Monday, July 08, 2002

Alright, so now I finally have some time to post everything that I wanted to post. Here it is, the complete account of the Canada Day weekend! :)

June 27
Picked up my girlfriend at the bus station after work. Got home and realized that my house was flooded, and the basement had about 3-4 inches of water due to the backflow of the sewage. Sorta disgusting if you ask me. Anyway, the guy who lives in the basement had to move up and live in the living room for now (and he's still there while the basement is being repaired). Since my girlfriend had work to do, I went out with another housemate to watch a play at the Fringe festival (more on that later), but got stuck in traffic and missed the show. We went drinking instead. It was all good. :)

June 28
Ugh, one more day of work until the long weekend. As soon as work was over, Evelyn and I went to see several shows at the Fringe Festival. That pretty much ended the night since the last show ended around 12:30am..

June 29 & June 30
The whole weekend was filled with Fringe shows, shopping at the Rideau Centre, walking around the Byward Market, and more shopping. Some Fringe shows were interesting, others were.. uhh.. a bit too alternative for me. Anyway, it was a good run for the week. I ended seeing about 11 or 12 shows throughout the week. More reviews will follow later.

July 1
FINALLY! The day I have been waiting for - Canada Day. Normally it would be a regular day off, where I go out and maybe chill with my friends. This year is different. I'm at the capital city of Canada, and I have heard that Ottawa has the wildest parties for Canada Day. They are right. A whole bunch of us went down to the Parliament Hill at around 11am, and it was already packed with thousands of people on the streets and on the hill. They blocked off all the streets near the downtown area, and it was still tightly packed. We watched as the Governor General and the Prime Minister walked down the Confederation Parkway, and listened to several artists from different decades performing (of course they are all Canadian). It got too hot (remember the heat wave?), so we decided to cool off a bit at a friend's place.

After mingling and chatting for the afternoon, we headed out to the park for the fireworks. Originally we were going to watch the fireworks on the bridge, but they closed it off for security reasons (also I don't think the bridge can support everybody that is to be packed on it). It was amazing - I have never seen fireworks so close before. Especially the finale when they had fireworks blasting from all different angles. The feeling was particularly strong - almost as if I felt a bit of patriotism in me.

As we were walking through the Byward Market to head home, I saw this truck pull up to a side street and had a full-fledge sound system in the back. They turned on the music, and had an outdoor dance floor. Too bad I was simply exhausted, not to mention that I have work the next day, otherwise I would join in and dance through the night.

The entire day was filled with people with really high spirits - something I haven't seen in a while. Several times I have heard people start singing the national anthem, and the crowd joins in afterwards. Now I realize that Canadians have pride too - pride in our own country, pride in the cultural diversity that we embed ourselves in. Many people, different races, join in celebrating the 135th birthday of Canada, in harmony. Something that cannot be said about a lot of countries in the world.

No comments: