Sunday, August 31, 2008


Am I becoming a judgemental bigot, or are people really just that easy to classify? I fear it’s the former, especially since my judgements are usually negative.

Take this encounter as an example. A family walks in – a woman, two older teenage boys and a young girl. They leave the door open as they enter, even though it’s a really buggy day. They are already bickering. I can’t stop the thought from flicking across my mind – “Born in a barn” – and they do nothing to contradict me.
The woman, who turns out to be their aunt, is quick to inform the boys that they are paying their own admission. As she pays for herself I notice her hair. At first glance it appears normal, long and pulled into a ponytail - but then I realize it’s actually cut quite short, just slicked back in the front, with two long strands just at her temples. These comprise the ponytail that ends between her shoulder blades like a truly terrible rat’s tail. My fellow guide and I share a horrified giggle as Rat Tail turns away.
Her nephews are dressed in trendy clothing that instead of making them cool makes them look like they’re trying too hard. One of them seems nice, like a sensitive boy in an ill fitting mould. He pays for his little sister. His brother is probably bullied in school, or a bully himself. After they decide not to take the tour and wander about for about 40 minutes, he’s the one they send running back to try to get on the train. Of course it’s too late. He complains about having to run here and back, loudly. Instead of feeling pity I only feel disgust.
This family is relegated in my mind to trailer trash, within 5 seconds of walking in the door.

There are many different categories. There are the families with impeccably groomed wives, the children treated like pets and not allowed to get dirty; the parents who pretend that they’re in charge to what, impress us? who then cave to their whiny children within minutes; the oil-rich, arrogant with a sense of entitlement, the assholes incarnate and the assholes in training; foreigners, half of whom are so happy to be here and the other half who resent parting with their Canadian cash.

I guess in tourism you see them all – happy and miserable, well-groomed and those who don’t know what soap is, rich and poor. Hopefully in seeing them all I can choose which ones I want to be like and keep myself from ending up as one of the ignorant majority.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Moments of Coal Mine Life

A lady got all upset with us today because she didn't understand that she couldn't go into the tipple without a guide, and accused us of not telling her everything she needed to know because she was a foreign visitor. She wouldn't even let me fix the problem. Fortunately there are other, nicer people who make me not want to quit this job and run away screaming, such as the moments related below.
A little girl, to me as she walked out of the tipple: You're a good girl.

A little girl, to S. on his tour: Can I walk you to the train?

S: Uh, okay.

Little girl: Friends hold hands. No one wants to be alone.

See? Little girls make up for bitchy women, every time.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

More Storms

I've had more tornado dreams, which again turned into dreams of running and hiding. It's bothering me, more than a little bit.

Today I met a pastor named Storm. He officiated the wedding of a friend of mine who got married today. I hope it's a better omen for her than the dreams have felt for me.

Sunday, August 03, 2008


I've dreamt of tornados three times in the last seven days.

I don't know what it means, but every time I'm torn between wanting to watch the storm and wanting to hide in a safe, dark place.

And every time the dream turns into a flight from someone who is trying to kill me or trap me, somewhere around my house.

I don't understand and I don't know what they mean.

But when I'm supposed to I guess I will.

Busy Work

Yesterday over 400 people came through work, looking for tours.

It's the long weekend.

I'm glad we're busy. It means I don't have to find things to do to look busy and the day goes by really quickly.

And the long weekend won't last forever anyway.