Don’t fear the reaper

Perhaps tomorrow I will upload some pics, if I can find the cord for my camera.

Mucho traffico on the route from Otavalo to Quito today. In broken Spanish (read – lots of hand gestures) I was able to deduce that there was a double whammy of traffic today. Ecuador had their general elections on Saturday, and the cities emptied into the countryside as everyone returned to their villages to vote. Apparently I missed the bulk of the election traffic on Saturday morning by opting to take the bus to Otavalo on Friday afternoon. Secondly, it was dias de la madres (I am sure I misspelled that) which is a very big deal in this country. Streets were overflowing with roses and sweet fruits for mothers. Incidentally, my mother’s day gift was NOT delivered, so I look like a giant douchebag right now. Thanks a lot, 1-800-FLOWERS. (Hi Mom!) Continue reading

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That time I spent Christmas in a hostel…

It’s really not a huge secret. I’m not a huge fan of Christmas. To say that the holiday spirit is lost on me is kind of an understatement. I tolerate the holidays, I go through some awkward outsider’s version of the motions, but I don’t really carry with me the same kind of sentimental attachment most people have with this time of year. Continue reading

A weeklong friendship

I had the best of intentions when I bought a plane ticket to Reykjavík. Ten days to visit a good friend, see some sights, eat some Hákarl, sit in the Blue Lagoon, and come back fully refreshed with a nasty hangover from the Brennivín.

Sometimes the plans you lay out don’t work out for reasons beyond your control. Continue reading

And I’ve gone to look for Ontaaaaaaario

On August 1, I officially became a “resident” of Ontario. This simply means that my good old Carte d’assurances maladie from Québec was no longer a valid thing, and I received a very ugly OHIP card in the mail. (Man. I look like crap on my Ontario ID. I had such a good photo on my old driver’s license and health card, but that’s a whole other story.) Continue reading

Help send my traveling monkey to Costa Rica!

Chiquita, my faithful travel monkey, whispers in my ear sweet nothings about Costa Rica. She says that we should go together, since neither one of us has ever visited Central America. Continue reading

Fences do not make good neighbours – or how I visited the West Bank in 2008

A fence, a wall, a divider runs through the land. Some have called it the Berlin Wall of the 21st century. Some call it a land grab, some call it a security fence, some love it, some hate it. I crossed it. Continue reading

Borders crossings

Growing up in Canada, I took borders for granted. I grew up in a magical time when you could cross the Canada/U.S. border with a birth certificate and a driver’s license or a government issued health insurance card. Now I realize this magical era only officially ended in June 2009, but the era of the easy border crossing truly ended back in 2001. Continue reading