Sunday, September 25, 2005

Tantalizing Toronto!

Ahh, the big city. What an eventful way to enter the city of Toronto. Here we go:

I had to get up at 5 am to get to the airport at 5:30am for the plane at 6. Got there are 5:40 so had to quickly rush to get on the plane in time. Not too bad there. Got to watch a very impressive sunrise which I took a couple of pictures, but will have to wait to get them on the computer. From there arrived in the Toronto airport at around 9:30. I wanted to find an internet so I could look up the details of the people I'm staying with. Now, Toronto airport is friggen huge. There are 3 terminals, and I was in terminal 3. I asked around and they said that there wasn't any internet in this terminal and to go to terminal 2. So I hopped on a shuttle to terminal 2. Started walking around and still couldn't find any internet. I asked someone there if there was any places to get on the net, and she said no. So, I caught a shuttle back to terminal 3 because I knew that there was a place to get some food there, so did that and thought I would take one more chance asking the information centre if there was an internet place anywhere in the airport. She said that there was a place in terminal 1. Ugh, so again on the shuttle to terminal 1. Except for the fact that my brain does stupid things with numbers and I got on the shuttle that took me to terminal 2. Waited another 10 minutes and finally found myself on the shuttle to the correct terminal. After a bit of walking around I found the net. $2 for 10 minutes and the keyboard was a piece of crap that made it so hard to type on. But it was long enough for me to get the information I needed. Then with one last question at the info place I found myself on a bus to the start of the subway.

Met a girl on the bus from New Foundland and she was heading downtown so I thought I would tag along with her. After all, it's better to get lost with someone else to keep you company. So we aimlessly walked onto the subway and chatted for the ride into town. Once there, we spent the next few hours walking around the city and looking in various shops. The city is so friggen huge! Quite nice though. Very nice as a matter of fact. I like it quite alot, which is a surprise considering I had been building up in my mind that I was going to hate it - just because it's a huge city and you know me, I like my lil' ol' Adelaide. But yeah, for some reason I didn't mind it at all.

So at around 4:00 pm I thought I would try and get in contact with Paul, one of the cool people I was going to be staying with. However, since I have a non-existant memory and I didn't write down his name in my little book, I had no idea what I was going to do when I rang his office looking for him. Tried to find an internet cafe or something downtown, but do you think I could find one? Nup. So i thought I would risk it and ring anyway. Now, you'd think it would be relatively easy to find a payphone yeah? Well, I had to go into a subway station to find one. Did so, but only got his answering machine. Hmm, what to do? Well, I was told that he finished work at 4:30 so I thought I would just wait outside work for him. 4:30 came and he didn't - so I went into the building to his office trying to find him. Ran into a woman there who tried to find him for me. He left at 4. Great.

I was trying to figure out what I was going to do. I had their address written down in my little book, but not the directions how to get there. But luckily their street name is the same as the subway station name, so i assumed it wouldn't be too hard to get there. Did so, caught the subway again, and found myself on their street walking down to their house. All this on a very sunny 20-something degree day with full sunshine, lugging around a huge backpack and carring more bags, while on Cipro and being very photosensitive. Not a good combination. Oh well, let's just say that I was VERY relieved to be at the house and sitting down with a nice cool glass of water.

So Heather and Paul (the people I'm staying with here) are just the awesomest. Definately the best people to be in Toronto with (thanks Bonney for the suggestion!). For brunch (because I took so long to get my act together and get out of the house) I was treated to Grumbles, a very lovely bakery that serves some damn fine food. Had probably the most authentic steak pie I've ever had in my life. Good stuff! Then went walking to an op-shop that was huge and I found some nice purchases, for a very decent price. Then tonight was treated again to a fantastic dinner with some local brews thrown in. Very good stuff!

Phew! All that in two days. I'm pooped. Health wise - I'm feeling quite the same as I was the other day, so not much to say there. The Cipro is doing some stupid stuff with my skin, but that's to be expected. Othe than that, nothing to report on that front.

Rating - 6.9

Friday, September 23, 2005

Coming to you live from the Peg

My last night is good ol' Winnipeg. Man, it's really cool here. Lotsa fun. But I guess it makes it better when you can hang out with some locals. Yesterday I was hanging out with a cf guy from here and just spent the night hanging out with his friends. Was pretty cool. Winnipeg is REALLY similar to Adelaide, so I guess it feels like home a bit.

