USA/Canada Trip, October 20th to 22nd, 2001: Vancouver

OCTOBER 20, 2001

More drinking from the night before – no hangover! Awesome!! Canadian beer goes down so easy and tastes so sweet – oh yeah!! [2014 Me interjection: In an everlasting effort to “keep it real”, I need you to know that I remained true to the amount of exclamation points represented in the passage you just read].

Got up late today and ventured into the city. Bought latest New Order CD [2014 Me interjection: Gather ’round, kids. Now a CD – or Compact Disc if you will – is a round flat shiny thing that contains music, movies or pornography. To provide some context, it is the same size and shape as a DVD or Blu-Ray disc] which is entitled “Get Ready”. I consider myself a big New Order fan. They are coming to Big Day Out 2002 and I will meet them there [2014 Me interjection: I indeed met them there. 2002 was the only time I went to a Big Day Out, a fact that I am oddly proud of for no particular reason. I must confess that I am not much of a live music fan. The experience is completely lost on me. I’ve been to many fantastic gigs over the years (Pavement in 2010, Prince in 2012, Elvis Costello in 2009, for example), but I have to declare that I don’t get the same thrill from live music as others seem to]. Due to the fact that I don’t have access to a CD player, I could not listen to my purchase. I was left feeling vulnerable and helpless; you could compare it to having a beautiful girl that really wants to fuck you but won’t let you even sniff her sweet panties [2014 Me interjection: I used to wonder why I had slight trouble getting laid back in those days. Women would say I was attractive but still I had little luck with the fairer sex, and it irked me. Reading that last sentence, everything becomes crystal clear]. Tonight, being a Saturday night, was supposed to be big. Kate and co. were going to come out; new acquisition Karly was as well. Both were not answering their phones. I was so disappointed – I’ve yet to taste overseas pussy [2014 Me interjection: MAKE IT STOP]. I just want a taste – just one will suffice!

So the three desperado’s – Dave, Ivan and The Bear headed into downtown to try our luck. We’d heard about a place called the Commodore Ballroom, which was supposed to be good. Unbeknownst to us, it was Oktoberfest (in Vancouver??) and it was sold out. Or as the big ugly Canadian bouncer put it, “sold oot”. Uhh, Canadians, why must you treat me this way? Ivan wanted to check out some bar on the other side of town – the name of the place escapes me at the moment. Live bands were playing but I for one was not interested in that.

Dave and I emphatically wanted to head out to  – you guessed it – UBC!! We did this. To say it was bad was an understatement. There were lots of black folks (not that there’s anything wrong with that) with whistles listening to (and enjoying) the worst form of music I’ve ever heard. It wasn’t techno, wasn’t really dance maybe reggae meets R&B meets soul? Whatever it was, it sucked.

However, there was a Kings-Lakers preseason game on TV there, so I was happy. We left pretty much straight after the game and headed back into downtown.

To cut a long and potentially boring story short, we walked around the city looking for a decent place to drink, but came up short. Vancouver clubs and bars shut at 2am, which is pathetic. We got a drink of coffee and came back to the hostel feeling really dejected.

OCTOBER 21, 2001

Woke up late again today. I didn’t plan to sleep in as much as I have been but I’ve seen most of what I wanted to see in Vancouver already. I’d like to go to UBC during daylight hours and check it out – I may do that tomorrow.

Walked around the city today and had a good look around the shops. I went to the Virgin Megastore and scanned the shelves for well over an hour. I also had a good look around a bookstore called Chapters, which is three fucking levels! Dave and Ivan were planning to go to some place called the Purple Onion, which is in Gastown [2014 Me Interjection: OK, so it would seem that, according to my good friend known as The Internet, this place was shut down in 2010 following a series of gang-related murders. Yikes.]. They were meeting a friend of a friend. I decided to not go and went to watch American Pie 2 instead. It makes my list of all-time worst movies. It makes the first one look like Citizen Kane.

OCTOBER 22, 2001

Went out to Metrotown today, this time sans Kate. Despite the fact that there are supposedly 500 shops there, it really doesn’t offer much. We are each looking for shoes but have yet to find anything that we really like. I want something casual; something I can wear to coffee with Emily [2014 Me interjection: Emily was my ex-girlfriend. I went out with her briefly in 1995 and we remained in touch right up until I met my now-wife in 2002].

Ivan and I got off the train a couple of stops earlier to have a look at something that caught our eye [2014 Me interjection: I have no recollection as to what it was that made us get off the train before we were meant to. Hmm]. Dave went back to the hostel. Later in the night we planned to go to a place called The Drink, which was hosting an ’80’s night. Being a Monday we didn’t think it would be busy but we went anyway. It was a bit of a walk from the hostel and when we got there it was closed. We’d gotten something to eat (‘we’ being Ivan and I) so we were to meet Dave and Guilliame (the new guy in our room) there. We looked around Gastown for a while then headed back.