hahah! I planned this all along! my tickets did get messed up, but they also got fixed!
30.06.2006 23 °C
I'm in Vancouver!
got in yesterday morning. Really, really strange.
I left Hong kong at 3pm on the 29th of June. I arrived in Vancouver 11am, 29 of June! I arrived before I actually left! that day that dissapeared when I flew to Austalia found it's way back. I couldn't sleep on the airplane, so by the time I fillanlly went to bed at 1am canada time, I had been awake for about 48 hours and was literall going completely insane. I slept for about 9 hours in a hostel on granville, woke up at about 10 and I feel much better today!
It was really strange... I was definetly ready to leave hong kong... I had very intense, wonderful experiances... and It was meant to be that breif. I wasn';t there long enough for anyhitng bad to happen (which, where I was staying, inevitably would have) and the intensity of it never wore off. I was awstrewck every minute of it.
It didn't really clue into to me that I was aout to go home to Canada until I was sitting on the airplane (747-400) taxiing to the runway and the piolet announced that "your cabin crew today is from Canada" I don't know exactly why, but I nearly broke down, right then and there! hearing those words and seeing their smiles caused tears to roll down my cheeks and my heart to fill right uip to the very top. I'm going back to Canada! Canada is my home! Canada is my home. I am the luckiest human being there ever was. (tears are welling up in my eyes even writing about this) I have never considered myself to be patriotic, but this trip has really changed somehting in me. Instead of taking it for granted, I relaize how bloody lucky I am to call Canada my home. EVERY single person I met had absloutelyt nothing bad to say about Canada! they spoke of every Canadian they had ever met warmly and had ewither been there or spoke highly of someone they know who hd been there. Canada and it's people are much repects and revered in the world eye. I thought about seeing everybody, I thought about being around people who spoke elglish again, about being able to drink the water right from the tap, about how nice every one is... about how we're all equals... about our rocky mountains and our forests, and the tears kept coming... I wrote a big rant in my notebook about patriotism and how my partiotism has aboslutely nothing to do with politics. I couldn't possibly give a shit about the old guys with sticks up thier ass who use big words and diplomacy. I just care that my country is open and free, that we try our best to get along and that we welcome others to come join us. that we try our very best to keep our country clean and that there is so much of it that is unsettled....
enough of the patriotism rant... I always knew canada was a good place to live... but now I really know, in a whole new way...
Airplane ride went really quickly. 12 hours. read my book, "a million little pieces" by James Frey, tried to sleep - unsuccessful, watched a discovery channel doco on training chimps to commucate their emotions (which proved to be possible!), tryed to sleep - unsucessful, listened to lots of blues and hindi music, tried to sleep, again unsuccessfully. wrote. still no sleep...darkness came, lasted only a couple of hours, then it was morning again and soon enough, Vancouver islkand came into view. The sights of the white caps on our rockies, again prompted tears. almost too beautiful for me to look at, really. I started to get really excited! I wanted off the plane right now! cooommmeooon Vancouver! Comeing into Van I could see the whole lower mainland on one page - it's so tiny! I remeber seeing downtown vancouver from their air when I left - thinking, yep. that's pretty cool. When I saw it this time, the buldings of downtown looked like stubble compared to the towering plethora of highrises that make up Hong Kong's skyline...we landed soon enough.
As soon as I got into the aiport... I could sense somehting was different about this place... wandering through the irport, everything was so tiny, everyhitg so quiet! sooooo quiet! like being in an accoustically padded room! noone around, I could turn around with out checking over my shoulder so as not to cause a pile up of people! I made my way to immigration and heard my first Canadians speak! hahahahahh. hahahah,hahahaha. I loved it! everybody sosunded like Bob and Doug Mackenzie! "Hoser, eh?" my god. I didn't think it would be that noticable. I was brimming smiles the entire time! everyone talks like that here! all of the ladies I talked to too, they all had that warm, welcoming Canadian accent! Customs went ok. I got random pasport check. I always do in airports because I make eye contact with the random check officials. they know they've got my attention and that they have to fill a quota, so they choose me. I don't mind.
