Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Vancouver, B.C.

It took us about three hours to drive from Seattle to Vancouver today. We got pulled aside for questioning at the Canadian border for some reason. I’m wondering what sorts of inquiries and probes await us when we try to get back into the States.

Despite the rain and cloud cover, Vancouver is a remarkably picturesque, easily walkable big city. They've built a lot of high-rise apartment buildings in the last decade that make downtown resemble the modern vertical cities of the Pacific Rim. We’re right in the center of town at the Sheraton Wall Centre. It’s a modern, four-star facility I’d normally only be staying in if I convinced someone else to pay for it, but Kevin got us a deal through Hotwire. Our 19th floor room has an awesome view looking west toward Stanley Park, the harbor and the hills beyond.

We ate a late lunch at a reasonably-priced sushi emporium just down the street before strolling through Gastown and Chinatown. Vancouver’s Asian population was already sizable, but a swell of emigrants from Hong Kong just before Red China took it over has apparently added to it.

Kevin’s down in the hot tub right now. I was going to go with him, but I’ve become enthralled with a Canadian TV show called Speaker’s Corner, where people just stand and talk about whatever they want to an automated camera on a Victoria street. I could probably stay up here and watch Canadian TV all night, but we will be “oout and aboot” soon enough.

It’s fun to walk around noticing the subtle differences in things like mailboxes, street signs and brand names. For example, the Denny’s and Wendy’s logos here have tell tale maple leafs in place of the apostrophe between the “y” and “s.” I think they might have another currency in use here, too, but I’ve been ducking the loonie so far, using a credit card for all my purchases.

I think we’re going to find a place for seafood this evening. Then we’ll probably do some bar-hopping. Perhaps we’ll even hit a gentleman’s club. I’ve been told they are good here. Tomorrow, we’re back in Seattle unless the Homeland Security goons send us to Gitmo and flush my Philip Roth paperback down the can.

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