Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day 20 - $861.33 – Sushi, Beer, and Patios.

Alright, I’ll admit it. I may have squealed a little bit coming off the bus in Vancouver.

What? You heard that? No, I do not sound like that all the time, I was excited.

I happen to love Vancouver. As you may know, I love the mountains, and the ocean, and lucky for me, Vancouver has both. I also love my brother, who happens to live in Vancouver, and who I was excited to see.

But what did I love most of all? Knowing that I just got off my last long-distance bus ride of the whole trip! As much as enjoyed all of the bus rides and the time it gave me for soul searching and people watching, I was SO EXCITED TO GET OFF THE BUS that I may have let out an involuntary squeal. Or six.

One downside, though. When I arrived in Vancouver, it was only about 3:30 in the afternoon, and Josh was busy with a meeting at SFU until 5. So, I could shlep all the way out to SFU with my gear, or I could get a locker at the bus station, store my stuff, and wander around downtown ‘till I could meet with Josh.

After about a millisecond of serious thought, I got a locker and got on the skytrain. But I couldn’t just wander alone. Instead, I met up with my new friend Marc. Yes, the same Marc from the bus. He lives in Victoria, but was spending the day in Vancouver, and was also looking for a wandering partner, so it worked out quite well.

We met downtown and promptly stumbled across the first of approximately three million sushi restaurants in the city. This one, however, had a patio, a liquor license, and some very affordable food. We filled up on sushi and beers and sat in the sun talking.

After lunch, Marc and I walked down Robson Ave, window shopping and talking until he had to catch the last ferry to Victoria (but don’t fret, Marc fans. He reappears in the next post.)

Finally, Josh was done his meeting, and we could meet downtown, I was just a short SkyTrain ride away. Or, at least, I should have been.

Unfortunately for me, there was a bomb threat called in to one of the SkyTrain stations. Luckily, no one was hurt, but it meant that hundreds of Vancouver-ites going home from work were displaced, and I had to find another route to my meeting place with Josh. Which involved me transferring buses …at East Hastings and Main.

For those readers unfamiliar with the Vancouver layout, I’ll try to explain. East Hastings is not a happy street. It’s a street where dreams go to die. And this particular intersection is known as one of the worst in Canada. And I was waiting there for my bus, when a man ran up to me. This man looked…out of sorts. Perhaps what someone might look like had they spent the last three days strung out on meth and cough syrup, but that’s just speculation. As he ran towards me, he started shouting “That one’s mine!”

Now, I’m not a shy person by any means, but when a crazed hobo comes running towards me, I get freaked out. To the point where I might have yelped a little. For those keeping count, that’s twice in one day. I jumped to the side, he stopped running, and then someone handed him a cigarette. Luckily, my bus came shortly thereafter, but I’m pretty sure that I was bought and sold on that corner for a smoke.

Once I made it out of Hastings alive, I finally met up with Josh, and we went to a relatively low-key (and free!) poetry reading/concert in Kitsilano. Now, Josh’s friend is a poet, and he gave an excellent reading at a small café in Kits. The other musicians he performed with, however, did not seem to share his talent. I just have to say this: If you’re truly a good musician, you don’t need filler, like making the audience fill out a quiz. That’s right folks, a quiz.

After we took in just about as much “music” as we could for the evening, Josh and I headed home to his place in New Westminster, and I fell asleep, anxious for the ferry ride to Victoria and the last day of the trip.

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