Strange Cargo

Lessons from the Jack London Finishing School

Thursday, July 20, 2006

7186 – Don’t take candy from strangers

Winnipeg, MB

Woke at 6AM, did laundry, and to my great dismay discovered that I had laudered my sticks! I picked one out of the washer and stuck it in my mouth to test its potency. Still good! Thankfully, because I have no idea where I would find new ones out here. Winnipeg, as I have experienced it so far has a comparative feel to that of the Midwestern states of Minnesota and Wisconsin. It’s proximity to these states certainly has a say in this I would imagine despite the fact that it is a different country with very different politics and aspirations. Come to think of it, this place seems somewhat reserved in the same way that Utah does.

I’m currently in a pub called the “Fox & Hounds”. It took me some time to find a bar around here. I actually got tired of walking and got on the bus eventually to use it as a scout vehicle to find a little dive bar to have a beer and to catch up on my thoughts. Apparently, respite from the drudgery of daily existence is not meant to take place inside drinking establishments in Manitoba. Rod lives in an area of Winnipeg that looks amazingly like the textbook pictures of suburban Moscow one would see in high school geography books.

There are some family homes here and there, but what dominates the landscape are these enormous apartment buildings. Large brick rectangles many stories tall in some cases, made from drab neutral brick and completely without adornments of any kind. Functionality was apparently the only thing that mattered when these were built. They are separated alternatively by empty parking lots and vast stretches of lawn that is in need of watering. Speaking of water, the tap water here has a strong taste of moss. I don’t find it entirely unpleasant but it definitely takes some getting used to.

Yesterday, while walking on the street I was stopped again, this time by three Mormon women inquiring as to the current status of my religious faith. A petite brunette with “Amy” on her nametag takes charge of the operation and leaps in front of me with a comic grace that is reserved for superheroes in that decisive moment when they ascend or descend to some calamity or another. She looks a lot like a young Pricilla Presley, only with her hair cropped short and more chestnut in color rather than the black bouffant from the 50’s. Same piercing blue eyes though.

She and the others seem somewhat disappointed to learn that I’m not interested in putting my faith in any church, but that I would rather invest in myself and the power of the individual. I explain that I really don’t do so well in group settings and it’s immediately explained to me that individual tutoring in the book of mormon is available to anyone interested. With something that might have been considered flirtation had it been served with the proper tone and inflection I ask if she would be my tutor. All three of them burst out laughing. She turns red and I turn red and I end up laughing too at my own awkwardness. We part ways and I can’t help but to think that the Mormons in Colorado would do well to engage the females in their flock to recruit rather than the guys in the button-downs and bicycle helmets.


  • At 9:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hans much experiences you have encountered make me a smiley man. The times you are having now will be with you to remember for ever. Sorry for my tardiness with the comments. The three female mormon friends seemed to enjoy you as much as you enjoyed them! I love all your descriptions. Talk to you soon, Madison

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  • At 1:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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