Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Toronto to Ottawa

OK, the show I'm seeing today is a one-man show starring Martin Short.  (This will be important later in the story.)

Before checking out of the hotel, I ask the concierge if there's any way to store my bags at the train station before my train.  She confirms that there is not.  After discussing it with her, it seems that the best plan is to leave my bags at the hotel; take a subway to the show; take a taxi back to the hotel from the show; and haul my bags to the train station.

OK.  I check out of the hotel, leaving my bags with the bellman.  I give him $5.  I walk on over to the train station (which is also the subway station).  I turn my internet ticket into a ticket ticket to save time.  I ask the guy, "There's no way to store my bags before the train, right?"  He says, "Yes, you can store them for $2.50 a bag."  I blink at him a few times.  I go over to the baggage guy and confirm that, yes, I can store my bags before my train.  I walk back to the hotel.  I reclaim the bags I just gave to the guy 15 minutes and five bucks ago.  I trudge back to the train station carrying the bags.  (I take the Skyway -- an elevated path.  It's a smoother surface than the sidewalk, so the bags will carry better, but it is enclosed and not air conditioned.)  I return to the baggage counter and give HIM $5 to store the bags.

I am now sweating like a pig.  No, I AM a pig.  I'm perspiring like crazy and tripping over my pants (as I forgot to pack a belt).  I head off to the subway and stop at a leather goods shop on the way (small mall-like place underground at the subway entrance).  Now I have a belt.  Hoorah!  I aim toward the subway train.

I get on the train and off at my stop without incident.  The show starts in 50 minutes.  I walk by the theatre to make sure I know where it is, and then look around for lunch.  All I see is a Burger King.  Any port in a storm, right?  (Oooh, grilled chicken sandwich -- less than 7 grams of fat -- yay me.)  I have another fifteen minutes before the show starts, so I run across the street to a mall and poke around the "roots" store.  (Remember when roots clothes were all the rage after they designed those cute Olympic uniforms?)  Not much there, but now I can check "been to roots store" off the list.  I now go across the street to the theatre, ticket in hand.

Where I learn that Martin Short is sick and cancelled the show.  Expletive.  Expletive.  Expletive.  How am I going to kill three hours in Toronto?

I know!  Earlier train!  It's 1:54.  I think there's a train at 2:30.  If I get on the subway right away, I can make the 2:30.  I run like hell to the subway station (I'm on the wrong side, so must go down the stairs and back up the other stairs).  I'm already (re-)drenched in sweat when I hit the platform.  Back to Union Station.  Run over from the Subway part to the Train part (past the leather store).  Hit the counter at 2:10.  "Can I exchange my ticket for the 2:30 train?"  "You mean the 3:30 train?"  I look at the board.  Right.  3:30.  Yeah, that's the one.  Good thing I ran here.

So, despite all plans to be running like hell to catch the 5:30 train after the show, I found myself cooling my heels for an hour in the train station lounge.  Now I'm heading to Ottawa, and writing this entry through the magic of Wireless Internet On The Train.  (Oooo.)

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