After zombie-time and listening to a spirited front-lounge debate involving history, aggression and politics, I ‘went to bunk’ around 4.30am and rose at 10.30, the bus still in motion. Not really knowing our global position, I guessed at the province of Québec. Patches of snow lay on brown fields and small bodies of still water were skinned in cracked ice. Winter is holding on, despite receiving the message about the northern hemisphere’s vernal equinox some time ago. The sheer nerve of some seasons…
Bus Driver Wayne is a cool guy. He used to do stunts in Hollywood and I guess gave it up to drive twits like bands and crews around for a living. When I first met him last year, he stated emphatically, albeit in a mild manner, that he didn’t like people coming up to sit with him when he was driving. He said when he’s driving he’s working, and he doesn’t like people bugging him. I said ‘fair enough,’ completely agreeing with him. I don’t think it’s much to ask that chatty drinkers be penned in the main areas of the bus. However, after being informed of this, one of our bus riders (nameless of course) has been, of late, sitting up front with Wayne, but Wayne seemed ok with it. I suppose if the conversation is good, an exception can always be made. Another however — during last night’s ride, the individual went up front and this morning, Wayne made it known he was unhappy with that person sitting in the jump-seat and falling asleep. I feel Wayne’s pain — I’m not a bus driver, but I hate sitting in the living room at home, say at Christmas, or on a Sunday afternoon, and people start falling asleep and snoring. Even though I’m not in a work environment, there’s just something about tired people not going to bed that irks an unreasonable bone in my body. So anyway, our sleepy individual woke up and said something along the lines of, ‘Oh crumbs, was I asleep?’
The dry-witted Hollywood stuntman replied, ‘Either that or you were staring at your penis for three hours.’
Around noon, we pulled up to a hotel in Québec City. The plan: at 1am we depart for Halifax. Until then we are free to roam like the young skateboarders at St. John’s Gate outside Vieux-Québec. I didn’t wander much, except for a stroll under a darkening sky, snapping a few pics as I went. Through Porte St. Jean and into the old town, I enjoyed the narrow streets lined with stone houses and the rare smell of wood-fuelled chimney smoke. It was a little chilly out, but not too bad, and by 8.30pm I was back in my room doing this — this stuff that you read right now. Now. Now… See that? Another slow day in UHTC crew world.
We may be celebrating a milestone later tonight. With Halifax another 1,017,000 metres away, Dan and I have plenty of time to reach our 30,000 landmark zombie body count. Unless there’s a power failure, or a Lord of the Flies-style mutiny for control of the back lounge, there’s a big, shiny 30,000 down that road, waiting for us like an oversized lottery cheque — technically useless, but fundamentally life-changing. What will post-30K life look like? Only time and ‘Pack-a-Punched’ weapons separate us from a magnificent answer. If there are any graphic designers reading the diary, we’d love some sort of patch or badge, like NASA uses for space missions; we feel we are contributing to humanity, after all.