October 30, 2006

So there is a place in Moose Jaw called Bonanza. It has a special hold over this little town. It is a magical place, that draws all the cars of the over eighties to it every day at about 5. It promises endless shrimp and the biggest salad bar in Saskatchewan and best of all, its all bottomless. It is a place we have watched with great curiosity for months and finally, last Wednesday we decided to see for ourselves.

Okay, so we weren’t expecting anything amazing, but we weren’t quite expecting what we got. So in we go. Its kind of like those restaurants at airports where you get a tray, order some stuff, get it, pay and then eat – except crapper. Here you chose your meat(chicken, beef or shrimp), your drink(pepsi, diet pepsi or root beer) get your drink in a big brown plastic tumbler, pay, then sit. Then you can go to the “bottomless” salad bar before your meat arrives. It was SO gross. I know I’m fussy, but Andrew and Chris thought so too. Dried out carrots, perogies, old macaroni, some lettuce, lots of sour cream and something that looked like fish eyes. We were fascinated by the number of people there though and how much they all seemed to be enjoying themselves. It was actually very sad, all these old farmers with their caps perched on their heads and their stomachs hanging down to their knees, dentures in hand going to fill up their sad little plastic plate again. Chris( a friend of mine from internship) and I saw many of our frequent patients there and tried unsuccessfully to hide from people who could later testify to us being there.

So our meat came, and it was just that. A piece of meat on a plastic plate. Cool thing was it tasted like braai meat, but that was all that was cool. So after our custard and vanilla ice cream – also from a “bottomless” container, we left. I don’t think any of us will go back of our own free will. We could have got a much healthier, better value meal at Macdonalds, but we wouldn’t have had such an insight into life as an eighty year old in Saskatchewan.


Not so toasty

October 30, 2006

Well, cold has come. Properly this time. And it’s made idiots out of most people. Okay, so not idiots, but slipping sliding idiotic LOOKING people. It snowed LIKE CRAZY (which is what snow does. Doesn’t snow hard, or heavily or anything else) today. I had to go out at lunch time, and my steering wheel didn’t really work. Well, it worked, but erratically. My car was DEAD keen on going straight. Normally not a major problem, but when some idiot (a proper one) turned right into the road (remember that in this dangerous land you can actually yield right at a red light) as I was nervously going through an orange light, I was forced to use non-official hand signals and some sailor-talk. I would have used my brakes, but they were on strike or something.

Anyway, I tippy-toed my way around the rest of town, and had a GREAT day. Something about the clean whiteness that just makes me smile.

Check out this 20 minute difference in coverage:
and 20 mins later (yes, one of the cars went out and came back in that time. Annoying-wants-us-not-to-use-the-toilet-at-night-because-
she-wakes-up-Granny, actually).

We have some news about Bonanza to tell you too, but I’ll let Claire fill you in.

That is all.


October 19, 2006

The Marshalls have a bun. In the oven. Well, Em, really. A Marshalette if you like. Well, I think it might still be rising or curing or … I forget. What’s that bit where you’ve pounded it and its in the tin with the dish-cloth on top? Come on dudes?

Oh, and let me tell you (from actual personal experience) they are pretty great bakers. It’s a good sign of what kind of folks they will be though. The question “Does your Mum/Dad bake?” should always be answered “Yes!”.

Again, huge, massive, hearty congrats. I hope youre telling people, because they know now. 🙂

That is all.


October 12, 2006

It came, and it went. I have no idea where it needed to be, but it didn’t hang around. It must be a she, because it was pretty pretty pretty.


We are loving Moose Jaw. It’s primarily a tourist town (Al Capone and some tunnels. Who really knows) so it’s constantly buzzing. 35,000 people live here, but there are many more in town every day, because it’s on the main highway from the east to west coast (or west to east coast, you know. It’s the same, for crying out loud!).

It looks pretty much like this:

And this:

And do you know where in the world it is? Here:

And we are here:

That is all.

First worldness

October 3, 2006

We’ve all been to a rock concert, right? We’ve all pushed and shoved and been vomited on and passed out in front of at a concert, right? Right?

If the Black Eyed Peas concert last night is anything to go by, Canadians haven’t. They’ve been asked to please step down off the cushioned seats, politely encouraged not to take photos with their camera phones and been kept clear of the tidy aisles, though.

Now coming from the all-round moshpit experience of the LAST Black Eyed Peas concert we went to in Joburg, it was quite something. Its a mosh all round in SA. Moshing in the queue to get in, moshing to your place in front of the stage. Moshing to the toilet. Moshing around during the concert, and then moshing with all the other cars as you try to get home. It’s tiring.

That said, its also part of the experience. It’s a crush with other fans. It’s rubbing against a huge sweaty like-minded chap, and being elbowed in the ribs by a frantic girl who wants to see her heroes as much as you do. I think something is lost in the calm of the Canadian rock concert (and perhaps all civilised concerts). Some of the energy. The pump.

I also wondered which the Peas would prefer. They aren’t involved in the actual hustle and bustle of the concert floor. They are security guarded to and from everywhere they go, and end up on a nice roomy stage. The only bumping and squishing they do is entirely deliberate. So I would think they want the screaming craziness? Even if the screaming is people being stomped on and head-butted? Surely? Maybe not.

So lets backtrack a touch to give you the low-down on last night. We had been wanting to go to the concert, but it was sold out (we aren’t very quick off the mark sometimes). Then Claire got home last night and said “Do you want to go to the Peas concert?!”. She may as well have said “Are pug puppies cute?”, right?! OF COURSE!!! Turns out, they had “freed up some tickets”. This annoying phenomenon is observed minutes before most concerts. They say the seats were reserved for friends and family of the band, but we all know its a lie. Or do we?

We booked online, and rushed off to Regina. Literally booked the tickets and hour and a half before the start. We picked up our tickets and then headed to the venue. Expecting lots of madness, I was nervous, but in literally 8 minutes we were in our seats. Our 6-meters-from-the stage, seats. It seems the lies might well be trues. (yes, the s is deliberate. Sheesh).

A little warm up band noise and the Peas stepped onto the stage. It was so awesome! We could almost reach out and touch them (with a barge pole). We could see that they are actually real people. They have real hair and real clothes with creases and they don’t move at 24 frames a second. There is something unique in the “in-the-flesh” experience. Something you just can’t describe. They are photos and voices and videos until the second you see them on stage. It’s not the same if they are 100 meters away or only visible between the bouncing heads of strangers. And. And! AND!!! It’s almost spiritual when one of the member points at you, and signals they he likes your super-man shirt! It was like father christmas and the easter bunny and Buzz lightyear all became real in that moment. I imagine its like sitting on father christmas’ lap as a child. Except I’m an adult and I should KNOW its a bit of a “get involved in the crowd” ploy, but I don’t care! I still jumped around like a fool. And loved every ear-drum-destroying second.

That is all.