TORONTO TO COLUMBUS & ROCK ON THE RANGE
Trip Start Apr 01, 2013
89Trip End Jun 28, 2013
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My alarm went off at 5.00am although I had woken several times during the night to noise generated by Thursday night revellers who obviously didn't have to drag their arses out of bed at the same time I did.
I checked out of the hostel and walked down to the bus stop where my pre-ordered bus to Toronto's Pearson International Airport was to collect me at 6.10am. Well, 6.10am came and went as did 6.20am and 6.30am.
I was now becoming increasingly agitated as my flight was due to depart at 8.15am and I needed to be checked in at the airport by 7.00am. At 6.35am, me and 2 other shitty passengers were talked into catching a cab by the driver - $20 each. I had already prepaid $27 for the absent bus but was now desperate so off we went. Luckily we had Nigel Mansell at the wheel as he had us there just before 7.00am
I raced into the terminal and went to the electronic kiosk and got my boarding pass. I then had to get into a queue for a baggage tag. One of the airport staff said I had plenty of time and 30 minutes later I finally reached the counter only to be told I would not be able to make my flight, despite the fact it was not due to depart for another 30 minutes. I pleaded my case and explained the sequence of events to the guy behind the counter but unfortunately he was an ignorant fucktard ! He said he could get me on the next available flight to Columbus which was scheduled to depart at 2.25pm. Oh, and there will be a $75 charge to re-ticket.
By this stage I was boiling with veins popping out of my head so I proceeded to tell him what a shambles the Toronto transport system was and how much of joke the airport was. He then told me I had to pay another $25 for my checked bag.
So to recap, I had spent $27 on my non-existent bus, $20 on the replacement taxi, $75 on the re-ticket and $25 on the checked bag, which to be fair, I was always going to have to pay. Furthermore, I had to spend 6 additional hours pissing about in what is a shit airport with nothing to do
So now I had some spare time on my hands, I found a phone and rang the bus company and abused the shit out of them and requested a refund. They asked me to email them. Helpful. I'll bloody email them alright !
Despite having queued for 30 minutes for a bag tag, at this dumb arse airport, you still have to drag your checked bag through to the security area where you again queue to answer a whole lot of questions from US Homeland Security. That was another 30 minute wait. Only then can you check your bags. But wait, there's more. You then get in yet another queue to go through the screening process for your carry-on stuff. That involved taking the Ipad out of the bag and taking your belt and shoes off. The only thing I still had on was my fucking undies !
Obviously the airport idiots thought I wasn't pissed off enough as they then confiscated my small commemorative bottle of coke that I got as a souvenir from the World of Coca Cola in Atlanta. It was 125mls and the limit is 100mls. Wankers !
Finally I got through to the other side which was completely underwhelming
So, apart from a duty free shop, a Starbucks, a couple a bookshops and some souvenir shops, there was not a lot here.
I have been collecting fridge magnets for each place I have visited and had forgotten to get me one for Toronto. I found one at the bookshop and even they wanted to have a crack at me. They charged me $6.80. All the others have been about $4. Someone call the police, there is a bloody robbery taking place !
Angry and frustrated, I thought I may as well go to the bar and have some breakfast and a beer to help try and calm the nerves. I ordered the bacon and eggs and a Molsen Canadian to which I received the response from the waiter, " Sorry sir, no alcohol served before 11.00am". Fuck ! I should have bloody known. So coffee it is.
I spent the next few hours doing yesterdays blog and some of this one
Roll ahead 6 hours and I was airborne headed for Columbus. Thank Christ and good riddance Pearson International Airport.
The flight was just under two hours but went pretty quickly. I picked up my bag and headed straight for the taxi rank having learnt my lesson with buses this morning.
I got to my hotel around 4.45pm and was humming and harring on whether to go to the Rock on the Range first day at all after my long frustrating day. I decided to go down the road a grab a 6-pack and a snack and think about it further. I got back to the hotel and bowled 3 beers and decided that I would go.
I grabbed a cab and headed for Crew Stadium, the venue for the 3 day rock festival, Rock on the Range. This wasn't going to be the busy day as the headline acts for the Friday night were Cheap Trick and Korn. The big guns were tomorrow and Sunday.
After a quick pat down, I was through security and it was straight to the beer tent
Now there were all sorts walking around. Circus freaks a plenty. The clothing was interesting to say the least not to mention the tattoos and body piercings. It looked a pretty hard crowd and I was starting to wonder what I had got myself into.
I headed to the main stage and got a good spot just before Cheap Trick started. Next minute spider man came surfing through the crowd getting bounced from group to group. This started a procession of other crowd surfers. I have never seen anything like it. Bloody funny though.
Next up, there appeared to be a face-off between 2 girls approximately 30 metres apart who wanted to prove who had the better boobs based on crowd support by lifting their tops. It appeared to be a tie. Gotta say the quality wasn't flash but who am I to judge.
Cheap Trick came on and belted out some good tunes which surprised me because they appeared to be the odd band out in the festival line-up
I headed out the back once Cheap Trick had finished and grabbed a couple of Jager bombs. I got chatting to 4 chaps from Windsor in Canada who had driven down for the show. I hung with them for the rest of the night and later we met up with some others from Windsor. I had lots of laughs and they were big fans of my NZ flag and the cowboy hat which I received several positive comments on throughout the night. Finally, I have justified its purchase !
The group of us went down and watched Korn play their set which was pretty full on with heavy mosh-pit action as you would expect. They were pretty cool I'd have to say even though I am not really a fan.
At the end of the show we headed out to where the Canadians had their car parked for some tailgating (boot party). They broke out the beers and we laughed and acted the goat for another hour or so. Different people came and joined us before heading back to their own cars.
The Canadians were good enough to drop me back to my hotel but not before exchanging phone numbers so we could do it all again tomorrow. I can't wait as they were a lot of fun.
Ironic that a group of Canadians had pissed me off so much in the morning but another group were instrumental in me having a great night.
Over and out !