Tag Archives: yeg

Take your time my dear, he said, as I struggled to pull the one side of my coat with holes to meet the side with the buttons. I didn’t realize it but the waitors’ hasty movements and hurried closing activities like slamming bar stools on benches upside down, and whipping their ponytails back and forth were making me rush to get out of the hippy cafe bar we found after a long day of travelling from the island to the mainland. There’s this phrase I’ve been saying a lot lately: on se décalice. That’s what I was doing. J was already on his scooter, ready to roll to catch the second-last sky train; we didn’t want to risk going for the last one, and I felt like once again I was making him wait, I was taking too long to do everything. I was feeling rushed and impatient with myself. These are not new feelings nor are they sparse. I have always found myself around faster moving people with quicker paced schedules than I have, and have quite often felt like I’m not measuring up. Like I’m not walking fast enough or working fast enough or eating fast enough or getting out of the bathroom fast enough or changing fast enough after going swimming with childhood friends. I had this thought today as we were having our breakfast in the hotel lobby, after J said I’m almost ready to go because he thought I was anxious to leave, but I was just enjoying my coffee, waiting for the rain to pass, that sometimes I prefer to be alone not because I don’t want company but because I don’t want to have to explain myself or say I’m coming, almost ready. Its simpler to go alone. Easier to follow my own rhythm when I’m the only one playing the song.

The thing about the Underwater City is that its as much about people as it is ramps or wheels or pave-jobs. Its about patience and laughing as you race down the sidewalks, mocking the bi-pedals for being so slow. Its about figuring out how to fit two scooters in an elevator, on a bus, how to hold the door open for each other. Its about J giving me lifts on the ferry to look at the sunset, and me grabbing something from a tight space that would be a pain in the ass for him to drive his scooter into. Not that he wouldn’t be able to do it, or that he would complain at all. Its about asking ça va, when I am clearly upset about something, its about being there for each other and finding a pub to eat and dance in.

Its about the scientist giving the writer space to sit on the pier with my cell phone writing, texting myself new bits, and the writer trying to give the scientist an estimated time of how long it will take to get her idea down on a semi-used napkin in a bar. Its about not wanting anything in return after petting my hair when I am overwhelmed with emotion from the broad uncertainty I’m swimming in, being treated so well in public and seeing the vast blue-greys of sky meeting ocean and mountains.

As we both sat on the seats of the skytrain, our scooters rocking with the turns, patiently waiting to carry us when we arrived at our stop, I said I wished I had more crip friends when I was growing up. Its comfortable and well-paced and not frustrated with me. We’re good to travel together. He gets me coffee when I’m sleepy, I make us pose for pictures. He said its true, quand tu voyage avec les gens bi-peds il comprennent pas quand tu cherche un ascenseur ou que tu prends plus de temps pour s’habiller. They are shocked when elevators aren’t as obviously located as escalators or stairs and don’t seem to understand that sometimes you need to sit there kind of groaning on a ferry seat with your legs spread in the air flashing the seagulls flying on the wind currents outside the boat window to recuperate before you go on. I’m so happy J joined me, took me to Stanley Park, and taught me how to get on the bus in a scooter without loosing my shit. We’re closer with each other now after having travelled to three different cities, across mountain ranges and prairie, across countless rivers and between tiny islands in the pacific ocean. We’re closer and I feel closer to finding the Underwater City. As I’ve jokingly been asking him repeatedly over the course of our travels… are we there yet?


Mud, men in onesies and wanting to stay in Edmonton

Normally when I come back to edmonton i get an itching to leave after about 5 days. I have the feeling that I’m coming back to Edmonton but not home to edmonton. I judge the wide roads made for the wide cars and the people who don’t care about fashion even though I don’t care about fashion. I do this thing in my head that elevates montreal in comparison, perhaps in part in order to feel i have an identity separate from the place I grew up, something my own. Only I knew what the best bagels tasted like. Only i knew the wind of rushing cars on Saint Laurent after dancing. Only i knew the view from the mountain is way better than the view from the stade d’olypique. But I also did that elevation head thing to convince myself that i love Montreal. That it is a loveable place. Yes, I had to convince myself.

