Friday, August 13, 2004

Montreal, Quebec—Day 195

Today I headed back to the Granby zoo, after of course, dragging myself out of bed after a crazy night. I headed out in my black Matrix struggling not only with a hangover but with driving in the rain through construction zones. I made it just fine to the zoo though and spent a long time waiting for Kiboko, who was lying in the water quite sleepily, to move. I spent quite a good deal of time waiting for him in the rain, setting up my umbrella trying to minimize getting wet but it seemed that no matter what I could do, my trousers were getting completely soaked. I took a break from waiting to get a salt encrusted pretzel and to check out the reptile room where I found reptiles and another equally scary sight in the restroom with a woman doing her business with the door open. I won’t go into details.

Anyways, I headed back outside to get some fresh air (ahem) and waited some more for Kiboko to move. I started to get a little antsy because I knew that my time was running out with the rental car. I didn’t mind waiting, or perhaps having to pay for another day’s worth on the rental car, but the rain was also getting to me a little bit.

Finally Kiboko got up and walked out of his pond to spread his love (ahem again) o the trees nearby and then wandered over across the enclosure to find some grass to eat. Click click click. I looked at my watch and sure enough, it was just coming on 2 o’clock which is when the keeper yesterday said Kiboko and the other two would be switched. Kiboko ate some grass for a while before walking up to the door where he stood for a few minutes before the door opened automatically, Kiboko grunted, and was let in.

I packed up my stuff and headed back out to the car and drove back to Montreal. The rain didn’t cease the entire drive back and I only stopped once to get some gas. As I pulled up to the gas station, of course everything was in French. I was like great, I’m probably going to get the wrong type of gas, like diesel or something. But I checked and double checked to make sure that I was at the right pump (and checked to see what other cars were pumping) and finally chose one, turned off the engine and started pumping.

I got back in the car, turned on the car, and….got it right. Thank goodness. Now I just had to make it back to Montreal. I set off and miraculously made it back to the rental car place without really needing to look at my map. After a second attempt in finding the entrance to the parking garage to return the car, I checked my watch. So what if I was a half an hour late? I just smiled sweetly at the guy who checked out the car to see if I had any dents (nope!) and I walked away from the rental place without paying anything more than I had to.


I then spent the rest of the afternoon walking around downtown Montreal, checking out McGill University, eating lunch at a great café called (when translated), the Stranger Café, which just seemed perfect for me. I then walked back to the hotel where I did work before heading back out on the metro to meet Andrea for a few drinks.

(c) 2004 Sarah Galbraith. All Rights Reserved.