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The Road to Halifax – Hitching, Lying, and Chili

Brier Island
Well it turns out I made it. My first ride was a very cool cat named Justin, a Halifax surfer from Newfoundland and Yarmouth both. On the road we became fast friends and I found out that he is the doorman at a place called Bearly’s which is right next to the international hostel in downtown Halifax.

Justin took me to his place, fed me some chili, and then dropped me at the hostel. Yet another example of how hitching, couch surfing, or hosteling can open the door to friends you wouldn’t otherwise meet…

At this point, I should make a small note…sometimes in hitching, I don’t want to tell everyone everything about me.

I tell a shorthand story of my life that leaves out some of the more interesting facts, like the fact that I am on my way back to Morocco, that I’ve left Hawaii and the United States, and like I’m not sure if I will be going back at all.

My shorthand story is that I am a tour guide from Hawaii, it’s the low season, and from Quebec I will be going back to Honolulu to go back to work. I do this because telling more usually raises questions that I am still trying to answer myself or that I don’t know the answer to …

So, along the way, if friendship forms, I usually fess up that there is more to the story, or I share this blog address with my new friends…so, David, Mary, Justin…if you care to dig a little deeper into this blog…you’ll find…the rest of the story!

Thanks for the rides, the company, and the friendship!

It’s morning now and as I look outside at the rain and cold I am glad I listened to my inner voice as it told me to come to Halifax sooner rather than later. First of all, I gained a new friend out of the hitch here and secondly, I hate hitching in foul weather.

harbor at HalifaxAs to Halifax, it seems pretty good. Last night I stayed in the Hostelling International Hostel on Barrington Street and I’ve got to say it’s a fairly lame place. The guy at the desk when I checked in, Jimmy, is a pretty nice guy, but the hostel itself is $31 (CAD), more than the hostels in Hawaii and I was surprised this morning to wake and find no free breakfast as most hostels offer, even though this is the most expensive one I’ve stayed in, more than New York, more than Hawaii, more than the places I stayed in in Europe. They even charge .50 for coffee in the morning…

So that’s my gripe about it. Other than that, it’s fine really, clean, centrally located, free wi-fi, and a cool old building. Last night I joined a ‘pub-crawl’ but left it before too long. The other crawlers were two very drunk German fellas and a nice guy from Czech Republic who left early as well. The crawl was led by a shy 20 year old German with premature balding and a very bad haircut.

So I ended up coming back to the bar next to the hostel ‘Bearly’s’ where my new friend Justin was the doorman. Pretty funny because it was karaoke night and there were a majority of very talented singers. One big sort of doofy looking guy got up and did ACDC and completely blew it out of the water…he sounded better than ACDC! Then there was the hipster who sang Diana Ross ina style all his own and made it work.

It was an early night for me though and I slept okay in the dorms except for the idiot who set his cell phone alarm and then kept hitting snooze…I felt like punching him, but I didn’t. At least not that I’m going to admit…

As for breakfast, one nice thing about hostels are the kitchens and how guests will leave their extra food behind for others so I was able to cobble together a mushroom, broccoli, and potato scramble that hit the spot. By the way, I didn’t pay for my coffee! I will admit that.

(Originally published 24 SEP 2009)

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Vago Damitio

Damitio  (@vagodamitio) is the Editor-in-Chief for Vagobond. Life is good. You can also find him on Google+ and at Facebook

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