Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Disaster of Going Back Home

This time I'm writing from Ottawa International Airport because I'm stuck here! I booked my flight to Calgary through Ottawa and I realized that there was 01:55 hour delay! The flight from Montreal to Ottawa was very easy, short and comfortable. I was given a seat next to emergency exit with no one next to me. However when I got to Ottawa I learnt that my flight had already left! 
One lady from Air Canada tried for minutes to get me another ticket. Meanwhile I realized that my plastic bag containing my laptop and all the related is not with me! I was nervous and a little bit disoriented as a result of missing my flight and even now that I'm writing this I have a light headache, something I barely get in years. I remembered, after a few minutes of thinking that I had left my bag in the cart when I was rushing up to the check-in section!
The lady eventually was able to get me a flight to Vancouver and then Calgary and offered me a hotel room in Downtown Ottawa, some 20 min. drive. I refused and I said I would stay in the airport and here I am! I then went to Lost & Found and luckily someone had handed in my bag and I'm writing using my Chromebook
I finally ate after almost 12 hours! I went to Tim Horton's and garbed a Chicken Salad Sandwich for $5.30 which was not bad. The last time I had eaten was yesterday around noon when I had a cup of Coffee and a Walnut Brownie in a small cafe in Montreal Airport. I guess that cost some $6 or even more. People here don't care about the price of things they buy! I later saw a small sandwich, similar to the ones that you get them in Safeway for around $4.5 for more than $10!! I probably have to eat three of the damn thing for my meal. Then here in Ottawa I paid $3.25 for a bottle of 591 ml Dasani water! 
My flight is at about 06:20 and I don't know where the damn headache came from! Internet in Ottawa Airport is much easier to use. No sign in or bullshit like Montreal Airport. Just accept the terms and conditions! I didn't have a very bad sleep the night before my flight. So it's hard for me to understand what the cause of this headache is.
(Photo: The Bombardier Air Canada plane when parked at the designated gate)

Monday, August 14, 2017

Free, After All

I'm writing this from Pierre E. Trudeau International Airport in Montreal. I finally was released from CFLRS without any problem this morning. I was a little bit nervous because you never know what might happen to keep you for a very long time! In fact something silly did happen(!) but it was a stupidity which I will write about it separately but generally it was easier than I had thought. 
My room was not inspected although I had cleaned it and put everything in place. I had returned all my military stuff and had done all of my paperwork. The only thing left was to return the room key and my Exacta Card which I did after that and went to the office and reported. 
The lady who was responsible for the section, a Master Seaman, even helped me to get a cab and gave me the metro and bus maps. However I only got a cab to the bus terminal in Saint Jean Sur Richelieu which cost me $13.15 only. I got the bus to Bonaventure metro station in Montreal from there which cost $10. I was supposed to get to metro and a bus to the airport but I said no way! I got a cab to the airport and I don't know how much he had to charge me but he said $40 flat and I accepted. It was so comfortable and easy compare to the damn metro and bus, of course. He was a nice guy who spoke English with his French accent and here I'm now! It cost me a total of $63.15 compare to $115 that a cab would have charged. A saving of little more than $50 for now that I will be unpaid for I don't know how long!
I tried to get to an earlier flight and although one of Air Canada ladies said two flights had empty seats, when I went to the counter I was told that nothing was available. I just got my boarding pass and am waiting now.    
I've written enough about CFLRS and I will have more posts. Everyone who's planning to join can refer to my posts or sends me questions but I think it's different from person to person. I will never go back again and I didn't like it at all. Some might do. 
(Photo: An early picture of Free, the band. These guys have a number of greatest Rock songs of the all time. This post doesn't have anything with the band and I don't know why they called themselves Free but since the post is about freedom I thought I should use their photo here. From left Paul Rogers, Simon Kirke, Andy Fraser [passed away recently] and Paul Kossoff [passed away in the early years of Free of overdose)

