So I’ve been really bad on the world tour update. I got as far as Austin? I don’t even think I covered Austin very well.
I ate a lot of burritos, that’s probably all you really need to know. The hotel room was really stinky when we left it at 3am to go to the airport in Austin and the band went to San Francisco and I to Dallas and on to Vancouver after that.
I arrived into Vancouver around 7pm. I had been told by Lindsay to have a good laugh at their Olympic welcome to Canada display on my way in at the airport.
There was a waterfall… it smelt like chlorine.
I got a grilling from the customs officer about my intentions in Canada. Apparently he didn’t believe me that I was visiting friends for 4 weeks- all of which I had addresses for, and a ticket to leave the country. “New Zealanders”, he said, staring me down, are “notorious overstayers in our country.” I smiled and said, I didn’t think this would happen to me.
He let me in eventually, and I made my way out of the airport. Following Lindsay’s instructions I boarded the Sky Train towards downtown Vancouver. By now it was dark outside.
As I arrived at the Granville. There Lindsay and I hugged on the platform and dragged my epic overweight bag to a bus down to her apartment.
She pointed out a lot of the sights, of Hastings St. Including an intersection I would come across later, which she pointed out, was Vancouver’s rough spot.
I went to sleep fairly early. I stayed up and talked to Lindsay and her boyfriendAlex, who was finishing is PHD in Robotics. I really had made no plans for Canada, other than I was there, and really wanted to meet all these people in person who had been a big part of my life for 10 years.
So the next day Alex took me for a walk around the city, as I hadn’t thought at all about what I wanted to do.
We walked to a London Drugs where I bought a cellphone and then caught a bus down into downtown. We walked around Stanley Park. It was very pretty, well the small part I saw.
We wandered past the blocked off area where the Olympic Flame had been burning the day before. As it had been put out, I have my own artists impression going on here.
Alex told me about the free Wilco show that had happened during the games, and about learning French in school. It was a nice day out. He had just had wisdom teeth removed, so I was surprised how much of a good mood he was in.
After Lindsay had finished work we agreed to meet at the Vancouver Art Gallery. (Dan later pointed out, an unfortunate acronym.)
It was pay what you want night, I gave a loonie. The usual entry fee is $20. Eep. Anyway we went and saw the drawings of Leonardo da Vinci, in particular his anatomy studies.
I was also given a good speech by Lindsay about British Columbian art. She had a, possibly unreasonable hate of an artist called Emily Carr. I likened this to my experiences as a child at the Robert McDougall, and seeing ‘Cass’ and the Russian Funeral, every single visit.
Afterwards, we debated dinner. I, not knowing anything about what was good in Vancouver, let Linds and Alex decide. Alex said he didn’t mind where we went, as long as there was soup. Solid food for him, was mostly out of the question. So we went down Davie St. Davie is the well known gay district, with pink painted rubbish bins. We found a thai restaurant with a variety of soups. After our meal we walked down to the waterfront and along the shore.
The second day in Vancouver I decided to attempt the city alone. I walked down Commercial Drive (hipster town) to the Sky Train and caught it down to Granville. Unfortunately for me, I found book shops in the downtown area. I settled on purchasing Mark Oliver Everett’s Autobiography.
Unfortunately, as a result of all this book hunting, it is too late in the day and I’m a tad lost to find Granville Island. So I head off to meet Lindsay and Alex.
Now, this is why its a good idea to blog closer to the time events happen. Over 5 months on, I can’t remember totally what happens on which day.
So here I list some events which could have happened on any of a few nights.
-Go drinking in a bar on Granville, its a backpackers. They are playing the Black Seeds when we walk in. Drinks are cheap, but we decide not to stay too long into the open mic night.
-Go drinking on Commercial. Sangria, also not too expensive. Its cold out, but we’re ok with sitting outside.
-A visit down Commercial to ‘Belgian Fries’. To sample the best Poutine in the world. Its pretty good. In fact its so amazing we have two servings.
After the poutine we went to a place which could only be the most crazy gelato place out there.
Eventually, during one of my days, I made it out to Granville Island
One thing I really liked looking at was the alley ways of Vancouver. I didn’t dare walk downd any of them as Hastings and Main had struck some fear into me. Too many junkies and after seeing the results of a man who had recieved a sledgehammer to the face, I decided it was safer to stick to the main streets.
Lindsay and Alex also took me for my first every Tim Hortons experience. Little did they know I would develop a doughnut obsession over the next few weeks.