adventures in the far east — of canada!

Suddenly everything is okay…

In calgary, culture, friends, lingo, st. john's on July 6, 2009 at 11:53 pm

…because I now have a squash partner. YES! 🙂

Met him yesterday, and as luck would have it, he’s also Calgarian! So we had a lengthy chat at Bridie Molloy’s, and then Christian’s Bar when it opened later (because I love the free popcorn there too much).

We’d met because weeks ago, I put up a “friends” personal (a rare category among any Classifieds site), a callout to interesting people around my age, guys, girls, or anything in-between, to have coffee, a beer, hang out, play squash maybe…and he was one of the respondants. There were a few more whom I’ve traded a few emails with, but they’ve suddenly dropped off the face of the planet when a meet was actually set up. So it was just myself and Kevin.

Awesome guy–arived at the city like a day before me. Being Calgarian, we had even more to talk about than normal, and it really was thrilling to compare notes on St. John’s–just to even find out, no, it’s not just me having this grand old time; I thought perhaps I was being a little more positive with all the excitement of coming out here.

Nope…we giddily traded wonderment about the whole “There are 10 times less people here, but it feels like there’s more than in Calgary,” and marvelled mutually at how excellent the live music is here. Neither of us were big bar or pub goers in Calgary–he actually only began drinking beer here in the city!–but both of us were happily going often now on George Street. It’s the vibe, man…as I said, with people clapping, stomping, and singing along to music, it’s such a lovely thing! I’ve since invited him to the big screech-in happening Friday, and seeing the Idlers later.

Friday can’t come soon enough!

Anyway, he’d always wanted to try squash, and I was happy to show him the ropes–myself and others (Roxy mainly) have done a lot of introducing, and it’s such an easy sport to pick up. He loved it…and he may have been the best beginning player I’ve encountered. Barely missed the ball, got serving down only after a handful of serves, really fought hard to try and get the ball (diving, sliding, etc.), was playing the front and back… He loved it, and expressed (like some of our squash-ees at the SAIT facilities) almost an addiction to the game. As a newbie, he was huffing and puffing, but he was driven, and we played for quite a while, again longer than other people I’ve taught. He’s determined to beat me, and I’m sure he will one day if he improves as fast as he took to the sport!

He says we must do this often. Excellent!

And randomly, I’ve realized a correction to some of the simple lingo I’ve described here–“by.” Sorry guys, it’s actually “b’y” with an apostrophe. It makes more sense now (I thought, why the word by of all things?)–it’s actually a crazy contraction of the word “buddy”! So yes, it does indeed sorta act as a stand-in to “man,” but it is more accurately a stand-in for “buddy”–“What’s up, buddy?” Things said to me before: “Yes, b’y,” and “Hey, b’y.” Now I know.

Took the Metrobus transit here for the first time, a free shuttle service around downtown. Handy (it was labeled, “Free Ride With Buddy,” and its site were questions about the service with the happy-face character answering, “Yes, b’y!”–how I found out). Also bought a 10-ride card, just to have just in case, for $20. Did I mention how smart the system here is? Aside from the computerized card that is refillable (and programmed to whatever you want–10 rides, a monthly, etc.), it recognizes whether it’s a transfer or a new fare (I guess from the time it was last scanned). And the Metrobus…Kevin, who takes it a lot, says they are very on time (we ranted that night, “Why does Calgary Transit, despite having so much more money, buses, and even trains–suck??), within a minute or two. In fact, on their site is an updating list of the routes, and how behind they are–3 minutes behind, 1 minute ahead, etc., all there for the public. Brilliant.

One other random thing…Kevin, into history, corrected me that not only is St. John’s one of the oldest cities in North America, it is the oldest city on the continent. And the street where Target Marketing is on, Water Street? That’s the oldest street in North America. Pretty cool.

That’s it for now. I have more free time these days as my routines–cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, making lunch, laundry, etc.–are getting done quicker. Not a bad feeling.

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  1. Only 37 more sleeps until departure, and 38 until reunion. Yes! 😀

  2. Metrobus is such a cool name for a transit system. “Calgary Transit” is so unoriginal!

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