Zombies and the Overlook Hotel
Trip Start Sep 05, 2007
56Trip End Sep 05, 2008
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We got in at night, and when leaving the train station we had to find our hostel. It was a bit of an effort because the directions we had were crap and the layout of the city is a bit odd. Like streets that stop randomly and begin again behind buildings and other streets. Confusing. Also, quite stressful when your constantly being approached and shouted at by what I can only describe a fucking weirdos. I was very relieved to find our hostel. We both were.There was a very unsavory feel to the place during that walk.
Once we checked in and were walking to our room, I half expected a river of blood to start flowing down the corridor and come face to face with walking dead twin girls. I thought we had actually entered The Shining. For those who have read it, or seen the film, the you know what I'm talking about
The next morning we got up and decided to go take a walk and explore the city. Convincing ourselves that it wouldn't be weird or uncomfortable in the day. Wrong.
This place is weird. I don't quite know how to even describe it. There are a lot of scary people on the streets begging. Every person we walked past stared at us. It sounds like we were being paranoid, but this is no exaggeration. Also, I don't know how to say this politely, so I'll just say it, but there were a lot of disabled people. I mean a lot. Seriously, I have never seen so many people in wheelchairs in all my life. (here's me thinking Peel was bad) Elly suggested we started limping or something to blend in. I couldn't help but think of Shaun Of The Dead. You know that bit where they pretend to be zombies so they can walk past the real zombies unnoticed?
Another thing I noticed was that in every mall or shopping centre we went in, the busiest place out of them all were the lottery and scratch card kiosks. Couldn't help and wonder that this was because everyone was trying to get the funds to escape!
The highlight of the day was stumbling upon a street festival. We were given a real treat in the form of some live pro wrestling
In the end though, in the fear of being bitten and never getting out of this place alive, we just gave it up as a bad job and headed back to the Overlook.
That night we went for a few beers in the hostel owned bar. (It was like being a student all over again.) We got chatting to the girl behind the bar. She was from Winnipeg. She asked us what we thought of the place. So we told her straight. The look she gave us made me think she gets that reaction all the time. She went on to tell us about the situation here. How the downtown was notorious for crime, and drug and alcohol problems. But there is now a big 'Clean up Winnipeg' project in place. Which is actually why that hostel is now there. The building prior to this was basically a disused motel, and home to all the city's crack heads. Nice.
What I didn't mention earlier, is that the majority of the city's, let's call them 'strange' characters, are Natives. She told us that the Natives have been unable to integrate into the new society, and what you see today are the results. It's a tragedy really because they were here first.
The next day was great! I got to watch Utd beat Chelsea in bed, and we left Winnipeg. We got our train to the next stop, Edmonton, that evening. So we said so long Winnipeg. Never to return.