The Garden City Refugee

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On the Road – Scattered Garbage, Sorry Buses, Free Forks and More

January 7, 2023

Highlights and lowlights from today’s bus-bike trek to and from Welland:

1. While waiting for the regional bus at the downtown terminal this morning, passing me by was a prematurely aged woman in her 30s wearing a red hoodie scrounging around for cigarette butts she could still get a few puffs out of.

2. Waiting nearby was an Asian guy who made sure to put on a mask before boarding a Falls-bound regional transit bus. There are still too many dipshits out there.

3. On the bus that took me to Welland, there were no more notices about free rides to a poison injection station. Methinks the market for those injections has dried up completely. In fact, I’d wager that a significant percentage of those who did take them seriously wished they hadn’t.

4. New to the route is a stop on Kottmeier Road next to the new developments going up just south of Port Robinson Road.

5. While the bus was sitting at the Niagara College stop, someone came on board to ask the driver which route he should take to go to St. Catharines. Because buses are mobile tourist information booths.

6. At the east end of town is the unofficial dump . . .

6a. Based on the amount of scattered garbage I spotted around town, I think the entire city could be classified as a dump.

7. Free curbside de-icing windshield washer fluid . . .

8. Indeed . . .

9. I spotted a sticker on the back of a pickup truck with the slogan, “Dirty hands, clean money.”

10. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the SPRM continues to follow me around . . .

11. This scene just screams “Welland” . . .

12. I never knew people bringing their bikes inside stores was such a problem . . .

13. Free bag of clothing . . .

14. For anyone going to Sorry, your bus is waiting . . .

15. My inaugural visit to the Welland Farmers’ Market was, well, underwhelming. I know it’s January, but there were so few vendors that it made the St. Catharines equivalent look like the Mall of America by comparison. And though the exterior of the buildings look decent enough, inside, they looked like converted horse stables. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised. After all, it is Welland.

16. One of the vendors was selling tea towels for $10. The slogan on one of them read, “My people skills are just fine. It’s my tolerance for idiots that needs work.”

17. As a couple of guys outside the market were winding up an animated conversation, one of them said to the other, “You’re a good Italian.”

18. Somewhere over the rainbow . . .


18a. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’m not anti-gay. I fully support the right of consenting adults to live their lives as they see fit. But stop shoving your gayness down my throat.

19. You mean there are actually any businesses in Welland?

20. Gang bangers in Welland . . .

21. Can’t say I disagree . . .

22. I think the fool is the one who wrote these incoherent ramblings . . .

23. Needing a pit stop, I passed up a couple of dodgy coffee shops before heading over to Black Sheep Coffee Roasters on Niagara Street only to see that all that was available was their take-out window as their restaurant was closed until January 9. I understand business would be slow at this time of year (is there ever a time of year when business isn’t slow in Welland?), but it would have been nice if they had put a notice to this effect on their website and/or Google Maps, both of which I checked the day before.

So instead, I headed back to the Leisure Café. You remember, the place where they don’t get too many Italians. After being served and taking my seat, one of their regulars walked in with his Bluetooth headphones on. The owner said that he missed seeing him at the gas pumps this morning. He went on to say that he’d have to leave at 3:00 today because he had to pump his boat out as a result of some damage from the recent storm. He suspected it was because of the nylon strapping on the boat.

After the customer ordered a cappuccino, the two were talking about inflation. The owner said that the bag of coffee he usually buys for $13 now costs him over $20. He went on to speculate that people are trying to make up for the money they lost during Covid. Two older women then came in and the owner asked them if they had come from the market and if they had seen Farmer Dave there.

When I left soon after, I didn’t even get a simple “thank you.” I don’t expect to get my butt kissed like what happened at the Third Space Café in the Falls, but a little bit of appreciation for my business wouldn’t hurt.

24. Free fork and a lock at the Welland Transit Terminal . . .

25. Waiting inside the terminal was a guy who looked to be related to federal CUP leader Jagmeet Singh and another guy who looked awfully similar to a recently deceased former colleague who, as one good friend and loyal reader may remember, had a connection to the post office.

26. The bus driverette on my return trip would be better served stopping her workouts at the Dairy Queen than moaning about how hard it is for her to squeeze through the door to get behind the wheel.

27. Unlike the case in my recent bus trips, I actually had to pay full fare both times. What’s this world coming to?

28. While the bus was going through Brock, I noticed they had taken down the signs claiming that they’re “an inclusive campus.” Maybe it’s because they’re not inclusive. Not inclusive of those who refuse to submit to forced injections of dangerous and potentially lethal drugs.

29. Boarding at the East Academic stop was a young Asian girl with a Chinese flag on her jacket. Perhaps they were sold out of those featuring the North Korean flag or the Nazi swastika, so she was forced to settle for the one with the Chinese flag.

30. The automated announcement for the Pen Center stop was “Pen Center . . . HUB,” with “HUB” in a different voice, as if it was an afterthought. Personally, I think “Pen Center” is enough. It’s not as though there are multiple areas at the Pen Center where the buses stop.

31. Some weird-looking 30-something woman at said Pen Center hub was casting a menacing glare at the departing bus I was on.

32. While waiting for my connecting bus at the St. Catharines Bus Terminal, a guy from Brampton toting a two-wheeled cart approached me and asked where he could catch the “four . . . zero . . . one” bus while standing underneath a big board several feet high directing passengers where to catch each respective route. His command of English was obviously poor, but I didn’t notice any white cane.

32a. Don’t ask me how I figured he was from Brampton.

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