William Matheson (nova_one) wrote,
William Matheson

thoughts from Halifax

Our pre-departure session went well today. It was a lot more compressed and possessed far fewer inane activities than the Canada World Youth pre-departures some of us may be familiar with. =) There’s also an increased expectation that we’ll be doing a lot of research and preparation on our own, which comes from the fact that this finally won’t be a glorified high school field trip. Excuse my vitriol; I love Canada World Youth, I really do. I wouldn’t be the pretentiously aware person that I am without them! But seriously, without my experiences there, there would be no way in Toledo I’d have gotten this far with this opportunity. The CWY experiences helped a lot at Sainte-Anne, too. It’s a gift that keeps on giving.

Rebecca at the International Activities Office put us together a great binder, chock-full of really useful general intercultural as well as site-specific information. During the session, I literally couldn’t wait to get home and read through the juicy parts of it – I had to stop myself from flipping through photocopied maps, charts, and recent Economist articles. We also got to have a chat with Stacy, an encouragingly jealous former intern who only declined her renewal offer because she needed to finish her undergraduate degree. As for me, they promise that the phone interview will be soon, and that I’ll be succeeding either a kindergarten or a primary school teacher.

Last night, Sam lent me her Lonely Planet phrasebook and gave me a character workbook, and this evening I went to Chapters in search of further treasures, but I didn’t find anything that wasn’t lacking in content (shockingly, many books relied exclusively on transliteration, with nary a Japanese character of any kind to be found in them) or not lacking in price (I found a Japanese training software package that had thought of everything, but it also had a price tag to reflect that - $53! Why buy that when I can talk with Real Japanese People™ in five months for free?). But the trip was not a waste; I found a great book, The Stories of English, by David Crystal. I’m really excited to learn more about the history of the English language and I’m kind of hoping I miss my boat tomorrow so that I can read it in my car while waiting at the terminal.

Driving today was fun. I encourage a broad interpretation with regards to my tone here; I’ve never seen worse traffic here. All of the major arteries were (reportedly) simultaneously backed up. The bridges were backed up… in both directions. On my way off the Halifax peninsula, getting from Connaught and Chebucto to the bottom of the highway (2km / 1.24mi) took fifteen minutes. And this was around 6pm! Imagine what it must have been like at 4:45-5:00?

Even getting into town in the morning was tight, and I didn’t leave myself quite enough time and so I ended up running about eight blocks from my parking space all the way to the Oaks. Still, I was at ease with all the traffic. It reminded me that Halifax was still alive and thriving despite my absence, and it didn’t dampen my enthusiasm for driving, either (though filling up with gas did a little, but only because I almost beaned a Toyota Avalon while discovering that my grandmother’s 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier has its gas cap on the passenger side).

So yeah, lots of driving, lots of tunes on the Halifax radio stations, and lots of fun. Oh, speaking of radio, for the trip here I listened to an episode of Dave and Dave, an Arlington, Virgina indie radio show that my cousin Mary’s boyfriend Brian is a part of. I listened to a show about covers, and I was really impressed by the discussion and the tracks they actually played (j/k). Brian especially really knows his music, and he also comments on sports and current events in an insightful and meaningful way; anyway, I plan to listen regularly. Brian’s day job is at a company that accredits laboratories that perform tests on road-building materials; I mention this only because it would have been my number one dream job when I was 6.

Anyway, I’ll be driving home tomorrow morning (I guess I’d better pick a crossing), and I’ll be home in – wait a minute, aren’t I home now? Um… um… yes, I am. Okay, so I’ll be driving back to PEI tomorrow, and I’ll be back in Albion Cross in time to help Dad move some lambs (it’s weaning and inoculation time). There’ll be a party at Elizabeth’s that night, and I’ll be meeting good ol’ MS in town Charlottetown on Thursday. I won’t have missed any hay, since it’s been raining enough to disrupt that. Crazy, huh?

See you soon!

Your pal,
~ Will
Tags: dave and dave, driving, english, family, halifax, japan, japanese, music, radio, traffic, travel

  • 16. End of the Line

    The following is my final Young Canada Works post. Now that I'm a broken man on a Bedford patio chair, the last of the Intermediates 1 to leave…

  • 15. Opening Night, Part 2

    It’s a pity that Monday night was a night preceding a workday, as it could have been even wilder than it was. Among Monday nights that I’ve had, it…

  • 14. Opening Night, Part 1

    Sheesh, just as I'd gotten set up in the Castelet, one of the residences came in and took it over for their meeting! ;-p I could have stayed, but it…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.