About Us

Contact Us


The 21st Century

Hacktreks Travel

Hacktreks 2

First Chapters
Lifestyles 1
Lifestyles 2

The International Writers Magazine

Clive Branson

It was when I was vacationing in Bermuda that I met a student from the Lone Star state. During our conversation he inquired where I was from. I said Ottawa. "Where’s that?" he queried earnestly. Although Ottawa is the capital of Canada, it seems that it is about as foreign to the world as a dry martini is to the cast of The Simpsons. "In Ontario." I held my breath as a quizzical gaze glossed over his eyes. You could see the dilemma sink in with quicksand speed. The mechanical cerebral wheels squeaking then grinding to a halt. "Ain’t that in Washington State?" I grimaced in pain and thought that surely the Texas sun had sizzled his Stetson-sized head to an opossum-sized brain. Nevertheless, he seemed as pleased by his answer as a child after going potty.

Canada is a country of ten provinces and three territories, the latest one, Nunavut, that few either know about or can pronounce, are all united by the common suspicion of Ottawa. A city of red lights without the anticipated pleasure. The capital is incomprehensible to Canadians who do not work for the Federal Government and totally irrational to those who do. But few care because the city is so damn pretty!

The fastest anyone moves in Ottawa is at quitting time - 3:30 p.m., otherwise, the city makes decisions about as fast as Merle Haggard trying to finish a sentence and about as comprehensive as ex-sprinter Ben Johnson trying to start one. They won’t spend money to improve their international image, but will spend $80 million on renovating and enlarging that gastronomic whoopie-cushion, City Hall. Primarily silly servants, hi-techies, military administrators and journalists inhabit the cosmopolitan. Then there are the drunks, social misfits and layabouts who drag themselves into the House of Commons on the predilection that they’re doing some good. It is one of the few institutions that hire bilingual people; usually from across the Rideau River in Quebec, to do unilingual work in Ontario - even the Parliamentary garbage men must be bilingual. Go figure. Yet, Ontarians aren’t allowed to work in unilingual province of Quebec. The Government and civil service are merely layers upon layers of incompetence and corruption. A place that hires the unemployed and the unemployable. The metric system was enforced - not for trade purposes - but to save 10,000 civil servant jobs. No-one noticed the difference. The government misappropriates public funds, eviscerates the military and shamelessly enriches itself. Civil servants say they are tolerant - they’re apathetic. They avoid stress - they avoid work.

Ottawa, to my mind, is like an old woman with a face lift. No matter how hard she tries to be young, sophisticated and vibrant on the outside, she still remains stingy, prudish and parochial from within. The city comes across as a sanctimonious, hyper-righteous town seeking the Nobel Peace Prize without getting its hands dirty in lieu of the skull-duggery that happens behind closed doors. Perhaps I shouldn’t have dismissed the Texan so easily. Maybe Ottawa isn’t worth the trouble of knowing.

Silver and Blue can lose too
Gamblers Ruin

Clive Branson in Niagara


More Travel


© Hackwriters 2000-2004 all rights reserved