Seattle – not much to talk about, or I'm just not in the mood to do so. The first night ended with me getting back to the hostel with a knife, a small bouquet of roses and two “Monster” energy drinks. The next day was more common: I did a long walk along the Piers and then some of the usual attractions. The EMP with it's gehryeske architecture, Nirvana exhibition and SciFi exhibition was definitly on the top ranks of Seattle's attractions. Did you know that Nirvana and a lot of other so called grunge bands originated in the state of Washington and around? Then after having spent a night and a day in the city, I almost missed the bus to Canada because I was standing in the wrong line.
Sitting in the bus and being driven up north, cities are getting smaller. There are forests, mountains and the sea around – I haven't seen cattle in a long time though. I'm listening to music with my headphones (new ones which i got from AMB) for the first time in ages 'cause i feel kind of empty – or hungry.
At the border station we're supposed to get off the bus and cross the border by walking through the border office. In the station a chinese man (he hasn't spoken much english, if at all) dropped a bottle of vine which he had bought in the duty free shop minutes earlier. It was a big mess but one of the border officials acted cool, got a red bin and called for a clean-up. After reentering the bus, I started somehow a conversation with the woman sitting next to me. She grew up in Iran and now lives in Vancouver since years. And we talked a lot about Vancouver, relationships and cancer (she had visited her sister on the east-coast who had multiple chemos by now, let's hope the best for the family).
Arriving in Vancouver she would have liked to show me around, but unfortunatly she lives in Northern Vancouver and I'm there only for a day. After saying goodbye I wanted to take a skytrain to Downtown, but I had problems figuring it out, so a man in torn jeans came to my help and explained the route. Magically he had two tickets and gave me one for 2$ (i had only US $) instead of 2,50 (CDN $), but then asked for another dollar for a meal. I gave him one (US $), because he was so helpful and nice – don't know if the ticket was valid though. Getting out in Downtown at night I was a bit puzzled, but after some walking back and forth I had figured out, where I had to go. At so many corners there was the scent of weed in the air and some girls passing by even asked me for some. Passing by the Stadium where the Madonna Worldtour takes place this evening, i arrived at the hotel. Check-in was quick, but I wanted some last refreshment for the night: Arizona Ice Tea 99 cents. Here it was 2,50 CDN $, so I had to get some canadian money first. For the night I had a single room to be forced to work and plan a bit in the evenings and mornings.
The next day I explored Downtown Vancouver by a bike. 25$ CDN for a single day. It's interesting to see all the different people and sceneries passing by. And to be honest: The people here seem to be friendlier and happier than in the Nortwest of the US and Vancouver seems to provide a high living standard. A lot of children are playing in the green parks, all kinds of people walk along the small coast and some bike around Downtown but not so much into it. Changing between bikepaths, sidewalks and streets, I don't feel endangered at anytime. The up- and downhill quest of the Stanley Park is much more demanding though. But one thing seems off even here: Dealing with the native heritage. I only visited the Totem Poles, but it seems like a rip-off of real native arts just for the means of presenting a picture of a proud, gone extinct society, which doesn't seem to have a place in modern society out of entertaining purposes. Do you get it? Do you?
In the evening I got to the Greyhoundstation, checked out the free WiFi in front of McD and then went on to a so called Sushi-Bar to have at least one proper meal this day. It wasn't bad, although the cook was probably more Canadian then Japanese in his Character. At the check-in there were 2 chinese women with a little boy standing and arguing about their baggage: They had to much and to heavy baggage and didn't want to pay extra baggage fee. It took quite some time for them to stay aside and let the other passengers quickly get their ticket. Before boarding there was a quick security check for the carry- on baggage, which I didn't experience in the US. What followed was a 13h long busride into the northern direction at night. Next to me H. was sitting, a southkorean girl and we talked quite a bit, or I talked quite a bit. Even more now, Korea is on my go-to list.
I didn't sleep a lot, but I was prepared for it. So I silently watched the black silouetthes of needle trees passing by accidently revealing a star spangled night sky until white mist croached up the dark and barren streets and the bus drove away into the dark night.