Hanging Out In Ottawa

Out Of Money
July 8, `77

It was three dollars a night to stay at the hostel, and an added
dollar if you ate breakfast in the morning. The food was great, too. I
was a real tourist now. Yesterday was an especially good day for me.
After I watched the changing of the guard (an English holdover I
guess) I took off for the Art Museum. On my way there, I stopped at
the Photo 77 exhibit. I spent an hour viewing the photography and then
another hour or so, trying to figure out how holograms were put
together. I never did figure it out, and I left exhausted.

A few blocks down the street I found a small pub. I felt right at
home, as I drank my thirty-cent drafts, listening to a room full of
old men talk French. I spent the whole afternoon playing pool with a
couple of the old guys. I never did get to the museum. With 25 cents
left in my pocket and almost drunk, I left the pub and went back to
the hostel and cooked up the steak (the one I picked up earlier and
stored in the hostel community fridge). I was now out of money, but I
wasn’t too worried because I knew more money would arrive in the
morning. After dinner I watched TV, and turned in early.

After morning breakfast, I walked down to the bank to pick up my
money. The guy behind the counter told me it hadn’t arrived. It was
Friday, and I had already waited four days for the money. I wasn’t
happy. With only twenty-five cents in my pocket, and only a slight
chance the money would arrive on Saturday, the thought of getting
through the whole weekend without any money was not a pleasant one.
After I left the bank, I stopped at a bakery and, with my last
quarter, bought a hard crust of bread. At that point, I didn’t even
know if I had a bed to sleep in. It took a little friendly persuasion
(something I didn’t like to do), but in the end I was permitted to
keep my bed at the hostel (on credit) until Monday.

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About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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4 Responses to Hanging Out In Ottawa

  1. frizztext says:

    “It was three dollars a night to stay at the hostel, and an added
    dollar if you ate breakfast in the morning…” I like your blog. Always I compare to my life …

  2. Mèo Lười Việt says:

    Sounds so pathetic and exaggerated! 😉

  3. ElizOF says:

    Amazing to think there was a time when prices were reasonable and most things were affordable… 🙂

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