They didn't even go through my stuff... so I got in a couple of things I figured they would seize at customs.. which is cool.
I stored my big bag at the tiny little vancouver airport and hopped on a bus into the city. Checked in to the Samesun on granville and dropped my bags. Granville is different than I remmber it... lots has changed here! I wandered about the city. Everything different than I remember it! The trees all looked like crazy forgein vegetation, there was soooo much space beween the shopfronts.. onlty a few stores per building.. .the crosswalk lights and sounds were funny to me. the Cars drive on the wrong side of the road! (everywhere I've been has been on the left, except for Lao - but there were very few cars and only one road, so it doesn;t really count, and I was only there for 8 or 9 days)
Vancouver, the city that was, before I left, so crazy and chaotic to me is now calming and relaxing. nice and airy, clean and well spaced out! It's nice here.... and I don't know if it was just my happiness and gratitude of being home, but I had people aroundf me all day. I met heaps of people!
The sun was nice and bright, temperatures in the 25deg rage. (a little chilly in the shade for me...) and it was a beautiful day, so I did the natural thing and headed down to Wreck beach. Got som nice naked sun with a few hundered sun loving naturalists! had a great time! Met a guy from Nova Scotia walking through UBC campus afterward and we got to talking. great convos. afterward I decided to use my transfer (every mass tranisit system I have used has operated differently.. van's way of using 1.5 hour tickets seem really funny to me) to get out to Commercial drive, where again, I met some really cool people. One guy I knew from Nelson, who knew Roland and Autumn and such... we had really cool talks and ended up with a group of people, all of us jiving onn eatch other.. the most memorable of which was this guy who walked up and said, "you want to talk about philosophy?" and then opened up into this mesmerizing rant - this rant on how he knows what every letter of the alphebet means - and how they don't what you to know, and that if you knew, if you only knew, you'd get it. you'd know why the trees are made of ice cream, why green day is green, dogs fall from the sky when it rains. You'd understand hip hop. then went on to explain it, going deeper and deeper, going furhter and further out. This guy was the most intense hman being I have met. He was fully off his nut, but somehow coherent and very poetic. his whole rant flowed very smoothly and was filled with intellectual information and factual truth known only by acedemics... and was extreamly profoundly orchestrated. My guess is that he is either an ecedemic who has learned too much and his feet have left the gound, or he had a head chock full of L.S.D. either way, the experiance was one of a kind and lasted only as long as he stayed. I tried to record it, but was unable to, as he became highly offended that I wasn't listening as closely as he wanted, if I was able to use my hands while he was speaking, surely I couldn't be listening with 1000% of my mind. In all reality, I think I would have gone completely nuts with him if he had kept speaking, so it happened the way it was suposed to happen.
The toehr people I met were just really nice, intereting and open minded. not nuts. had a great time and watched the sunset form the park on commercial.
By the time I made it back to GRanville I was litereally insane form sleep deprivation... hallucinating a bit, even. nooding off nto dremlets on the train. I stopped to buy a couple 1$ slices of pizza (god how I've missed them, I ate 7 slices yesterday!), talking to some really nice girtls at the pizza place, while completely insane and coming by it hinestly. they were fully amused by my insanity and welcomed me back to Canada. I really like Vancouverites! went back to my $27. night hostel and hit the sack. Bloody amazing day. suuuch a good day. Very nice way to come home.
I fly back to Alberta with Westjet at 5pm (the last of 15 flights I have taken on this trip!) Darcy is picking me up at the airport. I haven't decided if I going to drop in and surprise everyone at the re-union tonight, or if I will wait until Canada day and do a fireworks entrance. suppose it depends on what Darcy has on the go...
alright. That's it from me!
Thanks for reading!