Today as I prepared to leave edmonton I felt sad. Not like i was home sad, but that its a hell of a lot more home like than montreal. The broken city. I was thinking about my washer and dryer. I love those things. But I am not itching to go back and be their master. My apartment. So cozy. Orange. But I an not itching. My people, the real reason I stay, and the truly loveable side of the city, they call me and i miss them. But no itching yet. (Except for that caused by dog hair.)

While my friend Julien and i were both riding along downtown on his scooter, sharing the seat and chuckling about how squished we were, we got no venomous looks from passers by. Or rather the people we were passing by. Damn that thing goes fast. It is a peculiar sight to see i’n sure, but i was done with walking and he was a good comrade and shared his ride. As we went down the sidewalk to our first Underwater City Podcast interview of the day the front wheel got stuck in some serious springtime Alberta mud. I got off and chilled while J tried to get er out. It was stuck gooood. Before i had time to ask him, a seemingly seven foot tall man wearing a blue jumpsuit workman’s uniform ran across the street, right up to the rear end of the scooter, heaved it up as though it weighed no more than twenty pounds, said nothing, whipped around to the front of the thing, hauled it up again, i’m pretty sire with one hand, and then all he said was ‘ya you gotta be careful of where you go around here.’ No condescending tone, no look at me I’m an amazing fucking person because i helped a fellow pedestrian out, no you don’t know what you’re doing you helpless bunch of crips. None of that. As we drive away J said, ‘was that a redneck? I like rednecks.’ Ha! The whole thing was fast and surprising and felt so real. Like that guy didn’t want us out in the snowstorm any longer than we had to be he and he was going to do what he could to help out. Basic, rare, and left me feeling good and helped and seen in the space we were sharing with that seven foot tall onesie man.

I used to see mainly negative sides of the city when i visited. The excess, the box stores, the voting trends. I judged, i tried to feel more cosmopolitan, unique, cultured. But lets be honest, culture don’t mean a whole hell of a lot if it looks at you stuck in a mud pool, looks away and walks on.

So tonight as I lie in bed, shivering beneath my blankets, telling myself i’m tired and need to sleep soon to catch the accessible taxi that was really easy to reserve in five and a half hours, I’m not itching to leave, I’m feeling sad to be leaving edmonton. Daily life things have been relatively easy the past week. And what hasn’t been easy, like crossing big streets by foot and catching busses, has at least been pleasant. Bus drivers are nice, people are patient, there’s space between those big roads to breathe. I have not felt judged or discriminated against in my urban wanderings. And that is definitely something to write home about.

Traveling with my feet up

Hey Underwater Creatures,

When planning my trip I wish I had taken into consideration the amount of time I have been resting my bod at home lately. Usually if I do something strenuous one day, I need a recoup day after to chill and do sitting things like writing or working on editing gigs or radio projects. Or listening to the radio. It works out pretty well. But while planning my time here in Edmonton I was kind of basing my activity level on how I used to operate when I traveled, which involved more walking and less resting.

Luckily I have gotten better at planning transit/ snagging rides, and have lovely friends and family here who like to transport me, so I certainly have not been stranded. But I feel a bit rushed in getting all that I would like to done here, meeting all the amazing queer crip-folk working to make E-town more accessible.

They have this fly dance party crew called Qmunity, who get together and dance and build community and be all hot. Next time I roll through I should certainly try and make one of these!!

Well, lessons learned. I have more time in Vancouver planned, and a scooter rental in the works, so I’m sure that will help. And then its joy-ride central. Yeeeee-Hhaaaawwww!!!!

Wow! I woke up to so many emails from people in Edmonton interested un contributing to Underwater City!! Going to be a lot of conversations, interviews, and coffee in the next few days before J and I hop on the train!

Je me suis réveille et voilà il y a plein de email de les gens ici à Edmonton qui veulent contribuer au projet!! Je me prépare pour bien trop de café et des bons conversations et entrevues!! Vendredi on partent vers Vancouver!

Damn I forgot how wide Alberta blocks are… Only walked a few yesterday but my leggies are a hurtin today! Maybe I should get a pedometer to keep track;)