Saturday, March 14, 2009

a cottage in the city

after spending the last few days tracing the West Coast and chasing the ocean, i keep thinking that i'm at the cottage when i wake up in the morning. a cottage in the middle of the city. it's pretty chilly at dawn and my grandparents' place is old, with creaky wooden floors like the cottage.

yesterday i continued my journey by biking around the entire coastline of Stanley Park. there were some pretty treacherous parts of the trip, like one stretch along the bottom of the bluffs where i had to dodge and dart from spring-thawed rocks and ice plummeting free fall from the cliff's edges. i almost flew off my bike trying to navigate through the golden orange silt on the muddy trail. i actually watched another cyclist lose control as he zoomed down a hill, hit the sandy beach, soared over his handlebars and landed on his knees right before the ocean, as though making some kind of spontaneous tribute. pretty interesting sight.

i never want to leave the sea.

i went for dinner with amanda and maria and sloth last night. we had sangria on the patio. sangria! on the patio! in march! with art students! at a Commercial Drive restaurant which featured an art gallery in the back, and children eating banana chips in the front. i love this city. i had a coconut something soup. there's something about this city's food; it's so healthy and creative. when my mother used to live here some twenty-five years ago, she used to work at a cafe, and the favourite sandwich there was shrimp and alfalfa sprouts, a fad that has yet to fully hit Ontario. and yet somehow, i've pretty much been living on nothing but nanaimo bars and coffee this whole time.

the girls wanted to go home early, so i ended up meeting with gavin again (whose name i keep mistyping as vagin), to go dancing with his friends, who happened to be ten males. for whatever reason, we walked through Davie, which is sort of the Church-and-Wellesley gay district of Vancouver. comforting to know that Best Butt competitions thrive in all parts of the country. i wanted to re-live the fun night i had with duffield at the gay club in Fredericton, but i guess gavin's buddies weren't that kind of crowd. instead we headed for some club on Granville called Stone Temple. gavin warned me that the clubbing scene here is nothing like Toronto's or even Ottawa's (no Goin' Steady. i guess, or Mod Nightsons), but i still learned all sorts of interesting lessons about the vancouver club:

1. despite extremely strict security that scans your ID, pats you down and searches all your pockets, AND takes photos of every person that walks in, there are some pretty sketchy looking characters in the club.

2. ...and nobody over the age of twenty-five. either that, or everyone ages well.

3. despite #1, if you're hoping for some fleeting human contact from the young and decent-looking bouncer after he frisks all of your male friends, he will probably skip over you if you are a frail and innocent looking little asian girl. boy i had him fooled. i definitely snuck in a calculator.

4. when i become president of the world, i will ban all playing of Queen and ACDC in clubs before 1:30 AM.

5. seven dollar beers???? but...$3 bar rails.

#5 made the night especially fun. my grandmother did not understand why i was so thirsty this morning, however.

today is korean White Day, but i had jajangmyun a month early. my grandparents and my unce and aunt took me out for lunch in the heart of the mini-Koreatown located on North Road, which straddles the border between Burnaby and Port Coquitlam. as one might guess, there are a lot of koreans in vancouver, and so jajangmyun and chigae at a korean restaurant is a valuable part of the vancouver experience. my grandmother and i strolled through a korean supermarket afterwards, where i perused through the discount bin full of pencil cases and detailed stationary with printed with inspirational Engrish. at some point i'm going to have to try out the delicious Japanese sushi here, as there are actual Japanese people living in this city. i will first have to get over my ethical objections to eating seafood first.

tonight all my friends back in Toronto are going to the law school prom. i'm sad i can't go but i think i'm going to see the Sadies show at the Biltmore Cabaret. i was debating it earlier, because it feels weird to see a Toronto band in Vancouver when you live in Toronto. but it's the Sadies, dammit. and gloria's last night in town...till May.