Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Tim Horton's

After decades of waiting, I finally took the plunge today. I had my first Tim Horton's experience. They had this big sign in the window hawking their egg salad sandwiches, and it was breakfast time, so I made my way in. I ordered my egg salad, and I was given the combo offer. I could either get the egg salad sandwich, or I could get the egg salad sandwich with a donut. I did not know that if you ate all your breakfast, you'd be eligible for dessert. I love this country!

I also made my way over to World of Drugs World a bit further down Bloor Street. You know how people come to Canada to get prescription drugs cheap? Well, they also have great over-the-counter stuff. Go ask the pharmacist for acetaminophen with codeine - 200 caplets was about $10. Back hurting? Why not try some methocarbamol with ibuprofen? Sneezing? Allegra awaits.

Coffee Crisps aren't bad either. They're like a Kit-Kat, but if you close your eyes and concentrate, you can make out the faint wisp of mocha-like flavoring. For some reason, Eclipse gum is called Excel up here. And the winterfrost flavor is called winterfresh.That really knocked me for a loop.

My flight was scheduled for 7:30. I got to the airport at 5:35, and went through the same harsh questioning about my lack of a fifth form of ID. The ticket agent then said that there'd been some weather problems, so she'd put me on standby on the 5:40 flight. So I'm off the 7:30 flight in favor of another flight that leaves in five minutes on the other side of customs. Interesting concept - take away my guaranteed seat for a plane whose doors have probably already closed.

The line through customs was empty, so I made a quick detour through the duty free shop to buy maple candy. Unfortunately, they didn't have the big trays - the ones with the single super-sized maple leaf in the middle. I did a grab-and-run on the smaller boxes, shoved aside some dawdling tourists from Wisconsin, and was out of there in three minutes. My new flight was scheduled to leave in two minutes now. As I left the duty-free, an entire women's hockey team flooded the line in front of me. My choices were to go to the end of the line, or enter it at the point of the store exit. I'm an American - you take a guess.

The strange thing about the customs booths were that they were American agents on Canadian soil, and it displayed a "Welcome to the United States" sign. I was still in Canada. In fact, the "Friday's American Bar" near the gate was more than happy to take Canadian money. There aren't "Welcome to Belize" signs anywhere in American airports, are there?

I got to the early flight gate about 5 minutes after the scheduled departure, and they weren't close to boarding. Everyone who'd arrived for the later flight was being sent over to this one without a seat. They finally let us on about 45 minutes late, but held the plane at the gate until they got every seat filled. Then they pushed back and announced that we didn't have a gate opening for almost two hours at LaGuardia, so we'd be hanging out on the runway until we were an hour away. The last seat - the one next to me - was filled by a kindly gentleman named John Boozehound, who needed to order four mini-bottles for the one-hour flight.

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