Today went to the Forks and into the French quarters, but that wasn't too interesting. The weather has been superb here as well. Sunny and hitting 20. Beautiful... But yeah, have to leave tomorrow morning at 6am for Toronto, so I'll try and make sure everything's packed tonight. I'm sure you really wanted to know that.

The doco is coming along. It's such a big part of the trip that I no longer know what's good or what's not, so I'm just trying to film everything and hope that I can edit something together. I don't personally think it's anything exciting, but I guess I'm not the best person to judge it...

Anywho, better be off. Washing is getting done and I'm getting to be quite the expert at it. Woot!

Health wise - I realised that I haven't really been doing the AD (a special breathing physio thing that you do when you're a bit sick) properly, so I re-figured out how to do it and it's much more affective. Plus I think the Cipro is starting to take affect, which is excellent. So generally I'm feeling a bit better. Not great still, but definatley a little improvement. But one bad thing about the cipro - it makes you photosensitive. I'm already beginning to get a bit burnt on my nose and neck. Gotta get some sunscreen...

Rating - 6.9

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Not enough time!

Man, am I peeved. It's always the way - you find somewhere nice to stay and you don't have enough time to spend there. I've been in Saskatoon for a few days and I have to leave tomorrow for Winnipeg. Don't get me wrong, I'm really looking forward to going there, but I just started getting settled here. The city is really nice actually. I was getting so much flack for coming here - everyone saying how flat the praries are and how boring it is here. But I've found it great. Maybe it's because being from Adelaide you're used to cities that aren't "fun" or whatever the term is. But Sask seems like a very cool city, and a great place to live.

I met up with Sheryl today, a 34 year old CF'er who had a transplant a year ago. She's great. Did a nice little interview with her and got some interesting feedback about the CF situation here (in Saskatoon anyway). But yeah, the weather has also been fantastic. Mid twenties and sunshine. Apparantly it's unusually nice here too, so it seems like the good weather is following me around the country. Not complaining, but it's building a false idea of what the cities here are like weather wise. I don't know how good it will be in winter though when it gets to -40c and below. But would still be interesting...

So yeah, head out tomorrow for Winnipeg and staying there till Friday. Should be good - apparantly Winnipeg is really into the local arts and stuff. So looking forward to that. Then Toronto on Friday for about a week and attend the CF conference there.

But I think that's about it all up. Health wise is pretty much the same - no better and no worse. Physio is getting done, but it's quite productive and yucky. I'm still waiting for the cipro to kick in. But until then, eh, I don't know what else to say.

Raiting - 6.5

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Hello Toon Town

jah #2
Originally uploaded by jaanus83.
After many dramas with me missing the bus and stuff, I finally arrived in Saskatoon this afternoon at 3:30. It's funny - I originally wanted to see either Calgary or Edmonton, but ran out of time so I couldn't do either. But with me missing the bus, it turned out that I actually got to see both. Cool ey?

So the bus ride is nothing to rave about, as anyone would know catching a bus for 13 hours. The people I'm staying with here are fantastic, even though I'll be staying for one night. The rest of my time here I'll hopefully be with Unkey Charlie.

But since I only updated everything last night at the stupid bus depot, not much else to add, except that I have now updated my photo page, so when you got time, head on over and have a squizz. There are HEAPS on there, so make sure you look through a few pages until you get to the old ones.

That's all. Since I was on a bus for ages and didn't get much time to do phyiso, I'm not that great, but I think the cipro (antibiotic that I started taking a few days ago) is helping a bit.

Rating - 6.5

Saturday, September 17, 2005

A bus depot in Calgary is boring

Sadly I had to leave the beautiful rockies to start my trek toward Toronto, first stop Saskatoon. Everyone I tell this to still pisses themselves laughing at me. Should be great! I can't wait - to see nothing. Seriously, the thought really appeals to me. But yeah, feeling quite a bit better today. Must be because I did a big dose of physio last night and this morning. But no doubt the bus ride tonight will do nothing good for me. I'll just have to try and get back on top of things once I arrive.

I'm really annoyed that I couldn't stay in Banff longer. I didn't even do a spot of hiking! Pathetic! I tried today, but ran out of time and had to record a piece for the CF Ball. So all those attending will get to see a bit of Jaan on the night...

But yeah, the bus terminal here in Calgary is SOOO boring. There is no music on the speakers, there is no clowns, and everyone here is either in their 40's of a total hick. So I think it's too much to expect a cool person to talk to on the bus. Oh well, such is life. I'm really noticing the difference between B.C. and Alberta though. Not that they're ruder, well, maybe they are, but people in general definately aren't as friendly here as in Vancouver. It makes a bit harder when trying to make friends. But enough whinging.

