MONTREAL ⇄ OTTAWA
The first time I took the road between Montreal and Ottawa I was told I wouldn’t see much. By the fifth trip I could open my eyes, look out and know exactly where I was. The highway is flat; there is scarcely a bump the entire way down, and the scenes outside the bus window offer a kind of assurance. Even when they change with the seasons, after the McDonald’s sign comes the cluster of maples, then the green barn, then the open paddocks with the three grain silos in the distance … The road back, along the lake lined with holiday homes, religious camps, passing through Cumberland and the other small towns, the farms and industrial complexes, reminds me of another drive at the opposite end of the earth, between Perth and Bunbury. On both you feel like you are travelling through a snow dome, a world where factories belching black smoke and Christian holiday camps alike are run by jolly round-bellied men with their rosy cheeked wives and perfectly behaved children. This is the view from the window, that thin, grimy pane of glass that turns the world you cannot touch into a dream.