This particular adventure began in a huge, bad-ass pickup truck.
Ottawa was wet with thunderstorms and showers and I decided that a trip to the mall would be enough to entertain me for the afternoon. My house mate Shannon was on her way to work as the physiotherapist for a soccer team and she offered me a lift in her boyfriend Shea’s car. As we drive, I ask questions and Shannon and Shea tell me all about their city and what it’s like to live here.
We pass ‘experimental’ fields, where they research new crops, big yellow school buses (like the one that hit Regina George), museum after museum after museum and then we enter Downtown Ottawa. I feel like I’m in a Canadian version of New York City; there are people everywhere, shops galore and traffic almighty. The car is filled with chatter about this bar and that pub and the shop over there. My head is being padded out with nightlife knowledge and local know-how, and I’m feeling more at home by the minute.
One of the awesome things Shannon and Shea said was that once a month, especially during the summer, some of the public buildings transform into nightclubs and bars. Cell blocks in the local jail are filled with music and drinks and the nature museum throws themed parties on each floor. My new friends have also invited me out this weekend to join in the festivities of Capital Pride as it comes to a colourful finish on Sunday. The Pride Parade promises to fill the streets of Ottawa with acceptance, rainbows and drunk people. A few of my favourite things.
We reach the mall and I am let loose to explore the commercial side of Ottawa.
The Rideau Centre is a mass of confusing escalators, platforms, shops, food and people. I get used to it after a while but that’s only because I have passed the same shops at least ten times whilst trying to find the shoe store. At last I have what I came for; a pair of red Puma running shoes and an awesomely old Samsung flip-phone. Job well done, and it only took me four hours…