Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wait a minute! This isn't Mexico!
No, it's not Mexico, it's Leduc, Alberta. The view is from a Day's Inn near the Edmonton airport. It had snowed earlier in the day; here and there in dark corners one could still see traces of the white stuff. We were definitely not dressed for this weather!
But what could we do? Fog kept us from leaving Halifax on time; when we arrived in Calgary, our connecting flight to Los Cabos had already left. So Westjet flew us to Edmonton and put us up overnight; we would leave on a flight to Mexico in the morning.
Once settled in our hotel, we piled on the layers and made our way across the parking lot to a Chinese restaurant for a buffet supper. The chatter all around us was about the economy. Most of the people we talked to--or overheard talking--during our brief stay in Alberta seem to be relieved, despite many visible closures, that the pace of development in the oil patch is cooling. The general consensus seems to be that the boom has been inhumane, even dangerous. This surprised us, but it shouldn't have I suppose. Of course the ethics and aesthetics and economics of the oil patch are at the heart of conversations here; it is the landscape and the reality everyone inhabits.