12. My sneaky journey back to Vancouver.
This one is actually rather exciting you should read it
I’m back in Vancouver now which was sort of a bad decision on my part. I forgot that some Canadians really like this game played on ice called hockey.
Basically the premise of the game is this: large men grow their beards and try to injure the equally large men on the opposing team by slamming them in to a wall or shooting a small round bullet like object called a “puck” at them. To make things more violent, each player straps a razor sharp knife to each of their feet, which enables them to move super fast across the battlefield or “rink”. These deadly foot swords are also used to slaughter fallen players, causing blood to pour on to the frozen ground. The smell of the dying player attracts a huge creature called a Zamboni, which eats the fallen players. There’s also some thing about throwing hats and children on to the “rink” as an offering, but I’m mot entirely sure what the point of that is.
As I found out today, from the millions of people clad in Canuck jerseys, there’s a game on. A rather big one. I think they’re playing for some sort of mug or something. So the streets are over run with crazy people screaming and blowing horns in ferocious battle cries. I’ve retreated indoors for protection.
Dear god if Vancouver wins the playoffs the city might actually explode. Literally. There might be enough energy and excitement that it all builds up and bursts, blowing a crater into Canada killing millions.
More importantly is the story of how ingot to Vancouver. As you know I was in Banff and I decided it was time to leave and I thought I’d go back to Vancouver (I don’t know why, but at the time it seemed like a good idea). So I had my bag all packed and I was ready to catch the bus which left at 8:45pm. I spent the day whiling away the hours by reading and going for a long walk along the train tracks. Banff is really nice for walks, there are a ton a trails and hiking paths so as long as you avoid them to aren’t likely to run in o anyone. At one point when a train came by I put some coins down so they got all squished, it was totally worth the $3.27. Are those coins still good for paying for things? Technically they’re still intact, just a little more… flat. Finally at around 7:15pm I made my way over to the greyhound station only to find out that it was closed. I figured I just have to camp out somewhere and catch the bus the next morning when some woman, who had seen me looking around bewildered, came over and told me that the bus driver would let me on I’d just have to pay at the first stop. I was fine with that so I waited around with all the other people leaving Banff for the bus. When it finally showed up, a little late, it was packed. There were maybe twenty or twenty-five people in Banff that had tickets and wanted on, but there was only room for eight. Again resigning myself to my camping in the woods plan I moved ways. Luckily for me though, the driver wanted to take single passengers. When I approached him, the driver that is, someone was asking him exactly what I needed to ask, “what do we do if we don’t have a ticket”. He said that we could get one in Golden (that’s some town west of Banff), so I got a seat. I felt sort of bad for the twenty-something other people that didn’t get on, because they had to wait for the next bus which wasn’t coming until 1:25am, oh well at least they had friends with them.
Because it was so packed on the bus I didn’t have much choice of who I wanted to sit next to. I decided that the large black teenager was probably a better choice than the goblin-esque woman with sharp fingers and no teeth. The ride in general wasn’t bad, the guy I was sitting with took up a little more room then his seat permitted, forcing me to lean into the isle a bit but I was comfortable.
When we arrived in Golden (around 1:30-2:00am) I went to go buy my ticket from a unhappy looking woman sitting in a glass booth in the gas station. She told me the ticket was going to be $150 and I honestly laughed, thinking she was joking. She wasn’t. Apparently if you buy tickets “after hours” you aren’t eligible for any of the regular discounts. I politely refused saying that I was more likely to walk to Vancouver then pay such a ridiculous amount. She told me to take it up with the bus driver, so I did. I explained to him that I just didn’t have that much money, and if I had known it was going to be that much I’d have stayed in Banff. He was an odd little man, he had kind eyes but also an aura of sadness, the kind you sometimes see in people that have been stuck in jobs or relationships they don’t like for far too long. He said that I’d have to get a ticket in Kamloops (cities in Canada have stupid names I know), and I said that was fine by me. At this time I had every intention to pay for a ticket. However, before arriving in Kamloops we had a driver change, and I spotted an opportunity. The way it works on greyhound is on every stopover lasting more then half an hour you have to present a ticket to get back on the bus. Fortunately for me between Golden and Vancouver there were no long stopovers. When we arrived in Kamloops I was umm… in a very deep sleep… and thus unable to hear the stop announcement, so I missed my opportunity to obtain a ticket. I slept all the was to Vancouver where upon arrival I got up well rested and taking my bag I left the bus depot with considerably more money then I thought I’d have. Karma did catch up with me I must admit. Sometime in the early morning my trusty blackberry decided that rather then work properly it would be much happier to stop working and only display white with the occasional vertical strip. Karmas a bitch.
The result of my blackberry’s decision to give up on life, was me spending all day going around Vancouver from Rogers store to Rogers store getting useless advice on how to fix my problem. Some how the concept of me not having a mailing address baffled them. I explained that I was a traveler from Toronto and I didn’t have access to a computer or another phone and that I needed this phone fixed because it was the only way I could stay in contact with my family (and twitter @americanalchemy). All the people I talked to were like “well you’ll need to call in…” to which I responded “from what, my phone is broken”. When I showed my phone to one guy he actually said “you phone is broken”. “Really? Well thanks tips! I hadn’t noticed, I just like hanging out at Rogers”. The best solution I could get was having a new phone shipped to me in “3 to 5 days”. Oh well what can you do?
One final thing, I’ve noticed that Asians can survive eating only instant noodles. Incredible. It’s like they’re trying to stereotype themselves. I’m going to go read the collective works of the Brontë sisters and drink some coffee. Get it? Cause I’m on tumblr so I’m a hipster. And those are hipstery things.
Goodnight, and thanks for reading.