My time is about up, so I'll leave it here. Everyone keep the emails coming. Even if I don't reply it's cool to read something from home.

Rating - 6.5

Friday, September 16, 2005

Goodbye B.C. Hello Banff

I'm sitting here in the hostel in Banff at 20 to 8 in the p.m. and it's quite loverly. The mountains surrounding Banff (quite commonly referred to as the Rockies) are certainly a site. Everyone says the same thing, but I have to agree and say that the Rockies are DEFINATELY worth seeing. It's truly amazing.

The bus ride here was pretty cool. If it were Greyhound I can imagine it would be quite dull, but the Moose travel thing definately make it worth while. You get a rad driver who does cool stops and tells you lots of trivia, in a bus that sits about 24 with all like-minded backpackers. Definately the way to travel. And quite cheap too. So did that from Vancouver. First stop was Shuswap Lake. Got there in the evening, had dinner and went to bed. Left early the next morning and did a couple of spots at various places (as you can tell I'm not in the mood for long explanations) including a lake where you get challenged to stand in there bare foot. I lasted not even a minute I think. Cold stuff!

So arrived in Banff yesterday afternoon, went to a f-ing fantastic dinner at the Spaghetti Factory and then had a night on the town. Wasn't too bad, but for the last couple of days physio has been limited and I've been feeling not the best at all. In fact, tonight I was seriously thinking about skipping the whole of the middle and flying straight to Toronto. But I've decided to bus to Saskatoon, fly then to Winnipeg after a few days, then fly to Toronto. If things are still dodgy, then I might go early to Ben's (I'm assuming that's still cool?) and try and rest up for a bit. I've already started a course of oral antibiotics to try and jump on the sickness early. We'll see if that helps...

So yeah, Banff is really nice and definately worth a look, even if it is quite expensive.

Will post pics once I can find a place to get them on comp. And trust me, there are some goodies there!

Raiting - 5.5

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Parks, aquariums, nights out and all finished by 2am

Verghese and Laura
Originally uploaded by jaanus83.
Well, since I hadn't posted anything for about a week, I think I'm due don't you? Let's see if my memory can serve me good enough to enlighten you...

Ok, so I stayed back in Nanaimo for another night because I didn't book a ticket for the ferry back to Vancouver. I got there bright and early Tuesday morning around 8 am and struggled to find a taxi to take me back to the hostel. Eventually I had to go into a hostel and ask them to phone me one.

Now, for some reason, my brain has decided to merge Tuesday and Wednesday together, so I can't remember what I did on each day. Hence I'll just write all the stuff I did...

Finally did some touristy stuff and went to Stanley Park. Very nice. I hired a bike and rode around the park which is about 8 km's long and took just over an hour (since I was stopping alot on the way to film various crap). I went to the UBC (University of British Columbia) which is near the hostel. Talk about a big campus. It was just like the movies - everyone walking around wearing their frat tshirts and carrying cases of beer. Looks like good study to me. Now my memory is coming back to me - this all happened Tuesday. By the end of the day my feet were absolutely killing me from all the walking and stuff. Just a little side note for you.

Then Wednesday I met up with Frances Herzer, who is the President for the B.C. cf chapter. We had a very pleasant talk on the beach and it was really good to get some perspective on the cf scene here in Vancouver. Then I went to post my suitcase full of mediciny goodness to Ben in Montreal so that I didn't have to carry it around with me. Talk about hassles - the bus didn't come because there was a section that was blocked off by police because of an accident, so luckily someone from the hostel gave me a lift. Then I had to get a lock before I could send the suitcase off, but the hardward store had decided to be closed that day for some reason, and at the hiking place, the computer crashed for about half an hour. Lotsa fun!

Finally posted it, got back to the hostel and didn't do too much for the rest of that night. Had a nice conversation with Verghese (an Australian) and Laura (a German) in the cafe at the hostel about travelling and where we would like to go etc etc etc.

On Thursday I accompanied Verghese on an expedition to the aquarium in Stanley Park. Apart from Stanley Park itself, it's the only touristy thing I've done since being here, so I'm very greatful for the invitation. The aquarium was alright, not as big as I thought it was going to be. But they had some brilliant animals there, including the beluga whales. Then we went into Chinatown, which is one of the biggest in the world. It's friggen huge! So good though... Had so many grocery shops and restaurants. And not to mention the worlds narrowist building...

