Monday, September 08, 2008

The big city of Vancouver

The BC FERRIES ferry which runs Nanaimo-Vancouver is like a cruise ship, un- believable! It runs every couple of hours every day and it's always packed it seems, both ways.

There's an arcade, lots of cafes and shops, a children's play room, business desks to plug your laptop in, a HUGE outdoor deck with tables and chairs and comfy sofa-like chairs in the main deck.

After the 90 minute ferry ride, I caught the express bus to The Border Services in downtown Vancouver, passing the famous Stanley Park and Lions Gate Bridge.

The whole process was easy and efficient. However, our cargo ship still hasn't arrived and will probably only be docking tomorrow at the earliest. Well, at least I could still sign for the cargo, but it looks like we won't get our stuff until the end of the week.

I met up with
Kumpo and Kowgong for lunch. They were so happy to see me but so disappointed Matt wasn't there as well. Next time. We plan to do a Vancouver-weekend sometime soon.

Anyways, we had a nice lunch and then they dropped me off so I could take the bus to Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal (about 40 min away).

Unfortunately I just missed the connection, running furiously with Matt's takeaway crispy fried noodles dripping in the bag!!! The next bus would have arrived at the ferry terminal a few minutes too late, so I hopped into a taxi instead.

I can't help but notice how everyone is so naturally friendly and talkative in Canada. I really notice it coming back this time. I was trying to figure out which bus stop I needed to be at in Vancouver so I asked bus drivers, bar owners,
strangers, anyone really.

And everyone I asked wanted to literally hold my hand and take me there. I am surprised at how shocked I am by this treatment. I wonder if I've become more inconsiderate and impatient since being away ....

It's such a change, this slow-paced island life. A lot of it reminds me of Cornwall (Ontario, that is), the open spaces, the huge roads and sidewalks, the corner shops, the small primary schools... everything minus the mountains and sea of course.

Tomorrow the inspection on the truck will be done and if it passes, we'll go up and pick it up. We were considering buying an electric bike to get around in, but after more deliberation, we opted against it.

We really want a motorbike and I think I will take my lessons in the spring here when we're more settled. There are LOTS of Harley riders here, it's really quite amazing. There was a Hell's Angels group up until last year when the police busted them. But it seems they still are quite active underground.

House-hunting is progressing along nicely. Our realtor has sent us more housing/condo options so we've been looking at some of those online. It's exciting to be looking at houses again but to think it will be to buy this time!

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