Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Vancouver List

I'm sure you're all breathing a sigh of relief now that I'm posting again! Now you know that I was NOT, in fact, pecked to death by crows. You're welcome. However, I have been insanely busy between work and enjoying the wonderful weather we've been having! I thought I would share some of the reasons why I am loving spending my time out here (and the few reasons that I'm not).

Reasons Why I Love Vancouver:

1) The Weather

The weather here is pretty much perfect. It's been around the 20 degree mark since I got here, which means everyday when I get home from work . . . shorts! It's also not that stifling hot that Ontario gets in the summer. 40 degrees with smog in downtown Toronto on the 7th floor with no air-conditioning was NOT a good time. I've heard that they get a lot of rain out here, but that has yet to prove itself true. Especially since Calgary and Toronto have been getting all of that. Apparently there can be earthquakes too, but I guess Ottawa took care of that one earlier this year too.

2) My Security Pass

I definitely feel like I own the place when I'm walking around in my high-visibility vest and security pass. I keep hoping people will come and ask me for help or directions. I'm pretty much crushed on a day that they don't. Let me tell you, it was not an easy process to make it happen either! It took me 6 weeks to get the pass! Now that I do have it, I start preparing myself the stop before I get off at the airport. I put my book and cell phone away and whip out the pass, straighten it out on the lanyard around my neck and then sit up tall, in case anyone wants to know when to get off. To actually use it, pretty much like all of those spy movies. Biometrics are awesome.

3) My Job

My manager told me that he wanted to be the best manager I've ever had and so far, he's doing a pretty good job! His goal is to just expose me to everything he can at the airport, including fire extinguisher training, an architectural tour, design of the baggage system, health and safety (good thing I took that half-credit course . . .), project management, golf tournaments, contractors, bow-tie Wednesday (which I pay tribute to with a headband adorned with a bow), new software, work as a business analyst, the 4:30am clean-up walk, etc. It wouldn't be too bad either if they wanted me to bring all of my knowledge back next year, once I'm done school. Can I make that my sole co-op workterm objective? To be hired back? It's also pretty wicked that I can just see planes taking off and landing while waiting for my train to go home!

4) The Markets

When I first got out here, I was pretty unimpressed with the grocery stores. What is this world without Loblaw stores?? Now I've realized it's because there are way better places to get food at. There are small fruit and vegetable markets at every corner, where you can just buy grape tomatoes in bulk. It was awesome. The other bonus is that it's so cheap! Spending the time to go and pick out your fruit and vegetables like this definitely improves the price. It's also mostly locally grown. I know some of my Guelph friends would love that idea! I usually buy a whole backpack full of fruits and vegetables and it only cost me $8 to $9! You can also go and buy fresh-baked bread and bagels this way and get your meat right from the butcher. I still use the grocery stores for things like milk and cheese (weirdly milk is cheaper out here, but cheese is more expensive than Ontario) and pretzels, but these small markets are the way to go for most things!

5) The Festivals

There is always something happening out here. I've been to a couple of music festivals, including one right down the street from where I live and last week, the boyfriend and I went to the Gastown Grand Prix. People were racing bikes (ridiculously fast) around the streets of Gastown. For safety, all of the turns had hay bales!

6) The Beach

This doesn't require much explanation. Beaches everywhere. That I can swim in (since they're salt water). Also, the seawall. So cool.

7) Transit

Transit here is actually really good. The pass is a bit expensive, but totally worth it considering how much I use it. It's cool that you can get all the way from UBC out to Surrey and down to Richmond and up to the mountains in North Vancouver all on the same transit system. They're also implementing a new fare system soon and will be doing a beta test of it in a few months. The engineer in me was excited (probably too excited) to apply to be a tester. I'll know August 9th!

8) The Buildings

There are cool buildings all over the place! From Canada Place, up at the waterfront, to the amazing airport (not biased at all here). That's only commercial too! Where I live reminds me of Florida, with its beachy houses. The buildings are all so different here too because of the climate. It isn't just row after row of identical bricked houses. There are even the hobbit houses!

9) The People

People just seem happier and nicer out here. Even though its such a big city, it seems a lot smaller. Everyone thanks the bus drivers when they get off the bus, just like in Guelph! They also say hi to you on the street. 

10) The Boyfriend

I guess it's also pretty nice that the boyfriend is out here. He can make the list too!

Reasons Why I Do NOT Love Vancouver:

1) The Crows

I think that I might actually be psychologically traumatized from the times that I've been attacked. Every time I see them while walking around Vancouver, I do a check to see if there are other people near me that can call 911 when I get attacked and end up lying on the ground bleeding. (That might be a bit graphic, but that's exactly what I picture happening when I walk past them. Psychological trauma, I tell you!)

2) Distance

My family is very far away! Personally, I think they should just move out here with me, so they'll be closer. I guess I still have to work on convincing them though.

I had also mentioned that I was going to try a yoga class. Which I did, a week later than I planned because of the bike racing. The (free) yoga class was in a store after they closed. It was pretty cool because they pushed all of the clothing racks and did it right there on the floor. I had bought myself a nice, purple mat to use. The instructor was great and even recognized that I was new! Now for a brief synopsis:

Go to yoga for the first time in 7 years.
Pull out the purple mat.
Start the class.
Haven't stretched my hamstrings in years.
Think it's going well.
Haven't fallen over yet.
Instructor says we're going to try handstands.
That's not going to happen.
Try it anyway.
Can't walk.
Takes twice as long to get anywhere at work.
Can't walk even more.
Take 2 buses to work instead of one because it's less walking,
Also can't climb the baggage system.
Go for a swim.
Think it will help the pain.
Feels better in the pool.
Get out of the pool.
Not better at all.

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