On the way back we decided to swing through the dodgy part of town that runs alongside Chinatown. Everyone said that it was pretty bad and to be careful, but it was 3 pm and we were curious. It's so strange - the moment you cross the road and head down the street it completely changes. And I mean straight away - you can still see the 'nice' strees 10 metres away when you're freaking out about getting robbed. We passed 'suicide alley' just after turning into the road and saw 2 people shooting up right there. Talk about scary. We lasted a block before turning back to the 'nice' road. An experience definately!

Then that night we all decided to go downtown to check out the night life (that's me, Verghese, Laura and Catie, an English gal who arrived that day). It was a pretty good night all up. Didn't really find a good Adelaide-esque pub which I've definately been missing, but some good places nonetheless. However, once 2 am struck, the lights came on and the order for everyone to clear out was given. Stupid Canada. Stupid Vancouver. The city shuts down at 2 am everywhere. Hoards of people were spewing into the street when we walked out, and it was quite a site (by spewing I mean walking out and not literally throwing up). So we just caught a cab back to the hostel and chatted.

Today I didn't do too much at all. Packed my stuff, caught the ferry to Nanaimo (after booking a ticket) and then being treated to a hockey game tonight. I think I've found my new sport. It's friggen awesome. Guys being smashed into the wall and being decked in the middle of the ice. And it's really exciting to watch and figure out all the plays and stuff. Well, I enjoyed it anyway.

Holy toleto, talk about a long entry. Sorry guys. I guess alot has happened (for a change). I've put heaps more photos on the site so check em oot if youse are interested.

But onto health - since I have really been quite slack with physio and stuff, I'm not the best. Especially after last night - I forgot that drinking makes me go quite phlegmy. So combining that with no physio, and you get a sick lil camper. But not to worry - being back in a house in Nanaimo should do a bit of good. I'll get back on top of it. You just watch!

So the rating is a not-so-crash-hot 6.3.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Goodbye Nanaimo (sort of...)

Alright. I was supposed to be back in Vancouver tonight but because it's the last day of holidays and Labour Day, that meant that the ferries back were completetly full so I couldn't get back. Instead I'm here again at the house in Nanaimo, and I played hockey on the computer for 5 hours. Good stuff! And I've made plans to get back here on Friday so I can go to a real life hockey game. Should be grand!

I haven't really done too much else since last time. I've been to the movies, been out to dinner, and been for a few walks, but that's really it I'm sorry to say. I'm feeling a bit rotten at the moment because I went on a really long walk today, so I didn't do physio in the morning, and then when we got back I had to pack and leave for the ferry, but then I missed it so I'm only doing it now, and I'm quite phlegmy. Plus I've got a really bad headache, which I think is due to the coughing. But not to worry, I'm sure a good sleep will cure that. I have to be at the ferry place at 6:30am! Ugh, but that serves me right for leaving everything to the last minute.

Will try and write something more interesting next time...

Rating - 6

No joke once again. But will next time - I promise!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Lakes, walking and some friggen big trees!

in a forest with HUGE trees
Originally uploaded by jaanus83.
Today was pretty cool. Around lunch I was treated to a picnic by some waterfalls, then we drove to some markets which were pretty cool. After that we went to a place where injured animals are rehibilitated, quite possibly known as a vet, but it was more than a vet. It was a sanctuary. Lots of cool animals. Well, mostly birds, but it was pretty cool to see bald eagles face to face.

After that we went driving past some nice looking lakes, you know, the kind that Halloween and Friday the 13th are filmed at. Anyway, we arrived at a little forest place where there are these huge trees everywhere. That's the attraction there. BIG trees that are hundreds of years old. Sorry if you don't care much for trees, but it was pretty cool. And it was really nice just walking around there. Apart from the trucks driving past on the road just a few metres away, but apart from that total bliss.

The phyiso is still coming on strong, but I haven't got THAT much better yet. Still, give it more time and I'm sure things will clear up more. But overall I'm quite pleased with how good I am. While I didn't really expect anything, I just wasn't sure what would happen with another climate and stuff. But things have been pretty much the same as at home. Well, it's felt that way anyway.

Tomorrow I'm going downtown Nanaimo style and spending the day walking around and looking at stuff. There is a shop with $30 Chucky Tee's, so of course I'll be making a stop there. And I also need to get some cash out. I've run out and all I have left are traveller's cheques. Oh well.

The wonderful rating that I know you've all been waiting for is worse than yesterday, but it's weird because I feel the same as yesterday, I just think I was a bit optimistic with the rating yesterday.

So for tonight it is 6.8.

What's brown, stupid and poured over potatoes?
Thick gravy.