Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Going Home



So I'm going home in less than two weeks. Home to Ottawa. Pretty much the best city in the world. Or, if you believe Mercer, #14. There are so many things to love about my hometown. I remember when I was a teenager and it had about half the population it does now (about 1 million currently). We'd sit around dreaming of other places to be. We'd whine about how it was boring. Then we all grew up and for the vast majority who stayed there (not including yours truly) made it fun.

And now it's awesome. It's funny how a not-very-promising middle-of-the-road boring ass place blossomed. So, anyways, here are the things that are awesome about Ottawa:

1. Well, my family and friends are there. The weird thing about the city is that even now, it's like a big clubhouse. Not in the way that Winnipeg is. In Winnipeg, the crudely place I live now, everyone has their little group of family and friends that they gather 'round them for the long, long winter of staying inside and being dull. Not that I can really blame them: I mean, if your town had farm equipment for plows and sand to put traction on the more or less impassable roads for eight months of the damn year, would you feel up to meeting anyone new? No? Didn't think so.

But in Ottawa, the clubhouse works a little differently. If you, like me, stayed in town for elementary school, high school and undergrad, you'd get to know a lot of people your own age. Eventually, you probably know almost everyone who lives in town of your own generation. Or, if there are people you don't know, chances are your friends know them. So when an event (like Beau's Oktoberfest a few years back) gains notoriety, it goes just crazy. It's like every person of an entire generation decides that that's what we're going to do and we just all DESCEND. It's word of mouth gone crazy and it's a power that can change a small town fest into a major annual event in a single year.

And it's not as if we slow down in the winter. If anything, our social lives are even more vibrant when they most need to be: that depressing time between New Year's and Spring. Trust. But again, it helps that we have amazing plows that start out a snowy day at like, 5 in the morning and that we can have salt which actually melts ice so that being stuck in a snow bank that's supposed to actually be a road is not an ever real danger. Family, friends...there will be so many to see! It's nice being part of the club.

2. The Food! I'm definitely going to visit the Works, which was born here. A grab a shawarma. Get some poutine, have some Pho from Pho Bo Ga La. And then top it all off with Gravy Pizza. Hopefully not all in one day. Then I'll go to Oh So Good for cake, grab a coffee from Bridgehead. All those great eatums I miss.

3. The Fun. Oh, what fun! I think I am going to miss most of the outdoor summer festivals. But I'll be there for the end of Greekfest as well as Capital Pride. Not too shabby! But we don't just have to hit up festivals, though. There's Shanghai Restaurant for Disco Bingo. We can Dance Slow, or without any pants. Spins and Needles was always a favourite of ours and so was TimeKode. Or we could just head outside to brush up on our salsa skills. None of which I can do in my current city. Nothing comes even close.

Yes, I am excited. A summer wedding, a new nephew, and tons of fun in the city of my childhood. Can Barely Wait!