I have been in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, for four days, and am due to stay here for another SIX days before going to visit family in another part of the province. I am here for work, which means that I can order room service now and then. But it also means that I am forced to amuse myself alone in a foreign city. So far I have hit the famous West Edmonton Mall, where I saw "About a Boy" in one of the three movie theaters (I thought Hugh Grant looked alluringly haggard). I also viewed the wave pool and water slide complex before jumping on a bus back to downtown. Someone told me that Whyte Avenue was cool, sort of like Toronto's Bloor street near the Annex, but after I hiked for forty-five minutes to get there (including negotiating a troublesome wooded ravine), I discovered Whyte Ave is more like downtown Hyannis. The highlight of the afternoon was seeing the Peter the Positive Panda bus. It's some program for making children feel good about themselves and others, and the bus was covered with adorably crayoned posters of Peter the Positive Panda, with legends like "Saying Thank You is Important." Next I plan to check out the Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art at the Edmonton Art Gallery. And then, ummmmmmm, I'm looking forward to getting back to work next week.

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