Monday, August 20, 2007

Greyhound North America Circle Tour 2007. Destination: Mañanaville.

“Well I’m nowhere bound with Greyhound once again...”









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Such is the lyric of a song by Tommy Hunter, of the “Tommy Hunter Show” fame (you know, what we watched impatiently at 7:30 pm Friday nights as we were waiting for the Dukes of Hazzard to come on at 8).

Such I guess can also describe my trip around North America this summer, which began in Edmonton and ended in Edmonton – thus in one sense, going nowhere. In another sense, it described the frustration I experienced with the service of Greyhound in the U.S., which stands out as a true blue monopoly. I for one was amazed by this in the land of the free and the home of the brave, where in theory if you don’t offer efficient service, then you will be pushed aside by someone who will compete for the almighty dollar of the consumer. Where do I begin to qualify my statement? Maybe it was the extreme disorganization in Denver and Dallas, causing me to almost miss my connections. Maybe it was the consistent delays and lack of busses to accommodate summer volume, or Greyhound no longer allowing the extension of bus passes, sadly causing me to eliminate visits with some friends. Liz’s Spanish expression “Mañanaville” (i.e. Tomorrow-ville) to describe the lack of efficiency in the U.S. south really seemed to apply.

"Ahhhhhhh... Mañanaville!"
Interestingly, I found Greyhound performs far better in Canada, ironically the U.S.’s lazy cousin on welfare. Maybe I’ve had it wrong all the years that I’ve been a Conservative, and should join the NDP (much to Aaron Goldstein’s chagrin and Kaj Hasselriis’ joy – an inside joke for anyone who knows these two good friends of mine). It’s also ironic that such a person like myself, who is nothing like the typical liberal Canadian patriot, received lots of compliments from younger Americans for no other reason except the fact that I was Canadian.

On the bright side, I guess there was no lack of opportunity to exercise walking and being thankful by faith and not by sight...

In fact, there were many things that showed how blessed I am to be living in Canada. For one, Canada is not crowded (except for Vancouver; Toronto is crowded, but at least it’s way more linear and fluid). I remember as a kid thinking “why is northern Ontario so backward, with only cow paths for highways?” The thing I realized is that many parts of Canada just don’t need twinned highways, etc. – and are all the more beautiful and pristine for it.

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Renny with Liz, a friend from summer camp who lives in Albuquerque NM with her husband.

Seeing so many friends I haven’t seen in ages made up for any bumps along the Greyhound highway. Like Liz in New Mexico, a really dear friend from summer camp who has always been one of the kindest people I know. And James in Geogia, who was one of many signposts who pointed the way to Christ for me way back when. And I finally got to see Robbie and his new wife in Texas after not going to his wedding in May. There were so many others in BC and Ontario who were great to see again.

I’m really glad to be back in Edmonton. Like I mentioned in a previous entry, there is such a feeling of stability in work and other routines that I have here. It was also good to see people from church again. I don’t know yet if I’ll be teaching full time or continuing to sub. If I’m only subbing, I’m starting to see all kinds of possibilities to be working with others in and through the church. Ultimately for those of us in Christ, all our work and corresponding rest and refreshment train us to reign with Jesus in God’s kingdom (2 Timothy 2:12; Revelation 5:10).

5 comments:

Darci said...

Renny, I didn't know you were traveling. I'm tempting to get a hold of you. This is Darci, Minnesota Darci (Prom 92'). Looks like great trip. My e-mail... peaceofparsley@yahoo.com Miss you, Darci

Renny said...

Very cool! I wondered whatever happened to you! I'll email you...

Jaime said...

Wow. You are really brave. Three hours on Greyhound is enough for me.

Renny said...

Do not despair, o defender of Talithia! The next scheduled dinner stop cometh nigh, and this too shall pass...

Jaime said...

As long as it's Italian...