Friday, May 8, 2009

How To Be Lame In Ottawa

[bawr-ing, bohr-]
1. causing or marked by boredom

Over the last three weeks I have had three different friends from Hometown come visit, staying from six days to a weekend. I’ve now been living in Capital City for just under five years and you don’t realize how lame your life can be until you have someone come visit and you are expected to be their tour guide. It’s at the point when you are thinking of what to do with your guest that you realize `Hey I don’t really do anything, I’m pretty lame`.

Last night, around dusk, to chase away the ghosts I went for a long walk, which ended up being around ten kilometres. I would normally cross over the Rideau River and head towards the Market and stroll around, but last night I decided to walk along the Rideau River path, something I have never done in all the `just under five years` that I have been living here. It was very peaceful, away from the bulk of the traffic, listening to the sounds of trickling water and songs of different types of birds. I even stumbled upon some sort of ceremonial aboriginal dance. I wanted to stop and have a look but felt like I would be intruding.

On my three hour walk around parts of Capital City that I was just discovering for the first time, I took some time to reflect on the last five years of my life, specifically here in Ottawa. Understanding my lameness, I realized I could sum up my whole experience here in ten occurrences or less. So here it goes:

The TopOnly Ten Things I Have Experienced In Ottawa
  1. When I first moved to Capital City I was a driving instructor, in fact that is the reason I moved here, I was transferred. The job only lasted eight months before I was laid off, but if anything I got to learn the city streets pretty well and hopefully taught a handful of kids how to drive safely.
  2. The first two weeks that I was living here I walked around downtown and in the Market alone, going to bars and pubs by myself to check out the nightlife. On my very first outing I met a girl, and proceeded to never call her again. I thought to myself `Wow, if it’s this easy to meet girls…` Don’t worry karma taught me a lesson, and I didn’t meet another girl for 8 months, around the same time I lost my job, where in quick succession I met three girls and they all returned the favour by never calling me again.
  3. At this point, an ex-girlfriend came back into my life for a brief period of time. When she would come to visit we would do some tourist type activities. We took a boat tour of the Ottawa River, we saw the Pompeii exhibit at the Museum of Civilizations, and took a walking tour around Parliament. I also took the Parliament tour twice, once with my Uncle who works in Centre Block and the latest time when a Hometown friend came to visit for six days.
  4. After being a retired driving instructor for a few months I soon accepted a contract to work with the Ottawa Chamber Music Society and got a chance hear a lot of really amazing live classical music in many of the churches around Capital City. I also met the Governor General of Canada, Michaëlle Jean at one event. It was my responsibility to send out the letter to ask her to take part in our Christmas concert, where we wanted her to narrate the story of the Nutcracker. It was this contract that inevitably led me to my current line of work.
  5. After my contract was up I took a job with a popular courier company, worked part-time at a local pub and started my foray into the world of freelance writing. If you haven’t noticed yet, other than the occasional night out at the bars, and the brief time I spent as a tourist with an ex-girlfriend I haven’t really done much in the terms of seeing anything in Ottawa. The last five will be pretty short.
  6. I’ve been zip lining – although it is on the Quebec side.
  7. I’ve been to one Ottawa Senators hockey game.
  8. I’ve been to a handful of indie rock concerts and two Bluesfest.
  9. I’ve hiked Gatineau Park approximately five times, two of them being on the most recent visits from Hometown friends. Again on the Quebec side, so I’m not sure if it counts.
  10. For two and half hours I went snowboarding at Camp Fortune… once.

That about sums up my past five years in Capital City, other than dining out at some really good (and some really bad) restaurants, spending numerous times in the pubs and clubs, and attending the occasional BBQ, house or cottage party, that’s about it.

This my friends, is How To Be Lame In Ottawa.

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cindy adoms said...

Hola, Chasing Distractions!
Have you been very busy lately? Hopefully having fun...
Want to feel better - less lame? I've been here for YEARS and have yet to visit Volcan Arenal (actually, I was there for twenty minutes once) and the Tobago Hot Springs (which is where I think you were when you were in Costa). The central valley - where I am - is more toward the airport and east.
I have come to the conclusion that I may be accused of plagerism if I were to post my own blog:) Have you somehow had me bugged for the last several years? The similarity of our experiences is uncanny. So one more question / observation regarding blogging: it's great to find a blog like yours, however how does one prevent someone from rambling on in the comment section?

Chasing Distractions said...

Hey Cindy,

Yes, I've been keeping pretty busy and thus have been neglecting this blog a bit... that and I haven't really had much to say lately, but I'm hoping I can get back into it soon.
As for the comments, I'm not sure if you can limit the amount, but if they get too 'rambley' or if they are full of spam you can always delete the ones you don't like ;-)