USA/Canada Trip, October 17th to 19th, 2001: Vancouver

Journal Entry #1 is here.

Journal Entry #2 is here.

Journal Entry #3 is here.

Journal Entry #4 is here.

OCTOBER 17, 2001

We left San Fran bound for Vancouver, Canada. Security at SFO [2014 Me interjection: I don’t know why I couldn’t just write San Francisco Airport. I think because this my first trip abroad I found the three-letter codes for each airport fascinating. I was probably showing off. In a diary that no one else read] was really tight this time around. The flight was only two hours and it flew by. We took Air Canada, which is not a patch on Singapore Airlines.

Ivan and I had another incident at SFO airport. We were mucking around and I said, “it’s so easy to get a rise out of Ivan”, to which he got really mad at. He called his friends “shit”, which really pissed me off. After we arrived in Vancouver, Ivan came up and apologized. He said he’s having problems and he’s considering seeing a psychiatrist when he gets back. We all really cleared the air; which is what needed to happen in order for the trip to continue. Ivan felt so bad about what happened he paid for the limousine [2014 Me interjection: I failed to mention that it was actually cheaper for us to get a limo from the airport into downtown than it was for a taxi. Huh?] from the airport to the hostel.

The view coming in was amazing. Our hostel is very nice. The whole vibe in Vancouver is electric. We ate at Denny’s in the night. I got a delicious burger. I’m not quite used to tipping yet but it’s a bit easier than before. We went out for a night on the town. We frequented a place called Yaletown Brewery, which made its own beer [2014 Me interjection: fancy that, a brewery that makes its own beer!]. The beer was very bad [2014 Me interjection: a quick search on Urbanspoon would suggest that they’ve changed their ways and their brew is pretty spectacular after all]. We then headed over to a place called Stone Temple [2014 Me interjection: all internet research would suggest that the place was a dump and is now closed for business], which was cranking. We all got very pissed.

We got out of the place at about 1:30am and walked down the street. There were these two stoner guys that were telling us how great “BC bud” is. I couldn’t give a fuck [2014 Me interjection: time does some strange things. My two travel companions are now proponents of weed, slaves to Mary Jane etc etc etc. I am not. I’m a beer guy, always have been and probably always will be. I have tried weed of course, but I’ve never really had it affect me. Not like it does for other people, in any event. But we never did partake in BC Bud, for what it’s worth].

There was this semi-decent girl there that I was talking to. I got her number but I doubt I’ll call [2014 Me interjection: this was a dick move on my part, and straight from the 1996 film Swingers, which remains my all-time favorite movie. The girl in question was cool as shit from memory, and I probably should’ve called her. Not that it matters now, but there was no logical reason as to why I didn’t hang out with her then]. There was also a guy named Dimas who wrote some techno song that was big in Sydney. He was a weird guy but cool enough. Apparently Vancouver is the biggest user of intravenous drugs in the world. I got back to the hostel at about 3:30am and decided that I was already in love with Vancouver.

OCTOBER 18, 2001

I got up at 12pm and had a minor hangover. Considering the amount I drank I felt ace. We ventured into the city; it was a beautiful thing. We all love the vibe that Vancouver has; it’s hard to put a finger on. It was showering fairly lightly all day.

We got approached by a bum who attempted a different approach to begging: his opening line was “can I ask you a question?”, to which Ivan replied with “not if it’s about money”. His retort was “do I look like a bum?”, which we had the answer to (hell yes) but kept to ourselves for safety reasons. He shook his head and stormed off.

The bums in Vancouver are less annoying than in San Francisco, but there’s still a shitload of them up here. I’ve been approached by beggars more times in San Fran and Vancouver than in my entire life in Perth.

Despite the bums and the weather, Vancouver is a great city. We all ate dinner at Denny’s again; quite pricey but great food.

At night, Ivan and I went to go watch Made. Dave ventured out to UBC. We walked to the cinema but it was playing tomorrow night, not tonight. We were pissed off.

We decided to head out to UBC and try to meet up with Dave [2014 Me interjection: this makes me feel so old. This was a time where I didn’t have a cellphone as American’s would call it, nor did my friends, so something as simple as contacting someone when out and about was out of the question. You had to assume someone was going to be where they said they were going to be and hope for the best]. It’s a pretty long bus trip [2014 Me interjection: a quick Google search will tell you that it’s a 16 minute journey from downtown Vancouver to UBC, so I don’t know what I meant by “long”], but it was worth it.

We found the Pit Pub, which is where Dave was going. Dave was tucked away in front of a huge-screen TV with a glass of Molson’s (the beer of choice) in his hand. He had called Kate [2014 Me interjection: okay, here’s the deal with Kate. Before I left for my trip, a girl I worked with named Rebecca told me that she had a friend that was studying in Canada and could do with some Australians to hang out with, as she was homesick. Strangely enough, I ended up marrying and breeding with Rebecca’s younger sister after meeting her in 2002] and she was bringing a friend down. Ivan and I got a beer and the two girls eventually showed up.

Kate looked better than she did in the photo, which was nice. Her friend, Anna, was really friendly; she was a cute blonde thing with great tits and pigtails [2014 Me interjection: I need to apologize again for the 2001 me here]. We all got along famously. When we left, Dave was trying to convince me that Anna liked me. I thought we got along but I didn’t think we’d fuck [2014 Me interjection: did I really need to be surprised by this?]. We arranged to do something tomorrow; exactly what we didn’t know.

OCTOBER 19, 2001

Kate came and picked us up at about noon. She has an off-white Ford Mustang that she named Molly. We went out to Stanley Park. It was very scenic; think of King’s Park on steroids. We all went to the aquarium there. There were a lot of frogs on display; Kate seemed to find my fear of them humourous.

We went to the area where they had totem poles, which was totem-rific [2014 Me interjection: groan]. We had lunch at the lunch bar there; squirrels bothered us for food. There was a great view of Lion’s Gate bridge which we took some photos of.

We then left Stanley Park and went to a mall called Metrotown. We parked our car (Kate parked her car, I should say) and took the train out there. Metrotown is a mall that has over 500 shops. We didn’t get to see much of it  though. Kate bought some clothes.

When we got back into the city we all got dinner at this Mongolian place on Davie Street, which is apparently a “gay” street.

We half-heartedly planned our night out; Kate was going to come but she had to get up early the next day. Ivan, Dave and I headed out to Stone Temple again, but not before walking around for ages looking for somewhere better to go. Stone Temple had numerous attractive locals on hand, but the alcohol was not cheap. We paid $4.50 per beer, which meant that we would’ve had to of spent a lot to get even slightly pissed.

Dave and I decided to go to UBC again, despite the warning from Kate that it would likely be fairly dead. Ivan retired back to the hostel as he was tired.

Kate was wrong about UBC; it was packed! We got there at about midnight and it was rocking! We downed some more Molson and scoped out the talent, which was plentiful. About half an hour before we left, Dave and I met this really nice girl. Her name was Karly and she had short brunette hair and a divine face [2014 Me interjection: but how about the rack, perverted 2001 me?]. We had a scintillating conversation about nothing and when the evening ended I got her digits. She resides on campus and wants to come to Australia. I want her to come.

When we left UBC, I was pissed as hell [2014 Me interjection: this is Australian for very drunk. I wasn’t annoyed like it may sound] and floating on air. Dave set it up for me though.

There are two buses that go from downtown to UBC: 10 and 4. We got on a 9 and ended up walking around for about three hours. We were lost. When we got into the hostel at about 5am I was drunk and my feet ached, but I’d had the best night of the entire trip – so far.