Writing

Went on a short vacation


Took a short vacation to visit my spouses family in Manitoba. They live on a reservation out that way. Turns out it is also a wifi and cell dead zone so I was completely out of touch and feeling rather disconnected. It was a large span of territory that was this massive cell dead zone as well. I was not really aware there was patches of land that large with no cell connectivity. I knew there were some dead zones of course. Just not that massive. Well, it was. So we had no way of contacting anyone by phone or internet. And we had a very vague set of directions that amounted to ‘go up the hill and you will see a peach house beside a blue house’ which by the way turned out to be very inaccurate. She also had added ‘you cannot get lost’ which also turned out to be very inaccurate.

That first night we could not get a hold of anyone so we stayed in a hotel in the nearest town. The sort of place you sort of drive on through and blink and it is gone. The sort of place you do not stop in. The sort of hotel you would not want to stay in had you any other alternative. This one was above the local bar. This was a mistake on our part.

Now, on the website, which they have, it says newly renovated rooms with a TV, microwave, coffee pot and fridge. From that you might think it was a little old but fairly basic. And you would be wrong. They did renovate the bathroom clearly but could not see anything else done. There was a tiny TV about the size of my computer screen. No coffee pot, no fridge and no microwave. So that was some serious false advertising. The beds barely fit in there and looked like they might fall apart. The mattresses sagged so much I feared they touched the floor and I greatly pondered their cleanliness. I wondered if anyone ever stayed in the place. Turns out a lot of people do as their staff stay there regularly. When we arrived they said the rooms were not clean yet… we arrived in the evening. None of the rooms were clean yet. We really did not want to stay but we had no other option at the time since we did not have any way to get a hold of anyone yet. So we did. And sleeping was very difficult. I got a hell of a migraine. Being over a bar it was insanely loud all night long. And you could hear everyone trek up and down the stairs and even talking in the hallway. Every bang of the door. Now the rooms were all nonsmoking which I found odd, since, hell not like it was going to harm them at this point. But, when I wandered downstairs for a smoke in the middle of the night I smelled the unpleasant scent of pot. Nonsmoking my ass.

I got about four hours of restless sleep. Then the next day my spouse’s mother insisted we stay at her place and would have the day before had we a way of contacting her… we did not know at that time how to get to her place and she does not have a phone. I must say in this sense we were rather unprepared for our spontaneous trip but it is rather hard to get a hold of people there.

They have the strangest mix of technology. Some people have internet. Some buildings have wifi. Some people have phones. But it is all sporadic. No one has all of the above and it does not seem like they even care to. My spouses brother has a computer, in his closet with no desire to set it up or use it. He has no phone or any desire to have one. He has cable and that is not even something he finds necessary. I think of all the things I have and what is necessary and most of it is not. What I could not live without is books. I need books. And I like my computer. I do not need a phone, or even like it. Nor do I really need cable, but it is nice. So I can see choosing which to have and not particularly caring about the rest. The reserve was very sociable and relaxed. I enjoyed the visit immensely.

We could not do much around there though because our timing was very bad. Apparently they were in the middle of a flood due to rainfall. When we had arrived it was during a horrible stormfront that just caused an onslaught of rain. And that lasted for a few days, and had been going on for a bit. Roads were closed. Lakes and rivers overflowing. Basements in the community flooding. Some of the roads in their community started to flood over and buildings surrounded. Had it rained longer we would have been stuck there as it was we had to take a detour out as the road we were supposed to take was closed, and even so road through some submerged areas. We were at the edge of the flood zone and it was quite a bit worse to the south of where we were where a lot of roads were closed. In fact today there is a state of emergency due to all the flooding so I hope they are not too affected there. They all have basement pumps but some where more effective than others due to all the water and where the houses were.

All the pictures here of water is floodwater that should not be there. There was a great deal of flooding around the reserve and we passed through a lot more on our way home.

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