I have noticed over the last couple of days that I am finding joy in the simplest of things. Aside from enjoying the beauty of a large and somewhat tropical (well, compared to home tropical) city, I have been fascinated with some of the small perks of big city life and also some of the surprises God has brought to me.
Yesterday, pre-interview, I got on the hotel elevator to discover the music playing in the elevator was none other than Matthew West singing “Your Love.” It sounds lame, but first of all hearing Christian rock anywhere is pretty shocking, not to mention that I quite love that song. In the same elevator en route to the interview, I ran into one of the cleaning staff who wished me a happy new year and told me good luck in all of my endeavors because I looked like I was headed somewhere important. Sweet.
I got to stand on the shielding for a cyclotron. That was made into a garden. Cyclotrons are awesome. Cyclotron shielding that is made into a decorative garden, even more cool, though I am not sure I would want to sit up there to have lunch.
The buses come every 5-15 minutes. You never have to really wait. At home, even when buses are coming every 15 minutes, you can wait 20 minutes for a bus (true story).
They have CRINKLE BUSES. Big cities have these, very small cities do not. I remember the first time I saw a crinkle bus. I was 13 and on a cadet trip to Montreal. I thought they were so cool. Even though I didn’t get to go on one. Since then, I have dreamed of taking a crinkle bus. I never had a chance. Until yesterday. I went to visit the UBC campus, and the bus I took was a crinkle bus. On the way back to the hotel, I sat directly in the crinkle. Because there are seats in there. Who knew? I know, everyone that lives in a big city. Well, the crinkle is the best part of the bus, minus not having windows. It twists when the bus twists. Like a ride at the fair or turbulence. I was a fan.
I already mentioned bubble tea. Minus the slimy balls.
There is a coffee shop… At least one on every block. I counted more Starbucks on my limited journeys than I have been to before. And I am a big Starbucks fan.
MONORAILS. In grade 11, my IB physics class and I did our group experiment on monorails. Because the smartest guy in the class said it was a good idea. It wasn’t. We did research into the physics of monorails and even built a model semi-functioning monorail. I have always thought they were cool, though. As are subways and sky trains. Well, in Vancouver, boys and girls they have a monorail type system that goes both under and above ground. I took it to the airport. It was blissful.
IHOP. International House of Pancakes. Never been to one. Until today. Seems silly, me being this excited about pancakes, I don’t even like breakfast, but nonetheless another small-town dream of mine. Plus, we had this theory in nuc med that if we were to go to an IHOP we would have a burly waitress named Ina (or something like that). It was some sort of joke, but I can’t tell it with a good punch line, because I just can’t remember what it was. Therefore I was very excited to see that just down the street from my hotel was an IHOP. So, I googled the menu and decided I wanted cheesecake pancakes. Because what makes everything better? Cheesecake! Well, I was so excited and I went there this morning. No cheesecake pancakes at this location. Boourns. I did get this breakfast combo that included hashbrowns, bacon, eggs and pancakes… Strawberry and whipped cream pancakes. Oh, and coffee. Can’t forget the coffee. Despite the lack of cheesecake pancakes, my IHOP experience was satisfying. I would do it again.
I visited the UBC campus yesterday. It was big and beautiful and lovely. I took pictures, of course. Because I am cool like that. It was especially cool because it didn’t rain the entire time I was there, just part of it. I wandered through the library (well, one of them) and everything. Plus, it is science appreciation week (note, the faculty of sciences has its own lounge/student building). I got a free chocolate bar and saw some lovely booths, including the pre-med booth. Which made me glad I am now doing residency interviews.
In big cities, you can buy almost anything. I saw a spy store. Everything for your spying needs… WHAT?
I also bumped into a street preacher who told me I need Jesus. I informed him that I already had Him. He then gave me a fist full of Bible tracks and asked me to hand them out on my journey. Talk about evangelizing evangelizers. I left them on the sky train.
All of these and more have brought me little bits of joy that I would not get in a smaller city. I still prefer smaller cities. This more reminded me that I like smaller cities, so that I can get a kick out of big city adventure.