Vancouver Day One

Terrible night last night.  Wrote a bit more of my talk when I couldn’t sleep.

Today, Saturday: Time off mainly. Vancouver has a superb system to handle cyclists. vancouver.ca/engsvcs/transport/cycling/ Johns partner Lyn has left a bike here, and complete with a cycle route map, I set off.

Firstly, I tried to sort a micro SD card for my phone. I forgot my camera, left it sitting on charge near the piano.  With a card I can take pictures and download them from cell.

Next, a coffee, in a Commercial Drive cafe.  My first in Canada. While I’m drinking a couple arrive and with dog and baby have no-where to sit outside except my table.  Nero and Anna, plus a baby of 7 months.  He’s tired still, I could tell.  They are really interested in chatting.  He confides that he is going away soon and is “Looking forward to a sleep”.  :)

In the cafe, they call what I know as a Long Black “Cafe Americano” a name I intensely dislike.  Served in mugs.  Later in the day I visited a place which John claims has the worlds best cinnamon buns.  I believe him. Grounds for Coffee: www.groundsforcoffee.ca/grounds_003.htm Served in same style of mug.

As an aside, I’m now getting the hang of the recommendation sites.  Check out YELP for example.  But I need a recommendation site for recommendation sites.

I cycled quite a way for me.  Down to False creek: Beer festival, and firemans games.  Then past the Olympic Village.  In one block alone, 10 stories, 5 apartments wide each site, two sides.  100 units.  16 blocks I can see = 1600 units.  Huge development, and a really cool setup of balconies, giving view plus privacy.  Cycle on to scores of holiday units, apartments.  Granville Island (car parking jams, several cool art galleries)

I passed beach soccer (6 games each, a sponsored competition from “Hells Gate” Lager”), hot dog at a Lions stall (people the same the world over), ice cream.  The bike track goes a long way: English Bay, Jerico Bay on to Spirit Park, nearly to UBC.  Very tired.

Then I turned back.  I found I have not been very sensitive, and discover that I’m cycling into a head wind.  Ditch all plans to go downtown, and go straight back up alternating between Broadway (main street) and Off Broadaway (the cycle friendly street).

I’m really missing people to talk to.  Struck out three times at the second coffee bar.  People just not interested in chatting.  But I have discovered a technique.  If you are lost, park your bike on the curb and sit and read a map.  Someone will stop.  Local micro-knowledge gleaned this way is invaluable.

Home. Omelette, walk up Commercial Drive, no Chinese places anywhere.  Buy avocado: toast and avocado for supper.  Download some images for the PowerPoint presentation of the talk.

Sleep again I hope. Tired, sore and stiff.  Wide awake at 12.00 local time.  Maybe Joel is right: tea has caffeine.  So, no bedtime cuppa tonight, drink orange juice and water instead.

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