Saturday, 28 May 2016

Glimpsing a view through the thinning haze or T minus 6 days

No, it's not Vancouver's exhaust gas haze I'm talking about.  By now only an EMP will be able to thin that one.

But there are signs.

Only 8 days until I finally get to leave this town again.

That probably should read No Hope

This morning I was reading a side-sentence in the German news magazine Der Spiegel "the president dined with ... Bourdain ... in Hanoi".

not my pic (unfortunately ;-)

My favourite city, my favourite TV show, and my favourite US Prez, all united within a spherical bubble of 3 meters diameter?   THAT is soooo coool.

I'm meeting Denise in West Vancouver for lunch at the Village Taphouse.  Having a great time and the wine is very drinkable but what's with the food?  Their Stinging Bee Pizza is supposed to be SPICY, but then West Vancouver is a place where the artificially dewrinkled population already gets flatulence from looking at a chili pepper. Given that one of the best advice to the ageing is 'Never trust a fart', Depends undergarments are already getting a workout here, so no surprise that my 'spicy' pizza is rather tame, to put it mildly, no pun intended ;-)

The weather forecast predicts very light rain for today, something like less than 1 mm all day long. When I meet Denise, it looks for a while as if for the first time ever the Vancouver forecast was worse than the actual weather. Not a drop.  When I get back to my hotel room at around 11 pm, my undies are soaked. And I'm wearing Goretex pants and jacket.  It was F-ing POURING for HOURS.  So things are still normal in Vancouver. 
Before it hit Vancouver
Yesterday evening I finally got around to assembling my new bicycle that has been sitting around in a box for the last 2 weeks. This is when I notice that they sent me the 2015 model instead of the 2014 model that was on their website and which I wanted and ordered.  Ah well, at least they didn't send me a tractor.
Can't wait for this baby to fly !
Went to Denny's this morning, wearing my burgundy SuperStore Cords and my burgundy Cambodian Monkeys-pointing-at-the-sun T-shirt. Two Jocks exit the diner, look at me, and one of them says " That's a fucked-up outfit".  "Glad you like it" I reply, thinking only how happy I will be able to leave this reeking-armpit-of-the-planet place that has managed to shun civilization to the present day.

When I visit Grandma to unpack one of these clay plates made by 2 women in Vancouver in the 70s, I also get a letter from Fedex. The bill for their customs brokerage services. More than CAD$100 seems steep given I really didn't have a choice. But on the other hand I am glad that the shipping bill listed a 'bicycle' instead of an 'electric bicycle' because importing one of the latter would have cost me another $250 extra. Glorious Canada!

I find a spot right off the busy Capilano Road where wooden stairs lead down to the Capilano River, to a spot with no soul in sight. But the car noises are audible over the rush of the water ;-(

I get an e-mail from Zu, my travel companion, inquiring whether she should bring a VizzyVest. I tell her, only half in jest, that she'd be cycling alone if she wears one of these.  That would remind me of Canada toooo much and I'm trying to get away from all that safety-nannying crap.  No more cops droning "We are only concerned about your safety".

Slowly but surely I'm starting to think about the trip (epic journey? ;-). It's no longer just the desperate desire to get out of Vancouver that I felt in the last few weeks. That's being replaced by the excitement of new things that I might see and new aspects of human nature I might discover. Pictures in planned chronological order ;-)

If this ain't Vagina Art, I don't know what is !

No, this ain't your typical 10 days in Puerto Vallarta or Benidorm, I agree. My remaining time is getting too short to spend it somewhere getting bored!  In addition, there is that saying. Man plans and God laughs.  Just in case S/He decides to cut it back, it might be wise to plan BIG ;-)

Speaking of the devil  about an hour after I upload the above pictorial itinerary, I visit Grandma, who only says "I don't know how often I have fallen today". OMG! WTF! and whatever other acronym stands for MERDE.  This hasn't happened before.  Fortunately Grandma isn't the type of person who will keep lying around the floor. She'll pull herself up with her finger nails if need be. But still worrying. What's even more worrying is the fact that I just don't know what to do.  And I remember the last time that happened and that George was dead a few days later.  NOT a good feeling.

HOWEVER, fears of Grandma's onset of decrepitude have been greatly exaggerated, because she is back to normal when I visit her the next evening.

Time to concentrate on the trip again.  And my NEED to get out of here is emphasized again during breakfast at Denny's.  There are two women sitting behind me. No, I don't turn around.  My favourite waitress, she who is always cheery and spreads joy both in her voice and through her facial expression asks whether they want some coffee to start with. In return, she gets in one of those voices that always reminds me of a squeaky water tap the answer. NO, just some water.  No Thank You, No Please.  Some people really should be taught the difference between Server and Servant and Servitude.  I feel sad for my cheery waitress and eat quickly because now TWO squeaky tap voices are discussing Sales and other boring matters behind me.  

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