Of course, I don't mean "insider" as a person who got to follow the American president closely, but rather as a person who had to deal with all the over-the-freaking-top security measures implemented for said American president's visit.
Like most people who work in Ottawa, I work blocks away from the Parliament. Like every public servant who works in downton Ottawa and lives on the Québec side, I take a bus that follows the street Parliament is located on. All the buses go through this street. Except it was blocked yesterday, obviously, so the buses were diverted, along with the rest of traffic, onto another street, from 7:30 in the morning. I didn't mind all that much because it so happened this new route brought me closer to the building I work in. I did take the bus 20 minutes earlier to avoid traffic, and the ride was fine. Raiontzukai, though, took the bus 45 minutes after me, and got to work 20 minutes late.
It was quite another story when it was time to go home, though.
I walked to the temporary bus stop and joined dozens of public transit users in noticing that there was simply no buses on the street - no Québec buses, no Ottawa buses. In the distance, we saw the Ottawa buses being diverted onto another street. This is when Mel texted me to walk a few blocks to catch my bus.
So I did. When I got to the place she took her bus, there were only Ottawa buses there. I still had seen no Québec bus at all, except coming the other way. I remembered the bus driver had told us one usual bus stop nearby would not be blocked in the afternoon, so I decided to walk a few more blocks to get there.
When I did, there was a humongous crowd of people waiting, and still no buses in sight. Seeing as I was about a 15-minute walk away from the nearest bus stop IN QUÉBEC, I decided to walk and hope to catch one bus that does not cross into Ontario.
All in all, I walked for half an hour, and just as I got to the bus stop in Québec, the bus I was hoping to catch arrived, so I got in immediately and got home about 20 minutes later than I usually do. And I was lucky.
Mel caught her bus 45 minutes later than usual.
Other colleagues ended up catching an Ottawa bus to cross into Québec, where a friend picked them up because it seemed catching an express bus would be hopeless. It took them two hours to get home.
This, folks, is what was going on when dear President Obama decided it would be neat to wander into By Market. They blocked roads and diverted buses, so nobody knew where to catch their buses anymore, which caused huge trouble downtown. THIS is what happened yesterday.
Next time, Mr. Obama, please stick to the plan, and why wouldn't you pay us a visit on the weekend?