Before I got out of San Francisco I had to attend a few meetings for work. The best of which took place at Google. You may have heard of them. They make the internet. I was lucky enough to see a fresh batch come off the line. It's a pretty rad place to work. Looks like a Uni campus, people ride custom colored bikes around, work with free WiFi outside and help themselves to unlimited food, drink and slide rides. That's right, you slide between levels. I learned that people who work there are known as "Googlers". They also like to have coffee as it allows for "potential interfacing with a colleague". I left there impressed, but I couldn't say the same for San Francisco. It's like that friend from Church, they're lovely but you wouldn't want to hang out with them on a Saturday night. Next stop was Canada, home of the Canadian Prime Minister among other things. It was great getting back to civilization. Compared to America, Canada seemed almost sci-fi. Clean, well lit streets. Electric powered taxi's with GPS and credit card facilities. Happy, mostly shiny people. Bliss. I felt like Marty in Back to the Future when he returns home at the end.The best bit was the liberal use of trees. Canada seemed to understand how a tree can be employed more successfully than concrete in the decoration of ones streets.
I am staying in the city of Vancouver, British Columbia. The province's name was taken from when British traders would swap scones with the Colombian drug cartels in exchange for cocaine. Vancouver has a colonial underpinning that makes a Melburnian feel at ease. I have been trying to find a decent coffee whilst here, and have failed. Like a lesbian couple, Vancouver Barista's have all the right equipment (quality machines and cafes etc) but cant produce the baby! North American coffee, like its women, tends to be mostly large but unlike its woman, it is always too hot. The exception in this city can be found at Nelson and the Seagull in Gastown. Gastown, could have also been known as Fartown, as it is named after a flatulent old hobo who roamed its early streets. If its one thing Vancouver does well, its homeless people. They almost ironically seem to have their own inner east suburb, if that is possible for a community without housing.
Other things worth checking out in Vancouver (or what I've done) include: Go for a ride with a taxi driver from the sub-continent and be grilled about cricket despite not liking the game. Catch a ferry (small floating material with a outboard motor and man on it) to Granville Market where you can marvel at the fresh produce and retiree tourists. Check out Gastown and its cool shops and cool young alternative people, which provide an alternative to the cool shops and cool young alternative people of other cities anywhere in the world. Head on down to the waterfront and watch massive cruise ships get loaded with supplies and old people before sailing to Alaska to fight the bears. Sample some high standard Japanese fare that seems to be easily available. I was lucky enough to come across Japadog, which I have heard much about. It didn't disappoint. The best stop off I made however was Stanley Park. If Central Park had a hot younger sister that you never heard about then suddenly one day met, it would be Stanley Park. Sure its a weird name for a girl, probably more suited to a Economics Professor who enjoys sailing on weekends, but she sure is beautiful. The sun was shining, the views were magnificent and the people were out and aboot.
All in all it couldn't have been a better ending to Canada. Particularly because my intended last night in town Mexican feast was disappointing. I dont know where the best Burrito in Vancouver is, but no one will solve that mystery by frequenting El Taco on Davies St. I made up for by grabbing some Ben and Jerry's Choc Cookie Chip ice cream and tapping into the free WiFi to catchup on new Entourage and the Will Ferrel episodes of The Office. God bless countries close to America ( but far enough removed to be different).