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

CFLRS Notes (35): Summary Trail

One of the staff, a P. O. (Stands for Petty Officer, a ranking in RCN, in case you didn't know and that could be P. O. 1 or 2 but they are only addressed as P. O.) approached me and a few others once and asked us if we would be doing anything the coming Mon.. The answer was no and he ordered us to attend a Summary Trail at a certain hour on the day. From the name of the event I knew someone was in trouble and would be punished.
At the specified date and time, people almost filled the room and a Major and his aid walked in. The accused was then ordered to enter. He was marched in by one of the aids while escorted by two recruits. They were ordered to stand in front of the judge, the Major, all three of them.
The story was an idiot had a bottle of Red Wine on him when he returned from leave and it was found in his closet in a plastic bag! The guy said it was a gift from his grand mother(!) and added he never drank! The Major as a judge indicated that he had to prove the following four:
1- The identity of accused as the person who committed the unlawful act.
2- The date act was performed.
3- The location, and
4- The act itself.
He made a telephone call to the person who had found the bottle and played that for everyone. The person, a Warrant Officer working in another base named another person and then he was called to the room and after a three way conversation it was proved that the guy who was standing in front of the Major was the one who had the bottle within his personal stuff on that specific day and in the specific quarter of the school. The concept of having alcoholic beverages was found in contradiction with one specific order of either CAF or the school, I don't recall.
The witness who was called to the room was a Quebecois and after putting his hand on the Good Book (as it's said in The Shawshank Redemption!) told that he didn't speck English. So the Major asked the accused if he trusted him translating the witness and the accused accepted. Then words were exchanged between the Major and the witness and it was confirmed that the accused was the one that the alcoholic beverage bottle had been found in his quarter.
Here was the funny part. One of the escorts, a tall blonde girl extended her arm as a sign of excusing herself to ask a question and requested to be seated! I understand that some people are not strong enough to stand on their feet for a long time but that just showed the stupidity of selecting her as an escort in the Summary Trail. People here in Canada, in different levels of society and especially politicians have been trying to say men and women are equal and they don't want to be Sexist by selecting only males. They ignore the fact that simply selecting a female to show you support women (perhaps to get their vote in the next election!), regardless of the fact that she might not be qualified, is extremely stupid! 
The girl first sat and then left the room, accompanied with another girl! The session was continued with the point by the Major indicating he had gathered all the facts and he was about to come to the conclusion. The accused was found guilty and he was fined $150. However he was told that he would have a chance for appeal. 
The point here, as the Major indicated that, was to have a message to the rest of the recruits. They have to understand that there are rules to follow. They are in military and they have to give up their stupidity for the time they are under training and after that as well. I personally don't think many get the message but sessions such as that is required. There's no doubt for that. However I expected CAF to be more harsh in punishment. This guy was let to continue his training. I think he should have been suspended until the Summary Trial day and then, would be send back to training when possible after a much bigger fine. That's how they can stop stupid people like that in CAF.
This is another example that shows how Canadian society is soft on people who do unlawful things. It's quite similar to DUI. If harder punishment is available, the amount of crime or unlawful act will be decreased. I will probably have to separate posts about this topic and the equality of men and women. 
(Photo: A member is standing in front of an officer or NCM as part of a Summary Trail in a tent. Picture was randomly selected from Internet. Hope I have not violated any military rules. No name is revealed here and the face of accused is not seen. I assume I should be good)

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Dime in the Public Phone

One of the things I noticed here in Canada is lack of respect(!) for small coins! When a person drops or finds a Nickle, a Dime or used to drop a Penny, they don 't bother bending and picking it up. My understanding is they are too rich to care about that much of money! I think it doesn't matter whether your rich or not. You need to pick that up. If you don't need it, drop in a tip jar or a donation box. Is that too hard to do? Don't act like a ignorant, selfish, fool. 
I remember in the old country once my Aunt was back form a trip to Canada and had some change on her and gave them all to me! Although I was not a little kid, that amount of change, for me who had not been abroad at the time, was a treasure! I kept a number and then used the Dimes, mostly, on a public phone! There was no mobile phone available on those days. We didn't even had landline for years and I don't quite remember the year. I don't recall whether we had landline back then or not but I remember I used to use a public telephone at a corner often. It could even be avoiding others in the family to listen to my conversation. I don't quite remember the situation but I do remember that Dimes would work on the phone easily. It was even hard to find coin for public phones on those years so I would have been more than happy to use a Dime or any other coin, regardless of it's value when exchanged, to make a call. I wonder what the person who empties the coin box would feel every time he saw a Dime! Today's machines, at least in Canada, are designed in a way that if you put a wrong coin in, they would spit it out. The last time I was in the old country most of the public phones, or would be better to say all of them, were card operated and not many would use them. Every freaking person has a mobile phone there just like everywhere in the world. Some even have two! 
(Photo: A pile of Canadian Dime. I guess the government had a plan of eventually eliminate coins and banknotes just the way they took Penny out and turned paper money to sort of plastic one) 

Friday, August 04, 2017

Flashback (34): Mohammad of Allah(!)

I haven't written under Flashbacks for awhile. Something came to mind which reminded me of this guy and his story back to 15 years ago. There were a number of guys from Afghanistan in the apartment where I moved to after I left The Brave's I guess in June or July of 2002. One of them was this guy named Mohammad of Allah (literal meaning!) from Afghanistan who lived right in the unit below ours with a roommate. I had a roommate from Afghanistan as well and he worked night shift while I worked day shift. I remember one night a bunch of us went to this strip club in Downtown. It does not exist any more. It was called French Maid. I guess they either transferred the business somewhere else or shut it completely. 
There were a couple of strippers that we watched and then we took a break. I saw this great Muslim(!) playing pool with one of the girls who was clothed in shorts and T-shirt! I didn't know at the time that strippers, maybe not all of them, hang out in the club to find a customer for the night. I was so naive! I don't know if they agreed on a price or not but I doubt that! 
Then this great Muslim(!) who is so devoted to his religion that carries his prophet's name, I heard one day that had left the country for Afghanistan to find himself a good wife, a virgin girl, who cooks, sews, cleans and takes care of her husband. That's what a good wife means in Afghanistan and the neighbouring countries. He didn't show up for months and when once, out of curiosity only, I asked my friend about him he said that Muhammad of Allah had found his bride but because he was so young(!) or as it's called in Canada Underage, he was not allowed back to the country. He decided to stay there and enjoy her young wife (who could have been as young as 13!) until she was 18 and could be brought to Canada! I never heard of him or his story but would like to know if he has come back with his family or not. Perhaps I should check with my friend. I wonder if the strip-club Muslim patron is doing well or not! 
(Photo: Under-age marriage is common in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Iran and as far as I know some Persian Gulf states and Arabic-speaking countries. This image was randomly selected from Internet shows the age gap between a bride and groom in Afghanistan and other countries. It's quite common. Some families do that just to release a member so they don't have to feed her and provide other services)