Today I took the bus to Ottawa's Dragon Boat Festival at Mooney's bay park- it was nice to get out of downtown, as I really do think that Ottawa is so small and quite unexciting (the only thing original is Parliament Hill, and that's not staggeringly unique! It was a lovely sunny day and I lay on the (wet) grass and read my book and enjoyed all the crazy beach wear. The families with strollers, the couples, the singles, the beefed up guy with a six pack. The weird haircuts, the tattoos, the piercings--they only exist in the west, and when they're at the beach it all comes out. I suppose it can be called a beach, as it had (imported) sand, but I mean, it was the depth of a paddling pool, and just as much current!! There were many different rowing teams (I'm inspired!), and everyone was enjoying the day out. I'm going to miss that easy going outdoors attitude once I get to Baku! No doubt the aggressiveness of the men will drive me nuts... that's what I love about the west--I get left alone! (I was already warned that I shouldn't walk on Baku's Caspian Sea lakefront promenade by myself or else I will be inundated.)
On my last night, I went to study for my exam a the local Starbucks (ever since reading Starbucked! I'm obsessed with it!) as nothing else was open--who ever heard of mall shops downtown closing at 6pm on summer weekend days and staying open till 9pm on weekdays? What a weird schedule! Anyway, it was depressing to watch a young teenager try and steal a book by throwing it over the beeper machine. He saw me watching and chickened out. Then a homeless guy came up and rifled through the rubbish, and found the receipts I'd discarded. I was appalled--what on earth was he going to do? Sell the credit card numbers? Try and get refunds? Anyway, I called out (no one else did a thing! How appathetic!!) and he stopped and apologized. Canada has one of the highest amount of taxes in the western world to try and cater to these people with social services, but I really was shocked at the number and agressiveness of the homeless there.
The other thing I noticed as I was leaving is that the graffiti that those guys had done on the wall of the public building opposite the jail last weekend--it was gone!! I don't know what sophisticated graffiti removal chemicals did it, but the brick wall was clean and clear. Very impressive!! Graffiti is still disgusting, and I am disgusted because Gabriel, gave me a false phone number!