"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)
Thursday, August 18, 2005
I'm in lovely Vancouver, B.C., just a block south of the famous "Little Amsterdam" district. Our hotel is a restored Victorian style place called, creatively enough, the Victorian Hotel. We spent a night on San Juan Island, where we enjoyed a successful whale watching cruise, and then two nights in Victoria before we got here. Tomorrow, we're off to Harrison Hot Springs and, for our son anyway, the climax of our trip - Dinotown!
Some thoughts about Canada: My Lovely Bride noticed that one hears a lot more languages and/or accents on the street here than we would in Seattle. I presume this is because Canada tends to be more welcoming of immigrants and foreign tourists than are the States. Although B.C. is about as American as any foreign country could be - after all, we're less than a day's drive from home - every now and then you get a subtle reminder that this is actually another country. The money, of course; not just the pretty currency, but the $1 and $2 coins in lieu of bills (according to the cashier at the hotel restaurant in Vistoria, these are known as "unies" and "twonies," but I presume she was pulling my leg - no one could really call their money such silly names, could they?). The metric stuff, even though I occasionally hear people slip and mention weight in pounds. The weirdest stuff, though, is the little differences. Danon Yogurt is Danone Yogurt, with the accent shifted to the second syllable. In the TV commercials, "Mazda" is pronounced with a short, broad "a" sound ("Mazz-da"). Odd little quirks like these make me quite aware that I'm in a foreign place. A really pretty, really cool foreign place.
I've not been keeping up much with the news before tonight, and I'm surprised (and disappointed, I guess) by how little I've missed. Current events truly are like a soap opera - there's the illusion of rapid change, but skip a week and you can still pick right up where you left off.
Anyway, I'll be back blogging regularly when I return from this little voyage. In the meanwhile, keep the fire burning. Happy trails.
" I just hope when the time comes, the Canadians will all come along peacably" Jonathan Winters