Sunday, May 24, 2009

memorize the city

amanda once said to me, "working in another city must be like a vacation! everything is so new!"

well, not really. with my fever, sore throat, runny nose and dull headache, i'm very conscious of the fact that i'm supposed to work tomorrow, and i get no sick days. cold or no cold though, i maintain that this weekend was gorgeous.

vancouver is a city of sun-worshippers, which is why i fit in, so i got up early on saturday, determined to make the most of my day outdoors. option 1: watching my roommates play volleyball at "Fake Beach". The place was actually called Urban Beach, not Fake Beach, but given the fact that it was literally a pile of sand that they moved into the middle of a parking lot, at any rate it was no Stanley Park. whatever you decide to call it, it didn't matter in the end because i was never able to find it. apparently they had moved this pile of sand from the last time Google Earth mapped the city.

lost in a pecular industrial park (smack dab in the middle of downtown with not a soul in sight...), i called amanda to bail me out. she is much more of a sloth-worshipper than a sun-worshipper so she was still in bed by 2PM, but was up for an adventure, provided i give her time to shower.

we decided to head for Deep Cove deep in the heart of the wilderness, at least it was in my view because it was far, far, far away from the North Vancouver, which i have discovered, is actually a seperate city of its own, kind of like Ottawa and Gatineau. except, unlike Gatineau, instead of being filled with sleazy sex stores and drunk fourteen year old girls in miniskirts, North Van seems like a pretty respectable place with some hip stores, restaurants, a decent downtown area, and a million oceanview condos. guess they cleaned up their North Van girls in white pants (to see what i'm talking about, use the control F function for "white pants" in this Douglas Coupland novel). to get there we rode the BOATBUS which i know is called the Seabus, but to be exact (and i am a fan of being exact when describing modes of transportation such as the bus train) it is a bus that is a boat that plunges across the stormy waters past the giant cruise ships full of fat people to connect with the North Van shores. and people like amanda ride it as a regular part of their commute! how amazing!

it took hours, it seemed, to make the trek to Deep Cove, but it was certainly worth it, especially since we were smart enough to bring Sloth along, who had worked there last year as a kayak instructor. this meant that we could borrow surfboards and paddle ourselves out into the salty waters to explore. it was incredible, to feel the sun beat down on my back, taste the salt sea spray, and feel the water beneath my feet. kind of like jesus! i kid. by some gracious miracle i didn't fall off the board, either.

Sloth's connections also meant that we could borrow (hijack? boatjack?) a motorboat from a friend who lived down the way, so we could zip across the bay and have our minds boggled by the enormous multi-million dollar waterfront country homes, built into the sides of the mountains and spilling out into the docks. As Sloth steered the boat over the waves (we had this hypothesis that motorboats can't be tipped...), he told us stories the summer he spent here: trekking out to remote islands to camp overnight, finding baby seals, kayaking down the stretch in the middle of the night all the way to Indian Arm where the water runs fresh from the mountains, only to realize they would have to kayak back to the dock with nothing but the stars in the dark sky to guide them.

the majestic view of the mountains surrounding the bay reminded me of my business trip last summer to Missinaibi Lake in northern ontario, where it didn't matter how much humans tried to carve a clearing into the forests and mark their existences into the sides of the mountains. as far as your eye could see, the green wilderness stretches on and on and you are reminded that you, yourself, are small.

we had lunch (dinner?) in the tiny stretch of cafes near the docks, where we were introduced to the wonders of Honey's Doughnuts. everything is indeed delicious, and these potato-dough based pastries were certainly no exception. yum yum. if only their prices were as awesome. sigh. tourist gouging can be a fun sport, i suppose, now that we're not allowed to bait the bears.

needless to say, my summer is going well. all of my time not at work is spent by the ocean. i'm starting to kind of feel like i'm on those tv shows where the kids spend their days bumming around the west coast beaches, only i'm not beautiful stupid and spoiled, and my drama here has been kept to a bare minimum (unless you include me leaving my mark on Preston Manning's car...shhhh...). it's probably that smug hubristic thought that caused me to be punished with this awful cold. today, after waking up sick, i lounged on Kits beach. i figured if i'm going be feverish and bedridden, i might as well be feverish and bedridden on the beach.