I use a couple tools to plot my routes, usually a combination of Microsoft Streets and Trips, Google Maps, my GPS, and recommendations from my hosts. The closest border crossing was Port Huron but both Google Maps and Bing Maps instructed me to go south to Detroit. Wanting to save an hour, I took the gamble of the Port Huron crossing and was rewarded with a blessedly simple crossing:
Border Guard: What’s your destination?
Me: Toronto then Montreal.
Border Guard: For what purpose?
Me: To visit friends I know through an online gaming community.
Border Guard: What game?
Me: Team Fortress 2.
Border Guard: *draws his eyes and furrows his brow* Is that like Call of Duty?
Border Guard: Enjoy Canada.
Driving to Burlington was as dull as all the Canadian driving I had done previously with the confounding factor that every 8 feet there seemed to be a sign advertising the 407 Expressway toll road. I was still weary of my ticket so I’d try to find two cars spaced a few hundred feet apart moving at a speed I wanted and would wedge myself between the two as a kind of international ablative shield against tickets.
My host for the evening was a tired Adam Erb/Captain Charisma who recently started as a carpenter’s apprentice and he has the glue marks to prove it.
The Adam in my head was different from the Adam in front of me in manifold ways. First off was appearance, this Adam was some how older than the mental homunculus I’d assembled and a spot taller, so at first I felt like I was talking to the fatigued older brother of the person I’d constructed. Some people talk with hand punctuation, something that one obviously doesn’t pick up when talking over a voice chat protocol. He was tired and he attributed his animation to that but the flurry of manual activity reminded me of someone I knew but couldn’t quite remember and the evening was punctuated with me making notes to myself on who it reminded me of. Even with the benefits of hindsight, I can’t quite put my finger on it.
Adam and I ran into a problem in that we’re both the guy that responds to other people in conversations. The stream of conversation was a staccato exchange of observations, notes, and comments except in cases where there was a third party like the server at Swiss Chalet who came across as an acculturated accountant. Things picked up a bit more when we returned to his house and had some quality TF2 time where I got see a genuine ragequit in the first person. Sniperwolf was having a bad night and I don’t think the fact that my shit-talking was taking place 3 feet from him helped. I set up in my tiny bed with my feet poking out the end and went to sleep.