The Vancouver Trip - In Brief

A few days ago, I decided - mostly on a whim - to head down to Vancouver.  After all, it's just a ferry ride away - and I seriously doubt there will ever be an Olympic games in Vancouver again.  At least, not in my lifetime.

I dragged myself out of bed at around 5:30 am, and eventually hopped on a 7 am bus, my backpack filled with the essential travelling supplies - pringles, energy bars, water bottle, a book (Nick Hornby's awesomely hilarious About a Boy), an iPod loaded with albums and movies, and my travel journal.  See, I carry the journal so when I spot attractive women, I can take it out and pretend I'm thoughtful as I record the privatest of my musings.

I wish I was making that up.  I mean, it kind of makes me sound sad, eh?  But hey, it works sometimes.  And I promise, I don't use this as a ploy to meet women so I can cut them up and store them in my freezer.  I grew out of that phase years ago. 

The ferry terminal was more packed than I've ever seen it, with the floor so crowded you couldn't even lean against a wall - hipsters be damned!  There was this huge line-up forming, of people who are apparently not used to travelling on the ferry.  If you want to get on the ferry early and claim all the good spots (read as: a table to eat at or a seat near a window), you need to be able to fight your way through the door, and a line isn't gonna do jack.  So, I made my way through the crowd and camped out a good position by the door.  I was one of the first ten people on the ferry - as usual.  I think it's either a knack of mine, or a complete disregard for other people when it comes to travel.  Either way, I got to eat first.

After a lovely morning trip that involved yours truly in the cafeteria eating a "smart choice" egg mcmuffin-clone and making smiley faces at the people still waiting in line to get a meal, I started wandering about and eventually grabbed a seat.  I sat and read for a bit, all thoughtful- and pensive-like.  And, lo and behold, I discovered I was sitting next to a girl about as equally thoughtful and pensive as myself (what a coincidence!) 

She was listening to her iPod and reading a book.  I did the same, and we kind of shared a smile.  And then, to show her just how thoughtful and pensive I was, I started writing in my book... she seemed interested.

Of course, I had no idea where to go from there.  See, I hadn't thought this plan out... I mean, what was I going to do?  Invite her to wander Vancouver with me?  Exchange numbers?  Open my mouth and prove that, really, I'm not all that thoughtful and pensive?  Of course not!  I shut up, and went back to reading.  Win some and lose some, right?

Also, I didn't want to do anything because my freezer's currently full.

Vancouver was crammed.  Every second street was shut down, and every now and then a cheer would ripple through the crowd as some canadian athlete or another did well at some crazy event (I hear we got silver in long-distance nipple-sliding).  I wandered about the city bewildered, letting random adventures befall me. 

There was a Russian dressed up like Santa Claus singing on a street corner.  People zip-lining down Howe street (pictured).  The olympic torch on the waterfront, and a brilliant lady making such stunning observations as "Oh my GAWD!  That torch is on FIRE!" (you can see my facial expression from this statement in a picture above).  And - best part of the trip - one of the streets was shut down so some kids and adults could play road hockey.

And those adults weren't playing down - they were playing a full game of hockey, as were the kids.  And that kid in net was good, man.  A crowd of two hundred watched, and it was just amazing to watch.  A true Canadian moment, that.  Only, it wasn't bi-lingual, it lacked beer, and not a single "hoser" was mentioned.   I think a beaver died to make one of the players' hats, though.  Does that count?

I found myself in Rosie's pub, off Robson, where some American tourists bought me drinks because they thought I was a fellow yank (I had a sharks cap on, see).  When they found out I was Canadian, that actually made me cooler, for some reason.  I guess "Canadian who likes an American team that consists mostly of Canadians" is a good thing among U.S. Hockey fans.  But, hey, who am I to complain?  They bought me a free drink, which in Canada means instant friendship.  It's why we're stuck with Quebec, in fact - they bought the first round when we were celebrating burning the white house to the ground, and since then, we've been stuck with the french bastards.   

Eventually, I fought through the crowds, got on the sky train, and took the ferry home.  And then sat down next to a thoughtful lady, read my book, and acted all pensive and thoughftul once more.  She noticed me, and gave a nervous smile.  I started talking to her, and got little in return beyond super silent whispers and that thing some girls do when they're incredibly shy and withdraw into themselves.  It was like talking to a kitten.  An asian kitten.  Who reads Anne Rice. 

So I shrugged, sat down next to her, and read while the ferry hummed along.  She smiled at me, I smiled at her, and all was well in the world.  I count the day as a win. 

1 comment:

  1. That actually sounds like an enjoyable day. Too bad you had it and not me.