for cartooning studies coen brothers customs flight french greyhound highway historic hockey john wayne language library school lynda barry marlis montreal pacific northwest redsox schulz library trees tron true grit usa vermont western white river junction