Wet and wandering

First full day in Vancouver.  I played tourist most of the day and am now having a battle versus my jet lag.  Solution: Write blog and talk to best friend.

I spent the majority of the day in pleasant ignorance to the upcoming interviews.  It was only tonight that I started frantically re-reading my research (it was a year and a half ago, how am I supposed to remember all of the findings and their significance, gosh), reviewing the program and ironing.  Ironing was the most fun of all of this.  I think because of all of those years in cadets, I still derive strange comfort and a sense of familiarity when I iron.  Plus, the results are visible.  Always nice.  I am still not as stressed as I could be.  The interview is in a bit over 15 hours.  No time to stress too much yet, I suppose.  I hope that I stay this calm, or even close to this calm.  There is no reason to worry, this is the first of many interviews and I am ready.

It is rainy.  Really rainy.  Better than snowy, but nonetheless it is moist.  Not overly cold, but moist.  It is also very green out.  More green than I am used to.  Especially given that when I left home it was rather snowy.  Both of these have amazed me all day.  Even after walking everywhere in the rain.  With no hood.  And no umbrella.  I did, however, concoct a hood of sorts with my scarf.  I looked borderline ridiculous, I am sure.

The first thing I noticed when exiting the hotel this morning was the disparity.  I could see high rise apartments with trees on the balcony, a lovely tea café and sushi place across the street and a homeless man sleeping in his sleeping bag with all of his belongings in a garbage bag beside him.  This shocked me.  Primarily because at home, it is too cold for someone to literally sleep on the street this time of year.  And also because it seems so foolish that in such a large and prosperous city there are people who need to live on the streets.  It broke my heart to see him lying there in the dampness.  While people stay in fancy hotels and spend $4 on tea and coffee.  Something to think about.

I decided to try to go to church this morning.  My place of worship of choice was a church plant that has services in a school.  They won my pick because according to GoogleMaps, it was on the bus route and they had a website that gave me a time, as well as informed me that they are legit.  Problem was that GoogleMaps took me to their office, not the school.  I tried to find said school.  I walked for 20 minutes in total.  Nothing.  I gave up and took a bus to Stanley Park instead.  Worship God by enjoying His creation.  Apparently, a guy at the bus stop thought the school was another 10 minutes up the street.

Stanley Park is this big lovely park in Vancouver.  I recommend it.  And I only saw a few bits of it.  My goal was to get to the aquarium.  Walking around, I saw giant trees, bigger than I had seen before (and yet smaller than the biggest ones around).  This park is within the city, so while walking through beautiful trees, you can see the harbor and the city’s skyline.  Fascinating contrast.  Nature and city, side by side.  And again, everything is so green!  Some bushes even have leaves!

Downtown across the water.

Giant tree.

Path to l'autobus.

Aged trees.

By the time I got to the Aquarium, I was soaked.  And cold.  Especially my camera hand (getting cool pictures >>> warmth).  I walk in and discover they are taking people’s pictures.  For souvenirs.  I asked to not have mine done… Because I am a cool-cat who is going to the aquarium alone and I also suspiciously resemble a drowned rat.  They insisted.  I don’t even want to know what I looked like.  Aside from the drowned rat photography, the aquarium was lovely.  And a bargain… $16 for me, as a student.  Compared to the $50 or so it cost to go to the aquarium in Atlanta, huge bargain.  And only slightly smaller.  It was fantastic.  I even caught both the whale show and the dolphin show.  I was only borderline awkward by myself with a camera, as opposed to all of the families with kids.  Funny part was that part of the aquarium was outdoors, because it is generally so mild here.  I had to eat a hot dog (with bacon, cheese and hot peppers, yum) under a tent whilst watching the dolphin show.

Pirahnhas live in the Amazon!

Dude! Duuuuude!

Ocean life. This stuff is present off the coast of BC.

These were mesmerizing.

Whaaaallless! One little girl beside me asked her mom, "When do we get to sing the Baby Balooga song?"

Dolphin. They are doing energy usage studies on these guys and gals to see how much they truly need to eat while in the wild and in captivity. Fascinating.

Following the aquarium adventure, I wandered the park a bit, and then caught the bus back downtown where I made a stop at an international mall.  Nothing too thrilling there aside from some excellent looking food places.  I wasn’t hungry (sad face), but I did try bubble tea for the first time.   No, I have not previously had bubble tea.  I am not exactly sure why not.  Needless to say, I found the preparation process fascinating.  I did not realize that those little ball things were in bubble tea.  You know, the little slimy balls… Well, I got my tea and saw them in it and was wondering what they were like.  Then one snuck up my straw and into my mouth.  It tastes like accidently eating one of the bits of centerpiece at V’s wedding.  At least texture-wise.  They don’t really taste, but they are slimy and round.  Creeped me out.  So, I drank the top of the tea to the slimy bits, then threw the rest out.  Patrick informed me later that you can get it without those bits.  I was relieved that I no longer have to eat slimy balls with the tea.

From the bubble tea/slimy balls adventure.  I went to see the Olympic Village… In the rain.  I ended up wearing my scarf on my head in an attempt to stay semi-dry.  It wasn’t as cool as I anticipated.  Mainly condos now.  I took pictures of the stadium and Rogers’s center from across the water, as they were not exactly in the area I intended to get to in the rain.  Maybe tomorrow, if time permits.

Rogers Center. Home of the Vancouver Canucks

Giant Olympic Village Bird... And condos.

The adventures were lovely, despite the sogginess of it all.  I had sushi for supper from the place across the street.  It was disappointing… All weird types, no vegetarian.  The one I got had cheese, avocado and salmon.  The cheese made it strange.  Good, but strange.

Well, I must get to sleep.  Big day tomorrow.  Interview, round 1.

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