it's never that easy (2007-03-10 - 12:22 a.m.)
Well, today has been interesting. It started with tea and ended with crashing on a couch I didn't expect to crash on, once again without my toothbrush. (This seems to be a theme of the trip. Perhaps I should give up trying).
So Sophie and I got up late and lounged around her brother's place. It felt a little like camping as we scrounged through cupboards for a pot to boil water so we could make tea. We had brunch at (appropriately enough) Sophie's Cosmic Cafe, which I enjoyed very much because there was much to occupy the attention. The food, for one thing (plentiful), and for another the bright yellow walls panelled with a collage of... everything. Posters, tin lunch boxes, a pool table, a giant fish... difficult to get bored. The railings between the booths were topped with rows of Coke bottles, to interesting effect.
Sophie and I spent the days wandering about and shopping like crazy (with a quick break to visit her brother at work). She is so fun to shop with - like Rene she finds me things to try on; unlike Rene she does not ensure these things are many clashing shades of pink, orange and green. We ended up buying the same shirt! except that it I will wear it forwards, and it looks great on her backwards.
I wanted to meet up with Cynthia, who is absolutely buried with work trying to finish up her Genetic Counselling degree. We had plans to go for dinner. Sophie and her brother were also to go to dinner, so I thought we'd meet up after and I could pick up my stuff and go visit Rob and Claire.
Alas, it was not to be. After a very entertaining dinner at a sushi restaurant (CYNTHIA! at a SUSHI place! The girl has advanced far beyond chicken fingers) I called Sophie's brother to see where they were. They were somewhere and headed somewhere else but didn't quite know where and they'd call me when they found it. And they couldn't meet up to pass me the housekey to grab my stuff.
So I was kinda stuck... couldn't get my stuff, not sure where Sophie and her brother were, and standing in the Vancouver rain at 10.30 pm with nowhere to go. Didn't want to make Rob and Claire wait up while I sorted myself out and not sure when Sophie's brother would call back.
At this point I hit the mental rant that comes up every time I travel. "Why the HECK do I want to travel so much and deal with the unfamiliar all day and not know where I'm staying or where I can eat or how to get anywhere, when I could be at home in my nice warm bed?!"
There was no satisfactory answer forthcoming. So, I called Cynthia, who immediately rescued me with an offer of her couch. I took notes about her address with a lipliner pencil on a Shoppers Drug Mart receipt, spattered with raindrops. Began to walk up Broadway and saw the bus she had mentioned, the 17, just about to pass me. I ran like crazy and managed to catch it.
Turns out that there are TWO #17 busses. One goes to Oak Street, near Cynthia. One goes downtown. Guess which one I managed to get on? After we crossed a bridge I figured out that perhaps I was headed in the wrong direction. At this point I got off the bus, with no idea at all where I might be. I flagged down a cab only to have it snatched from under my nose by some loud drunk people, and three more failed to stop. So I asked a nearby policeman if he had the number for a cab. He replied somewhat shortly, at which point I noticed that his partner was in the midst of handcuffing a girl wearing trackpants and he probably had other things on his mind.
At this point, two girls stumbled out of a cab and fell into the gutter (quite literally - one of them at least.) I nicked their cab and whew! made it to Cynthia's. She had a couch and some pyjamas waiting. I am infinitely grateful and am counting my blessings that I have friends who, having seen me twice in the past three years, are still willing to offer a place to stay on no notice at all.
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