The train rolled into the junction three hours late. It was now four in the morning and the rain had only intensified since I had last looked out the train window. This was my greeting to my new home for the next year: Sudbury.
Once off the train, the porter, who usually worked out of Toronto, called me a cab. We chatted and I got the impression that he was a little sad to be leaving this run of the train and returning to the big city. It was a nice insight into Sudbury.
My cab showed up and the driver took me to my new place. The usual talk of what brings you to Sudbury quickly gave way to places to see, good teashops and what areas of town to avoid. Through the window and rain I could see a lot of greenery, a stark difference from what I was expecting from the nickel capitol of the world and home of the supper stack.
At my new place, my knocking was mistaken for thunder and no one came to the door. The cabbie was kind enough to take me to the nearest hotel. With my bags in tow, I went to the reception and asked, “Would it be possible to get a room?”
“I’m sorry we’re booked. I can give you the number of the place up the way and see if they have a room.”
I called the number only to go through the same routine. A room? Now? Sorry, we’re booked.
One by one, the desk clerk and I went down the complete list of hotels in Sudbury. Each one fully booked. Apparently the whole city fills up for what is known as Rib Fest. Yes, Rib Fest. Bands come to play and local pork producers in the area vie for the title of the best ribs. Apparently they are quite good, but I never got out to get any.
The clerk offered me tea from the morning breakfast table that had just been set out and we chatted for a few hours as guests slowly filed out. When it was time for the shift change, the clerk was kind enough to let me store my bags in the luggage room and I took off to their little restaurant that had just opened to have some breakfast.
After eating I walked around town, killing time. I located a tea store, the bank, and a few other odds and sods. Eventually my new roommates frantically got a hold of me, profusely apologizing that they didn’t hear my knocking above the storm. They came and picked me up and I was soon getting settled. As we chatted, it came to light that some of the areas I had been aimlessly walking around were a little more rough and tumble. That might explain why the cop cars slowly rolled by me that morning. A moustached man in bowtie must have looked terribly out of place at seven in the morning.