Since being here, I’ve decided two things:
1. I’m really glad I got my hair cut, and
2. Buying sunglasses before coming to Vancouver was a very wise decision.
I’m happy about the first decision because my hair takes 3 minutes to dry and I pretty much am happy with how it looks every day. I suppose I could have made this discovery even if I had a haircut at home, but it somehow seems more important in Vancouver. Secondly, it has been so sunny here and we’ve been walking around outside so much that my sunglasses have been an absolute blessing. It is important to note how monumental it is that I’ve purchased sunglasses, as I’ve never worn them in my entire life. It’s amazing what I’ve been missing out on! No more squinty eyes in pictures or when trying to see something in the distance. Also, I can watch people and no one can see where I’m looking. Yes, I am a supercreep.
Last night I slept in my new apartment for the first time. I have been moving stuff in over the past four days, but yesterday I curled up in my $15 Wal-Mart comforter at the new digs. I have to say, I really like my room. It’s much nicer than I expected it to be, and it’s the biggest bedroom in the “quad” (aka apartment), so that’s great. Over the past few days, Dad and I have been picking up stuff for the place - dishes, frying pan, groceries, a shelf, etc. I’ve learned two things from this experience so far: it’s not cheap living on your own, and I’ve an attraction to kitchen gadgets that has hit me full-force over the past three days. Wandering through a store called Kitchen Goodies (or something like that) I spent a longer than average time ogling egg timers. I’ve also started lusting after silicone spatulas. It’s a weird world, really.
Dad and I have had a good time gallivanting around Vancouver so far. We spent some time on Kitsilano Beach on Friday morning. I waded in the Pacific ocean then got my fill of vitamin D by napping in the sun while Dad took scenic pictures. We then walked around downtown, and then Dad decided we should walk to Stanley Park and, once there, rent bikes to take it all in. It seemed like a long walk, but I wanted Dad to have a good time and he was set on seeing Stanley Park, so off we went. As we strolled along the sea-walk, or whatever its called, I became increasingly aware how long this walk would be. My feet were warning me that I’d better stop soon, and it was a hot day and I hadn’t dressed comfortably. Eventually I, moodily I might add, declared that I would walk no further and took refuge in some shady trees by the water. Dad continued onto Stanley Park and I sat reading in the shade for a few hours. It was delightful, and exactly the type of thing I imagined myself doing in Vancouver on a regular basis. Once we got back to the hotel room, I calculated the distance walked: I walked something like 9 kilometers, and Dad a whopping 14. The next morning our leg muscles were wicked sore and we had a sunburn to boot. Beauty.
Yesterday we had planned on attending Cariboo Hill Salvation Army Temple in Burnaby. My friend Jeanette decided to join us, and we both deduced from the website that there were two services on Sundays - one at 9 and one at 11. Naturally, we agreed to meet with Jeanette at the church for the 11:00 service. We arrived at 10:20 to a full parking lot and assumed, again naturally, that the 9:00 service was still underway. We drove around a bit and then arrived back to the church by 10:50, where we met Jeanette - and no one else - in the lobby. When we walked in, it was clear there was a service happening, and someone was in the middle of the sermon. We waited until 11:00 to confirm our suspicion that, indeed, there was no 11:00 service and we had been foiled once again by the internetz. We then took a drive up to see Jeanette’s university - Simon Fraser.
We then met out friends the Crosses for lunch. They took us out to an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet. LIFE EXPERIENCE TIME! Luckily, Jenn is the resident sushi expert and ordered everything for us. I obviously liked all the Canadian-ized food, like Teriyaki chicken and crispy wings, but the sushi was ok too. I ate raw tuna and salmon, which most of you will know is amazing because a) I don’t eat fish, especially if b) it’s raw. But I am alive and well and have lived to tell the tale.
Today I am trying to get my room in order. I have a full day of orientation tomorrow, so I want my room to be relatively livable before I toss myself into the throws of education. I don’t really feel anything about starting school. I think maybe it hasn’t hit me that in 48 hours I’ll have assignments to write and books to read and group meetings to attend. I still feel like I’m recovering from my undergrad. We’ll see how it all pans out over the next week.
Also: it rained today for the first time since we got here. Now I really feel like I’m in Vancouver.