Chandri MacLeod (chandri) wrote,
Chandri MacLeod

The Windchill Chronicles: Installment 1

Montreal hates me. I know this, I knew this, and yet I persisted in coming here. This was, perhaps, a mistake.

In the first place, despite the bus ride to YVR which took rather longer than it should have, we made it to the airport, got on the plane in plenty of time, and actually landed in Montreal EARLY, at ten minutes to five, EST.

And then it began.

Actually, I suppose it should have been a sign that I got sick during landing. Not much, as I hadn't really eaten, but nevertheless: ew. I've never, ever been airsick before, no matter how bumpy the landing, and so this was doubly unpleasant. The WestJet lady was very nice about it though, and gave me a can of gingerale. And then we ran.

First, the baggage carousel broke down. Seven times. In the end we waited an extra 30-45 minutes for our luggage to trundle out to where we could reach it, grab it, and dash for the VIA Rail counter.

Which, despite what I was told by the nice lady on the phone, did not, shall we say, exist.

There was a shuttle stop. After asking six different airport employees, in both English and French (And can I just say: my French is not *that* bad. If I address you in French, answer me in French. Please not to be switching over to bad, condescending English which is much more incomprehensible than your Quebecois.), and getting six different answers, we finally made our way to the VIA shuttle stop, which was supposed to convey us to the Dorval station, and from there, we were to take another train to the Gare Centrale in Montreal, from where we would catch our 6:30pm train to Drummondville, where the station was more or less half a block from the Katimavik house.

It did not, y'know, actually happen that way, unfortunately.

We finally found the stop, at about ten minutes to six. The nice lady on the phone had assured me that it would be no problem, that we could trade in our confirmation number at the airport VIA counter for our tickets, that the whole trip from the shuttle to Dorval to Montreal took about twenty minutes, that the shuttle was easy to find, and that (and here's the important bit) it came every twenty minutes.

Cue 6:10pm, 6:30pm, 6:50pm, all creeping past with no shuttle in sight. We were about to run for a taxi when the thing finally showed up, at 7:15pm.

And then the driver, asking what train we were catching, made sorrowful faces and told us we had missed the last train.

Thanks, I thought. I actually already knew that.

Fortunately, we had happened on the first helpful person in our entire trip, and he told us there was probably still a bus leaving from the downtown station. He even corralled a taxi driver to give us a bit of a discount. (Thank you, helpful shuttle driver, even if you were INCREDIBLY LATE!)

We got in the taxi. I got sick again. A little. We arrived at the bus station, and as it turned out... the bus wasn't leaving until nine.

So we settled in a the little greasy spoon, and we waited.

The bus trip itself was actually okay, the mildly creepy guy across the aisle who kept staring at us notwithstanding, as it offered the first comfortable seats on the trip thus far. I managed to sleep most of the way, and we finally arrived in Drummondville (which reminded Faya and I of both Port Coquitlam, and then Pitt Meadows, but I suppose a suburb is a suburb, no matter where you are), and found lilymc waiting for us. High-pitched noises of welcome ensued, and we finally made it to the Katimahouse around about 11pm.

Oh; there is one more thing I feel obligated to mention, and that is THE COLD. I have to write it like that, in all caps, as it is FUCKING COLD in Drummondville. It wouldn't be so bad except for the windchill, which has a whole different meaning in the Atlantic climactic zone than it does in the Pacific. In Quebec, "windchill" is loosely-translated as "icier than the armpits of Satan" or possibly "hope you weren't fond of those facial nerves." Except probably in French. Just... I can't even describe it, because my nervous system is neither designed, trained, nor intended to translate impulses at this temperature. It's all right if you're standing still, and the air is standing still, but once the breeze kicks up, HOLY SHIT. I was having Antigonish flashbacks, with the exception that in Drummondville there are less buildings to hide behind. We went out for junk food earlier and my ears are still tingling a little. Faya quailed and fled back to the house, and our mission was ultimately a failure.

Oh, and half bank machines in this fucking province won't take my debit card. This trip sucks.

But Ki's happy to see us. Which is... something, I guess. o.O

We haven't felt the need to kill the Boy yet, either, which is probably also good.

On the upside, I managed to rebook our train tickets for 9:42am Thursday, and they didn't even yell at me or try to argue.

I feel strangely disappointed.


Tags: family, seasons, travel

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