Yes, it has been a while since the last post.
A) There is nothing of beauty or interest to report in Vancouver ;-(
B) Dealing with daily issues seems to reduce the time available to write a post.
C) Writer's block (depression?) seems to set in every time I come back here.
But that's about to change.
Sunday, April 30th.
I visit Chris, my tax man. I realized yesterday that the last time I visited him, I had never been to Vietnam. True to tradition, we spend 1 hour talking about the state of the world and about travel. Then we file the taxes for the last 3 (THREE) years. Yes, I've been a bad boy. I thought I had only neglected to PAY my 2014 taxes, but today I find out that I hadn't even submitted the return. Half an hour later, the returns for 2014, 2015, and 2016 have been filed. I have not included ANY deductions (all those slips are still stitting unsorted in boxes) so there is actually some incentive to come back to complete these returns. Most importantly to chat with Chris again, but also to secure a fat tax repayment;-)
Almost immediately after, I see a gathering (demonstration) of people in a city park with banners that remind me of Vietnamese writing. But they are carrying flags that are NOT the Vietnamese flag. When I see one guy wearing a T-shirt with a crossed-out Vietnamese flag and the words "This is a communist flag", I finally get the idea.
These people are waving the SOUTH Vietnamese flag. The flag of the puppet regime upheld by first the French and then Americans.
Well, North Vietnam and Uncle Ho won THAT war, and I'm NOT refusing to live in the present,so here is the real deal ;-):
I only have 2.5 days left in Vancouver. And I have lot's of tasks and errands left.
I visit Grandma and as a 'just-in-case' move ask her whether she has enough medication until I return. NOPE. Thank you for not mentioning that earlier Grandma !
Time to meet Madeleine & Felix for a drink. Who are they? My seat neighbours of my last flight to Seattle. We somehow got along and they took the initiative of e-mailing me to meet today before they fly back to Germany tomorrow. This was their first time in Canada and Vancouver and I'm interested in their impressions. I know that I'm constantly whining and complaining about Vancouver. But they confirm almost every problem I have with this city. From downtown's ugliness to the traffic nightmare to the high price one has to pay for mediocre stuff, etc etc. And they even put their finger on it: If you want to have a nice time in Vancouver, you have to money. And NO, just in case a Vancouverite reads this post: That is NOT normal, LOL.
Monday, May 1st. 2 days left:
10 degrees and RAIN. GRRRR!
When Grandma is awake I start by storing 2 of those blue Rubbermaid storage boxes in her garage. There will be many more coming, but it's necessary to start early because the tiny rental car can only carry 3 comfortably at a time.
A large excavator is dropping gravel and big boulders into the metal boxes of a seemingly endless line of construction trucks. Yes, the bigger boulders make my bed shake but despite the rain, I start noticing the dust in the air.
Hell on Earth !
2 phone calls later I have secured a refill for Grandma's pills. Pickup is one MORE thing to do tomorrow ;-(
A run to Staples to buy more of those cheap sorting folders for the tax documents still spread out on my floor.
In the evening, my floor is clear of tax documents and four more boxes have found their home in Granny's garage. I STILL have TOO MUCH STUFF !!!! This episode of being overwhelmed by STUFF also influences my decision of what to PACK for the upcoming trip. I'm only taking sandals and NO long pants and NO jacket. Something I might regret very soon, but at least I'm not carrying completely useless stuff that I'll be constantly cursing.
Tuesday May 2nd: 1 day left to complete my errands
I reserve a room in my crappy motel for my return date. Even the receptionist can't believe the regular price. CAD$200 per night. Lol. Half an hour later I reserve a much nicer room close to the Place de la Bastille in central Paris for HALF that price. Vancouver, the Grand Illusionist's greatest deception !
Yes, I would actually SAVE money by staying longer in PARIS. Think about that for a moment !
OK, so it is NOT raining today (not until later tonight, LOL) and traffic was comparatively light this morning. Vancouverites probably think that this justifies the insane increase in hotel prices ;-(
I visit Grandma twice, storing the last of my hotel room contents and bringing the last of the provisions that will have to last her until the end of the month.
A visit to the bank serves to pay my taxes for the last 3 years (They don't call it a SIN number for nothing, LOL).
The rental car is returned before 6pm and I return to a hotel room that only contains what I will take with me tomorrow morning. A strange but very welcome feeling.
If you notice a slight smug grin in the above pictures; you're seeing the exhausted relief that I'm finally getting out of here again ;-)