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Beyond the Pale - A 'pale' is a fencepost. The English Pale was a boundary in Ireland marking out the part of Ireland under direct English rule circa 1450 (which included Dublin and environs). Those that lived 'beyond the pale', outside of English rule, were considered out of control and uncivilised. You decide...

Saturday, October 1, 2005

Letters from the Americas 2005 (part 11) - Canada

sign post in Newfoundland
SOMETIMES TRAVELLING BITES!

First off the bat, if any of you are feeling sick to the back of your dentures with my tales of terrific tantastic travel, it hasn't all been sunshine, lollipops and rainbows...
I was veritably destroyed at one point by mozzies, black flies, mozzies, and low flying scud missiles (posing as mozzies). It was all a tad embarrassing really, after successfully weathering the brutish insects in the Peruvian jungle with just a dash of bug spray and a prayer, I had come to the conclusion that I was in fact super human, a supreme being, a sort of demi god if you will.

So, later that same summer, when a leisurely stroll at dusk to a beach in Nova Scotia was suggested, I laughed in the face of insect repellant, chortled at the thought of a cardigan, and guffawed at the mention of long trousers. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy.... I awoke the next day to a WHOPPING 60+ insect bites, I kid you not, if I wasn't scratching them I was counting them, if I wasn't counting them I was talking about them, if I wasn't talking about them I was back scratching them again! Oh, and as I'm a card carrying dramaqueen I couldn't just have a normal reaction, no siree bob, I had a full blown allergic reaction; I was all swollen, blisters, itch, damn itch and scrrratching. But don't fear, I picked up some over-the-counter-under-the-counter anti allergy potion and within minutes I was fine, in slow motion with vegetable qualities, but yeah, fine.

At the same time in a blatant attempt to steal my limelight my travel companion, Sharon, was also knocked off her stride, due to an array of causes namely, the sea, the road and the Canadian whiskey (I'm kidding...the whiskey was good stuff...I'm double kidding...we didn't have any whiskey...now, beer was a different thing...I'm triple kidding...no, I'm not, I'm kidding about kidding, ooohh, I could go for days, I'm such a hoot!), anyway, poor Shaz took a day long ride on the vomit comet. Our guide commented that our holiday pics were sure to be great, "oh, here's a great one of my bloated, blistered body, oh and there's Sharon hurling". He continued his slagging all day remarking to the group that it must be great sharing a room with the Irish, cries of "pleeeeease scratch my back" replies of "after you hold my hair out of my face while I barf". Heehee, we were a holy disgrace!



Speaking of weridos...the hands down winner of Weirdest Canadian Roadside (erm) Art is the scarecrow farm we came across in Nova Scotia. Oh my Lord, shivers down my spine just thinking about it. There was about 50 scarecrows standing in a big circle, each dressed up, some as a wedding party, others as aliens, some as famous people, and some didn't bother making an effort and were just wearing tracksuits (which was kind of a nightmare in it's own right, shell suits, uuuggghh). Once you had the guts to penetrate the circle of death (it wasn't called that, but come on, I've seen Children of the Corn, there's something not good about a circle of scarecrows, oh, and did I mention that there were parts of the circle with signs inviting you to join the circle and hold the scarecrows hands!! No way mate, on yer bike, what are ya like!). So once you got into the circle there was another circle, get this, get this, with scarecrow children with a sign saying they were playing Ring-a-ring-a-rosey. Doesn't that song originate from the contagion that was the bubonic plague!!

Our guide had described it as the most frightening place on earth and I swear to god it was no exaggeration.

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