August 29th, 2009

DebOttawa

Day 3 - On to Ottawa

Growing up in the Southern California car culture, I tend to get twitchy when I don’t have car keys and a set of wheels immediately available. So, one of the more remarkable things that Amal El-Mohtar (tithenai) did this summer, besides winning a Rhysling Award and producing another fabulous issue of Goblin Fruit is that she managed to talk me out of renting a car in Canada.

She told me I wouldn’t need one. And, you know something? I didn’t.

flower baskets
by the sidewalk café
wafting chocolate

Montreal, Ottawa, and Quebec City are all very walk-able cities. I put miles and miles on my sandals exploring them. But on Monday morning, I needed to get myself from Montreal to Ottawa, 130 miles away.

Amal made it all sound so easy. She said, “Take the bus!”

So, I did (and was greeted by her smiling self at the Ottawa Greyhound station).



She proceeded to take me to lunch at the Black Thorn, one of many yummy restaurants in Byward Market. (The only thing that kept me from gaining 25 pounds on this trip was all the walking.)

Amal also gave me a quick tour and my first glimpse of Maman, the giant 30 foot spider sculpture in front of the National Gallery. I would be back!



in the shadow
of the spider
losing the fear

After checking into the Crown Plaza, I thought I might try out the swimming pool before all the poets started arriving. Naia, my roommate for Haiku North America wasn’t due to arrive until midnight. But as I walked into my hotel room, my plans changed for the better when the phone rang.

It was Emiko Miyashita! She had arrived early, too, from Japan. So, of course, we had tea.

August flight
and at the end of the day…
green tea