Archive for August 17, 2001

Days 5 and 6 (The Days I stopped counting)

August 17, 2001 Leave a comment

This will be my last journal entry with numerical days at the top. From here on in, I’m just going to put where I am on the subject line. I hope that’s OK. I just don’t particularly feel like counting the days anymore.

I’m also extremely exhausted from my time in Vancouver and from paying a $750 auto repair bill. As a matter of fact, you could say I am a little freaked out. I guess I am going to be eating Ramen from here on in as I only budgeted $300 for car repairs as a rider to the food budget. Yummy yummy ramen.

On the other engine, my engine is as clean as it has ever been (as least when I have seen it). It’s all shiny. And I have a new cooling system. But I can’t really tell the difference yet and I don’t suppose I ever will, but as long as it stays cool, I’ll be happy. But now I have to be worried the whole time about what else might go wrong with my car.

So Joby and I went to Vancouver yesterday. At the border, we made reservations to stay at the Dufferin Hotel. They said it was a good location (which it was) and family oriented (more on this later). We arrived approximately two o’clock and checked in.

Next was lunch at a Japanese restaurant (I had scallop sushi and Katsu-Don for $12 Canadian, $8 American!) The sushi was good, but the Katsu-Don not. Or maybe it just wasn’t made the way I like it.

Anyway, I was reading the local entertainment rag, “The Georgia Straight,” in the restaurant. I wanted to see if any kind of concert or performance was going on in which I might be interested. (I can’t decide how poor the grammar was in the previous sentence.) I saw an ad for the Dufferin Hotel bar . . .

“Dufferin Hotel – The Best Place in Vancouver to Pick Up a Man”

Yikes! We were booked into the gay hotel!

“But,” I said to Joby, “why did they say it was family oriented?”

“Because love makes a family.”

So any of you homosexual gentlemen who might be reading this journal and are heading to Vancouver should stay at The Dufferin. It IS in a good location, it is low priced by Vancouver standards and was very clean. Oh yeah, and the cable has about 80 channels! And of course, it is the best place in town to find a man . . .

After lunch, we did a LOT of walking. I am now the proud owner of my first blister of the trip. Vancouver is a pretty nice walking city – there are tons of people watching opportunities. (For those of you so inclined, there are more hot Asian women per capita than in any other North American city.)

We popped in and out of a lot of stores and used the power of the US dollar to buy a few items here and there. I got my fill of Canadian Kit-Kat bars (real chocolate with sugar and a better cookie) and Canadian Coke (sugar!).

There are FOUR arcades in a three block area on the main drag (Granville).

(Actually, there are quite a few main drags in town , so it depends on what type of person you are which is THE main drag.)

But back to the arcade thing. It seems that arcades are still popular there? Maybe because there are some COLD weather times of year when indoor entertainment becomes the thing to do. Also, when a game costs 50 cents, it costs 33 cents!!! In any case, I finally got to play Percussion Freaks, which I did, oh, about 20 times. As a matter of fact, when faced with the decision about what to do at midnight in Vancouver, I went and played Percussion Freaks. I’m hooked – someone wanna get me one of these for my birthday??

(For those who don’t know, Percussion Freaks is a Bemani game in which you play an electronic drum set along with a recorded track. Play it right and you get to play it more. Play it wrong and you “fail” and your game is over.)

We saw pretty much everything in Vancouver. We went through Gastown – tourist trap town is more like it. We went to Chinatown which was pretty lame. Even the produce was only fair. We checked out the remnants of Japantown – pretty much all the stores were closed up. Speaking of closed up, every store but the major chains and the ones that cater specifically to tourists close at 6. And since we got there at 2 and ate lunch before starting our walking, lots of things were closed before we got there.

We did find a cool store (open later!) where 80% of the books were either in Japanese or French. There was a flyer for an anime event at a downtown University. (I checked that out on Friday – they had reserved two rooms and were showing 12 hours of anime for two consecutive days. They were showing almost all DVDs except for a couple of fansubbed Kodomo No Omocha episodes. No vendors. Darn.)

The evening snack became an extremely popular item in town – a 93 cent pizza slice. These things are EVERYWHERE. It’s like a Taqueria in the Mission or a Circle K in Phoenix. So I had one. It was a pretty mediocre slice of pizza, but it was 66 cents American including tax. And mediocre pizza is still pretty good.

Night time was mainly spent doing even MORE walking. I wanted to smoke my Cuban cigar (did I mention I bought a Cuban cigar? No? Well I did) but I did not have a clipper for it, nor a place to smoke it. I never got one or the other, and I did not throw away the cigar, so I . . . well anyway, you know what I’m going to say, so let’s not say it . . .

We walked down Robson which is where all the restaurants were located. Joby and I were still a little hungry and we thought we could find a quick bite. Our wish came true when we found the Crepe Cafe. It had a little window right out onto the street and we ordered our crepes from the street and we get them in a little wrapper device and then you walk around with them. I had the dark chocolate/banana and Joby had the Chestnut Cream. Mine was fantastic. Come to think of it, I never asked him what he thought of his!

After checking out the mini-anime-event this morning, I did a little more walking. I wanted to play more Percussion Freaks, but we ran out of time. So it was back to Seattle. We had no contraband and I guess we didn’t look suspicious (even though I haven’t shaved since I left California – not by design but out of sheer morning laziness), so they let us back into the country! Yay! I still have some of that Canadian funny money, but I will be able to spend that in Montreal in late September.

So back in Seattle, I picked up my car and now this. Tonight we’ll probably just rent a DVD and get me to sleep early. I’m leaving for Yellowstone tomorrow morning. I’ll have a stopover in either Coeur D’Alene,Idaho or Missoula, Montana. If I have internet access in my hotel, I’ll be sure to write another journal entry. It will probably look like this:

“I drove. I stopped for gas. I drove. I stopped to pee. I drove. I stopped for gas and Twinkies. I drove. I stopped to pee. I drove.”

But hopefully, you’ll read it anyway!!!

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