I've been on the road, my friends, first a business trip and then a pleasure trip, so I thought I'd share a few of my experiences along the way.
For one of my earliest blog posts in June, I did a little commentary on how traveling for work can be such a joy...ie. nice hotel room, no cooking or laundry.
Now I thought I'd tell you about the underbelly of my business trip last week....a not-so-glamorous look at my venture up north.
I mean, really....how bad can a one-day trip to a small northern Canadian city be?
I've always imagined business travel to be an upscale, exciting adventure....buying books at the airport shop, chatting amiably with other first class passengers, attending stimulating meetings and conferences.
However, I've quickly learned that it depends largely on the destination...including whether your plane has more than 20 seats, food service and visible propellers that get tied up after you land.
Once a month, for my Education consulting job, I fly to a northern city in Alberta. Further north than my city? Shocking but true!
It shall remain unnamed, but let's just say that a number of environmentalists worldwide hate the carbon footprint of this place.
My trip started with a perk...my rental vehicle turned out to be a big black Jeep Commando, all leather black interior. Pretty sweet...but no one is here to see me in it!!
I take a photo just so I can show BoyGenius my wheels and make him suffer a little :)
|Eat your heart out...BoyGenius! Mama's got herself some SICK wheels!!!|
I'm just up for the day and arrive at noon aka LUNCHTIME. I have a plan....I want to eat healthy and find free WiFi (so I can blog!), so I head to Safeway where I know there's a Starbucks (the only one in town!). For my East coast American friends, Safeway is a nice grocery store, where I usually buy all my groceries when I'm at home.
When I get to Safeway, I figure I'd better visit "The Ladies' Room" first, and then buy my lunch.
Uh OH! Both Men's and Women's restroom doors are locked. I wait a couple minutes....5 minutes...10 minutes. Then I ask a clerk who is standing ACROSS from me, "Are the doors always locked?" She replies, "Yep, we lost the Women's key. It's lost. Can't open it." Duh.
"How about the Men's?" I inquire politely. She informs me, "There's a key for that one." Looks like she doesn't intend to tell me WHERE this key might be. Then a random customer 10 feet away calls out, "Here's the key, over here!" and I walk over to the Customer Service desk...where NO ONE is working or providing service.
I stare at the key, without picking it up. This thing is frightening! I don't even want to touch it!!
|The Safeway Restroom Key chain From HELL.|
The key is tied to this horrific wire contortion with a pretty blue ribbon...probably from the floral department. Nice touch.
My bladder is on the verge of bursting so I grab the key and hurry to the MEN'S room. ugh.
But hey, this is SAFEWAY....the washrooms will be spotless. Uh...nope.
The toilet paper dispenser was my first clue....
|I guess the MEN don't use toilet paper.|
|I want to wash my hands AFTER I use this sink!|
|Does anyone notice this information on personal hygiene?|
|Should I check for hidden cameras?|
Here's my view....
|A shopping cart filled with 7 massive garbage bags.|
He doesn't stick around for long...I'm sure he got word of the filth in the Men's Room. sigh.
At least now I can get online and visit some of my favourite scrapbooking websites, maybe even do a blog post. lol! I have a couple of hours to kill before my meetings.
There is a sudden commotion behind me (my back is to the store). I turn around...and the lights are OUT. Power Outtage!!
This means no WiFi. No Internet. No blog.
It couldn't last long, could it? Yes, it could...and it did. I waited half an hour....still no power and no WiFi.
I make like the fly and buzz outta there, and soon discover the entire city has no power. All the traffic lights are out...and I'm stuck in the downtown core. The vehicles crawl through the intersections, one by one, taking turns.
I might be driving a Jeep Commando but I certainly don't feel like I'm in command.
And as I sit in traffic, I cannot get the image of that Men's Room keychain out of my head. I'm sure I'll have nightmares about it.
The best part of the day was driving back to the airport....along the scenic route on that northern highway...
|I imagine this trucker doesn't think the Safeway Men's Room is dirty.|