That Darn Border

Had a lovely day oot & aboot today, starting with a hearty breakfast at the IHOP down the street.

One thing I really enjoy about living here is the enthusiasm for little things. When we walked into the restaurant to be seated, the manager asked if we needed a table for two. We said Yes please and he quietly said, "Awesome" as he checked the floor layout to assign us a table.

The servers are always extra attentive and helpful, checking on us often to make sure everything is fine. Today when I asked if they still had the coffee cake pancakes, the server said they did. Then she came back and said they didn't. So they comped me a stack of buttermilk to go with my eggz.

When we paid the check we chatted up the Awesome Manager and I told him I was soory to have missed out on the coffee cake pancakes, but the buttermilk were very good.

He explained his frustration with That Darn Border they have to deal with, that they'll have a promotion going on - say, for coffee cake pancakes - but by the time they get the next shipment, the promotion will have ended weeks earlier.

He went on to tell us about a fabulous bone-in ham special they've got going but the ham comes from the States and is sitting in cold storage at the border. There's one line in the product description that wasn't written in French.

We're imagining the customs agents enjoying ham dinners every night until they work through that red tape.

On our way out of town to explore the northern environs, we stopped to get gas at Petro Canada. None of the gas pump handles here have "kick stands" - you have to stand there like a tool, freezing your ass off while the tank slowly fills.

The pumps *usually* shut off when the tank is full. I was standing there squeezing the damn handle thinking, this thing should be kicking off pretty soon when I heard a gusher below.

The fugging pump kept going full tilt, dumping about a gallon of gas all over the side of the car and the pavement, puddling under my boots and splashing my jeans. Awesome.

After our lightheaded drive to the small village of Belcarra, we hit a Hortons on the way back. Just to see if it would be any more palatable, I ordered a small coffee with sugar. Holy SHIT was it awful.

I thought it would come with sugar packets so I could dose it as desired. No, it comes out of a huge box where someone in a Hortons uniform presses the Coffee w/ Sugar button.

Every beverage they serve comes out of an automated box in the back. Every night a giant tanker truck pulls in, hooks up myriad hoses to the appropriate spigots and fills all the tanks.

It tastes like industrial solvent. It's so awful it's awesome.