Oh Oh Canada!

Oh Canada... how I enjoy living here. How much, after almost six years, I still have to learn about how big you are...

Yesterday, I was invited to a women-only goodbye party of two nice ladies in our congregation. We met up, and the twelve or so of us were divided up into cars. I asked where it would be and what time it would be finished. "Oh," they said cheerfully, "it's just at the lake, and we'll definitely be going home by dark."
I quickly calculated, it was half past two, lake is ten minutes away, it gets dark around eight-ish, that is one looong party. "I'll drive by myself," I said, "I need to be home around six."
"Sure, no problem", they said, as the Canadians are prone to say just about... well... always.
In the back of my mind I vaguely recalled Murray saying he meant to fill up the car, there was only a quarter tank left. Up to now, I always smiled a bit at his eagerness to top up at any occasion... nonsense really. How I changed my mind for good...

So on our way we went, with at least a quarter tank. That should be plenty enough, right? The lake is ten minutes away, it is true. But with my Dutch background, I still fail to realize how Canadians view distances.
I drove behind the yellow car, and soon enough, we reached the lake. The car drove on, a very pretty, windy road, up and down we went. Ten minutes, fifteen, twenty, thirty, forty five... not a sign of civilization anywhere. I kept glancing at the gasoline gauge... which invariably kept creeping more and more towards the red dot. I was thinking very unhappy thoughts. When at last, almost an hour later, the yellow car suddenly turned left, I was shaking so much I nearly missed the turn myself.

It must be said, the ladies were wonderful about it. They looked at the gauge, pursed their lips, squinted their eyes and unanimously agreed that the car could very well make it back, but just as likely might not. "But," they said with the customary Canadian laid-back smile, "we won't leave you in the ditch, promise! We'll drive behind you, and when the car finally stops, we'll take you in one of ours the rest of the journey." Well that was a relief, and after that, I actually had a wonderful time. The weather was gorgeous, the lake beautiful, the ladies delightful, the food delicious. I forgot all about my troubles.

An impression of our day out without the guys:

Now, I know everybody is waiting for the grand climax, in which I describe my woes going home, but I must disappoint you all... the journey back was without events - in fact the red light did not even come on. I learned one thing: our Volkswagen Golf, luckily, has a big one quarter tank margin!