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PS8j - Bienvenue à Montréal

Well, here I am sitting at gate number five at the end of the Air Canada 'finger' of Dorval airport. We've been waiting to go to Halifax since about four o'clock this afternoon, some of us for even longer.

It's 8:00 now, and other people have long since given up and gone to sleep, but not me! No, I'm going to stick it out until our ten-fifteen departure time by writing journal entries! That, and listening to Mink Car while having waking dreams about an imaginary woman I like.

I was supposed to be on a non-stop Tango flight from Toronto to Halifax, so don't ask me how I ended up here. I blame the weather and the Air Canada flight information operator, but at least the snow looks nice and the operator was helpful enough to get me moving somewhere. It's snowing off and on here, and Toronto had rain and drizzle.

One of the nice things about spending time in Québec (even if just visiting its largest airport) is that all the signage is in French first, then English. It's kind of nice to be on the minority side of the language coin for a while, and to think about how you're going to be able to express yourself to Francophones ("I need a cartier du aeroport. [sweeping arm gesture to encompass environs] Either that, or could you tell me where the restauraunt [eating gestures] is?")

Unfortunately, things aren't nearly that awkward. Only a few people have talked to me in French only, and they were all civillians. I wasn't able to reply much beyond simple gestures - I hope they didn't think I was rude. Since I find the concept of language difficulties thrilling, I should go to Paris next.

Today is the first day of spring, so naturally Halifax got nearly thirty centimetres of snow. But here's what's really ironic - outside the window I have seen dozens of Air Nova Dash 8s going in and out all day today. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but "Air Nova" kind of implies 'Atlantic Canada,' and 'Nova Scotia,' yet we are not on these flights. I mean, some of these planes even have the Nova Scotian shield emblem painted next to their entry doors. Some of these planes are undoubetly visiting New Brunswick, then Halifax, and the Air Canada employees refer to them as 'tanks' that are able to land in just about any conditions. Ah, the frustration. Oh look, it's snowing again.

I'd say something sappy like, "I should have stayed in Toronto," but the reality is that I'm glad to be going home. I want to get on with my life, and these are the three things on my to-do list:

- Change schools. I've had quite enough of Saint "show us the money" Mary's and their shitty course and program selections. I'm headed for the Nova Scotia Community College, because I want to do computers NOW. The degree can wait. Degrees only present the symbol of scholarship anyway. (Note added whilst typing: Staying right through and finishing has nearly equal advantages, so I'd say it's a 50/50 chance about whether I decide to go back or not.)

- Get a full-time job, like at a call center or something. The income wouldn't hurt, but it also solves the larger problem of being stuck not doing anything and without a purpose to boot.

- Get a girlfriend already, hopefully without having to sell my soul or integrity in the process. You probably think I'm exaggerating.

So I think I've come this far to learn something about my life. It was as if the geographical distance enabled me to look upon the state of my existence from the outside, and I sure as heck didn't like what I saw, so now I'm going to fix it. Joe Chisholm and others remind me that high school is over, but I must say that even Saint Mary's is kind of a faded extension of CPA life.

Entering a more vocational-oriented program would be the first major change to my life since moving to Bedford, which has turned out to be a mostly negative life choice on my part. The alternatives weren't really that much rosier, though, and even living in Bedford had its positive aspects. Like, number one, uh... hm... er... well, I have my friends. That's all I got from Bedford. Anyway, going to the NSCC would help me to become more like "William the person" than "Will the character," and it would be one of the most proactive things I've ever done. And if I just keep living my life reactively, I am certain that it will turn out to be an unhappy life. Yes, things are making sense to me now. It takes a while for messages to penetrate my thick skull, but they reach my brain eventually. =)

Saint Mary's has helped me gain some valuable experiences, some new friends, and a semi-collegiate background in astrononmy, geography, political science, classics, literature, and composition. I doubt, however, that they will further help me earn a degree.

* * *

It's ten to ten, so you'd think I'd be kind of shutting down and getting into anticipating my flight, right? Wrong! Just a few minutes ago, the batteries ran out in my cd player and so I looked at my watch and said, "gee, in forty minutes, we'll be in the air!" So I got up and sauntered around and found that good 'ol AC8892 (remember, this flight was supposed to leave here at 4:05pm) has now been moved back to 2300. Joooooy. But actually, I'm handling adverstity very well. I know this sure beats the treatment I'd get flying Tango.

It's starting to irritate me that I let my desire not to get into a bunch of luggage transfer and standby hassle leave me (and many others) still sitting here at ten o'clock, after flights have pulled out of here at six and seven. They were both absolutely full, so if it wasn't me here enjoying the Dorval atmosphere, it would be somebody else. Of course, I do have a test tomorrow at 9:30. I'm all set for it, though, or as set as I usually get for tests. Bleah.

I'm told that I should pursue something that doesn't feel like a chore to me. For instance, I find writing short stories to be a real chore most of the time, but pure writing I quite enjoy (except for this red spot developing on my finger to the right of my index finger on my right hand - man, I gotta get an iBook). I also enjoy programming. I - I dunno. I think I'll finish my degree, but I'll wait a few years and come back when I'm feeling more proactive. Right now it's a chore, and I'm much too lazy to work hard at something that's just boring drudgery. But it's more than me being lazy - I mean, have you ever heard of someone who became legendary for doing something that bored them?

I'm hearing rumors that tonight's flight is oversold. All I know is that I don't have a seat number on my boarding pass. (I was marked as GTE - Gated, or more accurately HTD - Hung to Dry.) Um... if I'm left in Montréal, will Air Canada's generosity with the meal voucher spill over into a hotel voucher? I remember back in Toronto that the lady at the check-in counter told me that going to Montréal was a bit of a gamble, and that the airline would NOT provide me with a place to stay. I wonder what the rules are for that, because I've seen them give out rooms to other people, though mostly ones on international flights. Bleah. I think I'll go see what's up at the gate counter. If they don't have answers, I'll phone Air Canada directly.

* * *

It's the number jumping game! I think what they're planning to do is keep pushing the flight back until everyone has given up and this departure area is empty. Then they'll look at each other and say, "Yayy! No passengers! Now we don't have to fly to Halifax, after all!"

- We suffer a long delay due to an icy runway, which was evidently deiced using 5kg bags of Sifto and a hand scoop. It turned out that the flight was overbooked, but there were enough no-shows that there were no problems.

11:58 - I don't believe it. I am finally on the fucking plane. So I guess my gamble to go to Montréal sort of paid off. I met lots of new people, most of whom found me fairly funny. Man, I feel like a space alien keeping a log. Anyway, I gave two strangers that I really clicked with my website address. Maybe someday they'll read this. I'd better hurry up and get it posted.

So here we go, ambiguity solved. I got a seat number, a seat, and I'm going back to Halifax. About time!

- We get in at 2:45 (1:45 Eastern Standard Time), and saw a lot of baggage lying around the arrivals area for people to steal.

- At three in the morning, there were literally dozens of travellers asleep on chairs and benches all over the lower level. Guess we weren't the only ones with travel troubles.

- Got home at ten to four, 15½ hours after leaving Ruth-Ann's. Wow. Heard beeping in my room and discovered that my alarm had been going off at ten to four every monring since the 12th. Well.

* * *

And I guess that's it. This marks the last of my typing for PS8j. It is now five to five in the morning, and I'd better get some sleep. I hope you all enjoyed this latest mega-effort.

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