Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Sunday, 1 October 2006

Nothing to Declare

Montreal, Quebec

On the way out of Canada we see a pick-up truck loaded with dead bodies waiting to clear American customs. I wonder how the driver expects to get the macabre load though the new American red tape. Apparently dead bodies are not a problem. They bring out a dog to sniff around and then waive the driver through to the American side.

Earlier we had driven into Montreal in the Canadian Province of Quebec. Mrs. Phred and Judy want to see the old city first. I sit in the backseat with the laptop and GPS and navigate them precisely to where I deduce it must be: near the river in an area of twisted narrow streets.

The parking meter instructions are in French. I go and search for change and return to find a $37 (Canadian) French parking ticket on the Toyota. We wander the old city and have lunch in the open air in an outdoor café with a live jazz band. I eat a veal crepe with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

While we are eating, a highway overpass near the city collapses burying several cars and their occupants. Survivors are taken to local hospitals. The dead are still under the rubble. No official body count has been released.

Judy and Carol also want to see the underground city. I navigate to the center of the huge city, find a parking space and pay for parking with a credit card. We go down into the underground shopping caverns that extend down several levels under the streets. I lead them around for an hour and pop up next to the car.

It rained all day today. We stay inside and watch two rented DVDs. One was the “The World’s Fastest Indian” with Anthony Hopkins. The other was a funny English low-budget zombie release called “Shaun of the Dead”. Tomorrow we move near the White Mountains in New Hampshire. Mount Washington is the tallest point in the northeastern US. We hope to reach the top.

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