Edmonton - 35 and surrounded by weirdos...

Trip Start Oct 08, 2005
Trip End Oct 06, 2006

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Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Tuesday, July 4, 2006

When I was about 15, I read in a magazine about West Edmonton Mall, the biggest shopping mall in the world, that also has a fairground, waterpark, sealife centre and golf course all within it. From then on it was my ambition to visit one day, and on my 35th birthday, I finally made it there. And what a let down it was. After all, its just a shopping centre. The fairground is a bit lame (although the roller coaster is pretty impressive, considering its inside), and the shops were the same as I had seen elsewhere in Canada (there were just more of them). The waterpark looked pretty good though, as did the glow-in-the-dark mini golf, but I never experienced either of those properly. But anyway, at least I won't be wondering for another 20 years what its like. I had a good day, wandered round the shops (didn't buy much, feeling a bit skint), had a decent dinner and then went to the cinema. Not overly exciting, but then whose 35th birthday is?? Thanks for all your wishes though, cheered me up to hear from everyone back home xx

The rest of my time in Edmonton was strange. Its not a city with a lot of attractions, but it was alright to hang out in for a couple of days. Saturday the 1st was Canada Day, the day that Canada celebrates its birthday (139 years old), and there was a big street parade in the district that I was staying in, and fireworks in the evening (which I never got to see cos I was too busy drinking). The people in the hostel held a big reconstruction of the England v Portugal match in the afternoon - fortunately I was on the Portugal side so all I had to do was lie on the ground clutching my head, get up and run about a bit, then do the same again. Easy. I had watched the match in the morning in a pub surrounded by Canadians in England shirts, random, and was a bit gutted to say the least. Still, saved me from having to run naked down Broad Street, as I promised some lad I would do if England got to the final.

So what else did I do in Edmonton, not a lot really. The hostel lot were a strange bunch - Edmonton seems to be a base for blokes waiting to go and work on the oil fields of Alberta, where they are going to be cut off from civilisation for a long time, and I think that lifestyle attracts a certain type of bloke I don't usually care to hang round with. They were weird to say the least. One guy showed me $30,000 he had in used Canadian and US bills in a suitcase in his car boot, illegally gained of course. Erm, thanks for showing me. My roommate was a radical feminist with an opinion on everything - we went to the cinema and then had to have a full discussion on how the film would affect women's opinions of themselves, about how it would cause further oppression by men and society in general etc. I just wanted to talk about the outfits!! (Sam hon, I needed you!)

So it was quite a relief to get back to Jasper. I won't be going to Edmonton again I don't think! There are some nice walks down by the river, and downtown area is quite clean and shopping is good, and the nightlife in Old Strathcona is pretty wild, but its a rough city. But then as someone pointed out to me, I'm from Birmingham, so I should know a rough city when I'm in one!
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