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I did not expect much to happen during this part of the train ride, but a certain lady who woke me up during the night because of my snoring changed that.

Phaedra - City Hater (Ocean Lover)

In the morning an older lady across the aisle from me came over and apologized for waking me up. I said it was no big deal, and went back to my book. She was quite the scary looking woman (she resembled a female Robert Plant) and had a terrible cough so I wasn't in much of a mood for small talk. Unfortunately, I piqued her interest somehow. So here's the tale of Phaedra.

With my nose in my book Phaedra tried to instigate another conversation. I bit, and unleashed something I'll never forget, but sort of wish I did. She starts off her conversation about how she's having such a horrible time on her trip. She was in Edmonton for a conference and had $30,000 worth of luggage stolen by a cab driver. I wasn't ready to believe her, but after an incident with a cab driver and my cell phone I decided to roll with it. She told me how she loved her country home near Amsterdam and how all of our cities disgusted her. I told her I am coming from Vancouver and she recoils in disgust. This is how she described Vancouver "As I get off the train in Vancouver, to my horror is a endless amount of disgusting concrete buildings! I want to see ocean! Not those ghastly buildings, I never want to see that again". I informed her that Vancouver is on the ocean but it wasn't enough. It had to be open ocean, no inlets and protected coves. So I told her that the island is where she wants to go, to which she recalled "Yes, some place that sounds Italian!". I suggested Tofino and that was what she meant. Keep in mind that she talks like she's royalty... her speaking mannerisms really make it difficult to feel sorry for her.

She later continues to complain about finding a hotel in Edmonton. I told her that I had no problems. She starts telling me that I am her enemy here to torture her. "First the snoring, now you tell me you found a hotel for half of what I paid in downtown?". She asks if it had a window that would open and I informed her that I had a whole patio. She really starts reeling now. Trying to change the subject she asks where I am going. I tell her about my trip and how my final destination is St. John's Newfoundland. Now she goes crazy! Apparently that's the one place in Canada that she really wants to visit because of its ocean views. She had had enough of me at that point and decides she wants to meditate for a while. At this point I couldn't wait to get into Winnipeg but it was still a few hours away.

I get about one hour of reading time and she starts talking to me again. She seems to be over the previous conversation. She reads my t-shirt which was the Broadcast concert t-shirt. The word broadcast causes her to ask what I do for a living (why couldn't I have worn a different shirt), and I mention the CBC and Radio 3 etc... Her eyes light up and she says "I knew there was something special about you, I was supposed to meet you!". Now I'm scared. There's no where to run, the dining car is closed and it would be cruel of me to occupy the washroom for the next couple of hours. She then tells me that she's a world famous Blues singer from Amsterdam named Phaedra. I tell her that I have no idea who she is, then it gets worse. She FREAKING SINGS to me! Something about the beaches of Spain and cherries and lord knows what else.

Here's where I make my biggest blunder. She asks me for some contact details. What do I do? Sure, what the heck... I give the crazy lady my card! She says she promises to phone me sometime. I remind her that my e-mail address is there and that would be better. Nope, she doesn't use e-mail. Can someone at the office pick up the phone and tell whoever is calling that I got fired or something?

She gives me some more piece and quiet to think about how stupid it was for me to give her my card. After a while she has a little confrontation with the old man in front of her. She's not feeling well so she has the blinds down on her window. The old man in front of her wants it opened and she gets upset and pulls them back down. He yells "Come on!" and puts it back up and she yells "I'm not feeling well you nasty old man! Leave the blinds down!". I tried really hard not to laugh. Instead I dug myself deeper into the hole and told her that she can have my north facing window where the sun doesn't shine in directly. Blown away by my logic she thanks me and rambles on a bit, sings another ditty for me and ends with "I'm going to remember you...". I felt sick to my stomach

So that's the story of Phaedra the City Hater. As much as I have googled I can't find anything about her. I also didn't take a picture. I vouch that this whole story is true, how could someone make that up?

Posted on Saturday, May 5, 2007 2:36 PM Canarail Vacation | Back to top


Comments on this post: Saskatoon to Winnipeg

# re: Saskatoon to Winnipeg
Requesting Gravatar...
Classic story scotty - she sounds very scary !! maybe this was the start of something good - "Prairie Train Idol" you can be simon - sealy can be paula abdul and what the heck I can be randy - different skin color but the same haircut and the same perfect white smile (chobs falls) "yo what up dog , check this out..."
Left by chobs on May 08, 2007 7:16 PM

# re: Saskatoon to Winnipeg
Requesting Gravatar...
I met her in Southern CA in 2001. Dropped her off in downtown Palm Springs to search for her famous family.
I believe everything you said.
Was just Googling to see if she was still alive.
What a character!
I found out that she was still performing as late as 2008 in Mahone Bay, NS
Thanks for the post. Some disturbed corner of my mind is
satisfied.
Left by Patrice on Aug 30, 2010 10:34 PM

# re: Saskatoon to Winnipeg
Requesting Gravatar...
Phaedra has landed in Oakville Ontario. She is quite herself. She has presented herself as a Jewish woman in crisis ando a sweet rabbi with his tender heart has been taken in. I hope she blows out of town soon and takes no prisoners
Left by Julie on Sep 05, 2010 12:15 AM

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