Monday, June 15, 2009

This story will make sense later...

One of the most miserable experiences of my life. Some years ago (so many that I'm not sure exactly when it was) I went to Montreal to visit Jon, with friends Liz and Jen. We were walking around downtown, it was hot, it was summer, when Jon suggested we stroll up to the Mount Royal park. Everyone seemed excited to go, so I agreed; even though I probably would have preferred to find a nice air-conditioned coffee shop to sit in somewhere.

I should have know this wasnt going to be fun, and I probably should have turned back, when before we even hit the mountain, when there were still houses and shops around us, the ground started to incline and I started to whine. I slowed down considerably, while my "friends" (I use quotation marks because at the time I was sure I'd never speak to any of them again) hopped and skipped and pranced up the hill. I was the fat kid in the Goonies pleading, "wait up guuuys!"

I'm not going to describe how Jon got me to the foot of the mountain because it was too humiliating. I also won't describe how much pleasure some of the company seemed to be taking watching me struggle and motivating me to keep going. Of course, that's just from my side of things. Maybe my dear friends aren't sadistic assholes.

Anyhoo, a few hours later, after me pleading for breaks and receiving few, we made it up the mountain. Hooray. I rested a few minutes, looked over the edge, and then they were at it again. They wanted to find the big illuminated cross. I wanted to kill them all. I wanted to take a nap. I wanted to find a taxi.

So, with my calves on fire we continued roaming around the mountain, getting lost, finding our way, finding the park, becoming bored of the park, getting hungry, descending the mountain. I don't remember much else.

Unrelatedly, on that same trip we all planned to go canoeing. We spent 3 hours driving to a park and spent our last few dollars renting canoes. As soon as Liz and I settled into our tiny boat, in about two feet of water, I started to have a panic attack and had to be brought back to shore. Apparently, I am deathy afraid of water.

Everyone but me squeezed into the other canoe, and went out for a few hours while I sat on the beach with a pack of cigarettes. And no lighter. Because it was Jon's and he thought he may want to smoke on the boat. Son of a bitch.

Note: Jon, Liz, and Jen, if you've read this far, you know I love you guys now, but this is a story about a couple of hours when I really, really didn't. Please feel free to add your version in the comments, but try not to give away why I'm writing this.


LSL said...

I hate those people. I'm going to have nightmares where they show up on my doorstep and make me walk up a mountain.

Also, I can't wait to see how this makes sense later!

Word verification: danconsu. It sounds like it knows you're in Japan.

Skulldaggery said...

wow that is a story of terribleness!

ElizT said...

There's a chance it could have been worse.

Anonymous said...

I have a similar story, where we went hiking up Tasmania's cradle mountain for what was supposed to be a 3 hour hike, but got lost, ended up on the 8 day overloand track, and had to head back in the dark. My poor friend (who shall remain nameless) was really struggling, so we tried to keep encouraging him, singing songs etc.

Sometimes it seemed to have the opposite affect, but our intentions were nothing but positive. It was hard to see him struggling and know that there was not much we could really do. I suspect your friends felt the same way.

Jonathan said...

Hmmm. I have a lot more stories about travelling/urban hiking i can tell.

How about Montmartre in Paris? Where we had to stop every 2 minutes and i was pretending we were stopping to take photo so not to embarrass you.

Or Vancouver, walking over the Granville bridge to get to Granville Island, only to be standing about 45 metres above the island realising the bridge doesn't actually access the island.
You were really angry with me then. I think we didn't say a word to each other for an hour after that.

I have to say, though, that those turned out to be good memories in retrospect. A funny anecdote that shows how different we are. And above all that we are still great friends.

ps. There are no hills in Hanoi :P

Jeannette said...

Jon, Paris was bad.

Vancouver wasn't too bad, it was more the heat and exhaustion than the hill.

I do have good memories, too, somewhere.

Daniel, was the song, "Go fat boy, Go fat boy, GO!" Cause that doesnt help.

Michael J. Patrick said...

OK- it has been over a month since you wrote it and the story still doesn't make sense to me. I mean, the story makes perfect sense, but you wrote that it would make sense as if some other purpose were to be revealed and I'm just wondering what that purpose was because I'm nosy like that.

Jeannette said...

Give me one more month, nosey dude.