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Nantes to Ottawa: Thoughts from the Greyhound Bus

“A man! My Daddy! I go like that with my hands! I have to put this up and look out of the window! Everybody has two lights—oh my Goodness! That’s funny! Two lights… and two lights… Mommy, I want a light too! Five… and six persons. Not one. I’m three, but I’m…”

If Mark suddenly starts sounding like a Pink Floyd song, don’t look for a hidden meaning or the name of the drug he took. He is just overtired, and so am I.

It’s 7 p.m. Montreal time, but it’s 2 a.m. in France and none of us slept in the plane. As I’m writing this, we are sitting in the Ottawa-bound Greyhound bus that should have left half an hour ago. I’m exhausted too, I wish I could sleep but it’s probably a bad idea because I will feel even worse when I wake up two hours later, in Ottawa. So I’m writing. Go figure.

Mark is sitting by my side and he find it hilarious. He finds everything hilarious right now, like a stoner suddenly finds his bedroom/his hand/the sky fascinating.

“There are no seat belts… be careful.”

Okay, Mark is wise even when he is tired. I couldn’t care less about the lack of seat belts in the bus. I just want the damn bus to actually leave the airport. Gosh, what’s taking so long?

Everything is taking so long…

The TAN bus from Commerce to Nantes’ airport was efficient. It left on time and less than twenty minutes we joined the giant lineup of people checking in for Montreal on Air Transat. But even then, we didn’t wait for long.

We did wait in the lounge. We were supposed to start boarding at 1:40 p.m. but passengers were called much later. I don’t think we took off late, though, and we landed on time. Plus I scored a really cheap and really nice Nuxe gift set at the duty free shop in the waiting lounge, so I can’t complain.

The seven-hour flight felt long because none of us slept. We were hungry too and, once again, we were served the same shitty tiny sandwiches. Air Transat definitely said “au revoir” to hot meals. Not a big issue per se, but it’s still a transatlantic flight and you can’t really travel with your own snacks.

I finished watching Deadpool (I missed the end on the way to France) then I got into Mr. Robot, a new (newish?) series. I kind of like it. I wish I could find a series I’m looking forward to watching every week, like I enjoyed Friends in high school, or House, M.D. a few years ago. Maybe I got old but I can’t find anything cool these days. Game of Thrones isn’t for me—I don’t like fantasy and I’m not a big fan of “historical” settings.

Eventually, we landed. And apparently, half of the world landed at the same time, because the immigration control hall was completely packed. Even for us, Canadian passport holders, it took a while to be cleared.

Then we waited for our backpacks… for two fucking hours. Seriously.

“Here, Mark. Take a sip.”

I’m drugging him with my Coke Zero. Mark can’t believe his luck.

“Where the fuck is our bus driver?” Feng sighed.

No idea. We still haven’t left the airport. It’s 7:08 p.m.

Anyway, the luggage. Montreal’s airport kind of screwed up the process. Bags were being delivered on the carousel, but since most passengers (presumably tourists) were stuck at border control, they weren’t being picked up, so the same bags were going round and round until an employee set them aside. They did it for the Beijing flight, then the Frankfurt flight. Meanwhile, bags from various French cities started to arrive sporadically.

Then we had to queue for the final custom check. Fuck me.

Actually, don’t fuck me. I look like crap right now. Mind you, so does Feng, so…

“Eh, we are leaving! Bye bye airport! I say bye bye to airport!”

Okay, the Greyhound bus is finally heading toward the freeway.

“See you tomorrow, airplane!”

Over my dead body. Seriously, Mark, we aren’t flying everyday.

“Bye bye, trees! Bye bye, flowers! Bye bye, signs! Bye bye, flowers!”

I’ll break the news to him sooner or later, along with the fact he has to go back to school.

Not tonight, though.

Mark in Montreal, waiting for our bags
Mark in Montreal, waiting for our bags
Waiting for our bags
Waiting for our bags
Plane at the gift shop at Montreal PET Airport
Plane at the gift shop at Montreal PET Airport
Waiting for the Greyhound bus at Montreal PEI Airport
Waiting for the Greyhound bus at Montreal PEI Airport
Feng boarding the Greyhound bus to Ottawa
Feng boarding the Greyhound bus to Ottawa
Mark being silly when boarding the Greyhound bus to Ottawa
Mark being silly when boarding the Greyhound bus to Ottawa
Mark being silly when boarding the Greyhound bus to Ottawa
Mark being silly when boarding the Greyhound bus to Ottawa
In the Greyhound bus to Ottawa
In the Greyhound bus to Ottawa

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