Normally when I mention my very good friend Dups on this blog it's to mock him. I occasionally feel bad about this. I mean, I pick on the poor bastard an awful lot. But then again, a lot of people pick on him just a staggering amount. There's just something about the lad that brings out evil in us.
But in this case I come not to mock (well, maybe to mock a tiny bit), but to bid him farewell and safe journey. In a decision that most of his friends and co-workers consider to be quite mad, Dups is off on a two month journey starting tomorrow. That trip takes him to London, then across Europe on train to Moscow. From there he gets off and goes climbing a mountain (where they won't tell him how many people have died trying to climb it recently). After that, he gets back on the train, continues across Russia, into Siberia, down into Mongolia, before wrapping up the grand journey in Shanghai, China.
It's going to take about two months. I believe friends have taken to calling it the "Dead Dups Tour '06." There has been much chastising by lawyer friends that he doesn't have his will done up properly. He told me that one of his co-workers, a Russian guy, upon hearing what Dups was up to this summer, glanced at him and said "You're dead" and then turned back to his work.
Which you have to admit, might be a tad disconcerting if you were in Dups place.
Still, for all the mocking, I am a tad envious. It's a hell of a journey and part of me, despite the risks, wishes I could tag along. Cathy would kill me first, because why would someone else in Russia deprive her of the pleasure and it would save her months of potential worrying time. (Cathy says she wishes Dups all the best and to have a safe trip). One of these days I've really got to go along with one of Dups mad adventures. Assuming, you know, he survives this one.
I'll miss him while he's away, of course. And during his time on the road the 5th anniversary of his Canadian citizenship, which is July 1, will occur.
He became a Canadian citizen in Ottawa on Canada Day. I said at my wedding last year that this was the best day of my life. And as crazy and tiring as it was, it was the best day of my life. But that Canada Day, and the days leading up to it, is right up there. It's about as proud as I've ever been to be a Canadian. If you want an idea of what it was like, listen to this. It's a documentary I did for CBC's Outfront on the whole crazy affair.
Anyway, this is as sappy as I get, but safe journey my friend. And try not to come back with any Russian brides, okay?