It’s been two weeks now and I’ve been noticing a few things about living in the west-side of Vancouver. Peculiar things that may or may not be unique to this city, but worthy of mentioning.
Dogs are everywhere. Big ones, small ones, long-hair, short-hair, curly and straight (hair, that is). Sit in a park for awhile and you’re sure to see numerous dog owners being walked by their dogs. They meet other dog owners and they get together for a lovely chat about, you guess it, their dogs. Fascinating.
Fancy gardens/lawns. Usually they’re in front of picture-perfect houses. And there are rows upon rows of houses with beautiful lawns. You rarely see people actually enjoying their lawns. You would think that after spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars in landscaping people would be hanging out smelling their imported roses. Nope.
Cats may have nine lives, but spider webs eternally resurrect. Doesn’t matter how many times you walk down a path, the next morning there will be a new web waiting to meet your face. And they’re everywhere. EVERYWHERE.
Hills are a way of life. You’re either walking up a hill, or coming down one. The most level piece of geography is the ocean. I can see why one ice storm can wreak havoc on this city; the entire peninsula is a giant toboggan course (if any snow manages to stay). In any case, at least you can pretend you’re saving gas half the time you’re driving.
Buses are only useful if they stop for you. Enough said.
Flashing green. For the uninitiated driver in BC, this is a strange sight. You’re cruising along a street and there’s a series of uncoordinated flashing green traffic lights. What does this mean!??!?! If you’re not induced into epileptic shock, you’re tapping the breaks because you’re anticipating a change in the lights. Actually, the flashing green means that it is a pedestrian intersection and will ONLY turn red if there’s a pedestrian wanting to cross the street. Ohhhh.
Addresses don’t locate, they identify. Take for example 5128 Granville Street. The logical interpretation is that this building is situated near 51st Avenue and Granville Street. Oh foolish thinking! It’s actually on 35th Ave and Granville. Looking on a map is pointless. So unless someone tells you what the nearest intersection is, you’re left driving to Richmond. There’s better Chinese food there anyways.
The gods here are Coffee and Sun. People can’t get enough of them. Places of worship are interwoven into the fabric of this great city. Starbucks, Blenz, Café foreign place, Tim Hortons, etc…. there’s a place for every worshiper to belong. And don’t forget to pay homage to the Sun everyday that it’s out. If you don’t please the Sun now, you’ll soon regret it during days of darkness and rain.
Price gouging. Vancouver is a very pretty city. Ocean meets mountains, and people get to play in between. And being a pretty city, they can charge an arm and a leg, heck your soul, to live here. Property, insurance, gas, health care, I’m sure the list goes on to account for the higher cost of living. The only saving grace is cheap food, or I should say the availability of cheap food.
I think that’s all for now. Perhaps there will be more observations in the coming months. In the meantime, I will keep enjoying my uphill walks through lovely neighborhoods, coffee in hand and head turned to the sun. Especially when the bus passes me and I can’t find my destination.