Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It's okay to hate the British because it's not racism, is it?

After a quick turnaround in Vancouver, I find myself back at the Radisson in downtown Winnipeg, once again ordering room service because I'm too tired--and sick of Other People--to go out for supper. It wasn't a bad trip here, but I wasn't in top form. Whenever I do too many consecutive days of railroading, I start to develop a real hate-on for people in general, which is not conducive to playing host. I'm also a bit miffed about non-tipping Brits. I understand that the concept of a gratuity is foreign to them, but when you're in a country in which it's customary to reward good service (even mediocre service) with a little extra money, it's extremely bad manners not to tip. My experience with British tour groups is that this is only one manifestation of bad manners; they also tend to be swinishly messy and thoughtlessly rude. For example, this morning, while I was on my meal-break in the dining car, a woman came and asked me if I could get her a pillow. I guess this was a real pressing concern, but why she thought she should ask the bartender on his break to get it for her only she knows. That said, some of the people in the tour groups were quite lovely and observed local customs, and most of the people outside of the groups were similarly decent human beings.

Thanks to the efforts of Colin Carberry and Alex Boyd, there is now a Toronto launch scheduled for Jailbreaks:

Wednesday, June 11
I.V. Lounge
326 Dundas St. W. (across from the AGO)

with readings by

Colin Carberry

Evie Christie

Pino Coluccio

E.A. Lacey (read by Fraser Sutherland)

Other readers to be confirmed.

I may well be one of those readers, but I've yet to figure out if I can make it or not.

I've also got something in the works for Winnipeg, but I'm waiting to hear back from the lone Winnipeg contributor before I can say for sure.

And now I'm going to watch a ballgame and rest up for the return trip. I'm really looking forward to my days off.

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