After the excitement of New York and seeing Anthony, despite thinking myself a strong independent woman, I found myself very melancholy when I reached Boston. This possiblity was not helped by the fact I spent the entire jounery cramped next to rather large woman with a medium sized baby on her knee. The creature did not cry which was fortunate, but did keep tryign to suck on my jumper and dribbled on me.
After the trauma of that, it is no wonder that my enjoyment of Boston was limited. Which is not to say Boston is not a nice place, far from it. But alas, my heart so renewed after my time with Anthony, fell into sight-seeing apathy and I found myself very unenthusiastic. Despite this I did try and force myself to have fun and did the touristy things, but with a heavy heart. I wandered the freedom trail throught the city and learned estentially, the Brits are complete bastards. I went to Harvard and looked at pretty buildings and pretended I was in Dawson`s Creek or some other such marvellous programme. I went to the rather fabulous Isablla Stewart Gardner museum which actually did pique my interest so I will tell you a little more about ut.
Now, the background is I have recently been reading a couple of books on art crime, both theft and forgery ( I am like soooo intellectual) and in the theft book it mentioned the museum. the museum was bequethed to the state by the lady, Isabella, after countless years of collecting and under strict instructions NOTHING was to be changed about the lay out. She had designed the house herself, a rich lady of the early 20th centruy and its crowning glory was the the central open air courtyard and more importantly to the art world, one of the rare Vermeers and the ONLY seascape by Rembrante (known). In 1994, three masked thieves broke in, tied up the security guards and stole 300 million dollars worth of art and amongst other things, the two aforementoned paintings. On their way out they told the guards `you`ll be hearing from us`. But no one ever has and none of the haul has been seen since.
Knowing this, I was interested in seeing the museum and was most delighted by its layout. Because Isabella (who by the way also made the clause, if your name was Isabella- same spelling- you could get in for free, what a lady!) had said nothing can be changed, where the Vermeer and the Rembrante should be are just two empty frames. Very haunting looking upon those hollowed spaces, imagining where the pictures are now. Have they been destroyed? Are they in a rich`s man house adorning the walls? What has become of them!?
Anyway, so that was fun.
A bit out of sequence I realise, but I also want to tell you about anther thing that may have made me a tad grumpy during my time in Boston, the tale of the early morning German. In the hostel I was at, there was a free breakfast served in the rather cramped kitchen. I like breakfast, I feel it is an important meal and hey it was free, so my 2nd morning there I wandered down, bleary eyed, grumpy, but craving a cup of tea. Now as I mentioned- grumpy plus it was morning so extra grumpy. All I wanted was my cereal and my cup of tea and to be left in peace. This was not to be. A rather unattractive, young chap started talking to me. The usual `where are you from stuff` nothing suspect. Being the polite perosn I am (ha ha) I responded appropriateyl, but I think not overly so. He then makes the delightful statement Ì like Scottish people`then launches into a story about some he knows. I find when the entire nation is swept up into this braod umbrella of niceness, the person saying the statement is usually an arsehole. That observation turned out to be true once again. During his diatribe about getting drunk with some Scots, he somehow manages to slip in he`s a lawyer (wow I am sooooooooo impressed), then he slips in `what are you doing today`then quite unexpectedly asks if I played sports. Em, no. Do I play an instrument. Em, no. Then he suddenly says òh you must do something like that, you look so fantastic`. Right mate. Its 9am, I`m depressed, I recently cut my own hair whilst drunk and I`m wearing baby blue jeans I bought on impulse in Gap. I do not look good.
I told him that I do nothing of interest and mainly I just sit about and try to cease to exist and quickly made my excuses and went to go clean my cup and he followed me. Despite him telling me he has already been to Harvard (I had told him I had planned to go there today) he says `I am going there, we should go together`. I look at him incredulously. This ugly, pompous German lawyer and think there is possibly nothing else in this world I would rather not do than spend time with him. I do not say this instead I try and palm him off this some crap about using the internet. He persists. I then just say `no I`d ratherr go by myself`. His little ugly face falls and he quickly washes his cup and walks away. I am suddenly hit with an immense feeling of regret and guilt (though not enough to go out with him). This stays with me the whole day, this feeling that I`ve broken his little German heart and even though I was mightily relieved not to have spent the day with an ugly pompus German who tries to pick up girls at breakfast (I mean not even a bar!) , I still feel bad. Of course for the next two days he is the only person I keep consistently seeing around the hostel and subsequently find myself peering around corners to check he`s not there. There is no better way to deal with guilt than to hide from it. You can quote me on that.
Anyway so that was Boston.
Fortunately, like all things, the time there ended and I found myself on another bus, this time to Montreal and fortunately with no slobbery babies. However, on the bus were two elderly siblings, Betty and Billy from none other than Aberdeen! And proper Aberdonians they were too. Billy was a retired science teacher from Aberdeen Grammer and was delighted to hear that my mother was a High School girl- although he told me since it went comprehensive it was been decided `mixed`. Billy was a great old boy, one of those fantastic old men wo doesn`t listen to a word you say, but instead rattles off stories about people you don`t know like they were your family and tells you terrific antedotes about his health prolems. Fantastic. Betty herself is a keen marathon runner, I tell you, you would not think that to look at her, I was most impressed. Apparently, she did the Boston marathon the year that 2/3rds (or something like that) of the participants collapsed due to the heat, but she managed to finish. They were great crack and I was sorry when they got off the bus in Vermont.
The rest of the journey was decided uneventful although I did get a bit of a grilling from the border control man (in a French accent) `you are travelling alone ??`like I was smuggling a child in my rucksack or something- trust me nothing could be snuck in, there is no room left for anything else!
So here I am finally in Canada, my last destination. My swan song country. My last hurrah. I am looking forward to exploring here, my fear of being shot dead is much less than in the US. Although, I am looking forward to being home where the keyboards are not French and I can actually find the apostrophe key and not have to use some weird dash thing, apologises people.