I am back from a self-sponsored trip to Vancouver and as much as I'd like to say better than ever, I feel like I've rolled out of a Christmas holiday - less money and more poundage. I knew what I was doing however, when I embarked on my one-woman economic stimulus plan to help the city back on its feet after vomiting money at the Olympics, and the extra trips to the gym are totally worth the poutine, alcohol, Purdy's chocolates and wheels of cheese that have my ass in a death grip.
Some trip notes:
-Weekend nights on the Granville strip are for amateurs and I am shocked by the number of neanderthals allowed to live in the city.
-With a train actually running underground (amen), Vancity now feels something akin to a real city.
-All India Sweets and the Mongolie Grill (the dirty one on W. Broadway) are just as good as they were when I was a high school student just tryin to make it.
-Being escorted to a house party in a real live Vancouver Special by four gay boys is excellent fun until you get to the actual party and have to take your boots off on dirty shag carpet.
-Hello delish $5 smoothies, how I have missed you. Ditto hot dogs on the corner.
-Casual unscripted conversation is totally OK with people you don't know. And the eye contact is mind-blowing! ! !
-Wearing heels in daylight there is the equivalent to wearing them to a day of tree planting set off with a classic string of pearls.
- I love the smell of North American drugstores: that illicit mix of magazine gloss, plastic shampoo bottles and brightly coloured candy wrappers.
- Some of my best clothing finds come from consignment stores in this fair city.
- I now kind of understand how people like the whole "sea and mountain" thing the city has going on. I'm not hugging any trees though.
- Hello Whole Foods, where have you been my whole life?! I think I need to become a high-powered attorney just so I can shop there on a semi-regular basis. Really and truly.
Getting back mid-week has been a shock to my system but I am extremely pleased to let you know that I haven't had any pedestrian rage or salaryman stabbing fantasies yet! I'm sure my post-trip orgasmic glow will wear off in less than a week and I will be back to my healthy bitchy public self. But for now, I am bouncing down the street in the mornings to Rihanna's Disturbia and marvelling at how undisturbed I actually am. I'm still not entirely sure what I want to do in the next couple years (I had secretly hoped my parents would hold these elusive answers) but I feel refreshed and ready for at least another six months on the island before a break.
Despite my well-documented aversion to handing out omiyage, I went ahead with the proverbial shooting of one's own foot and bought some fragrant creme-packed maple cookies for my bitches at the office. I even brought my Secretary and Sunshine an ugly-cute Olympic stuffed animal keychain each in order to encourage better international relations over the quad partition. I figured that if that fails, at least I have something to stuff into their mouths when they are chattering at a fever pitch during lunch while I am trying to work.
I went through the same pattern of pass-the-omiyage procrastination that I do every time, where I try to coax myself into eating most of the omiyage myself so that I don't have to give it to many Secretaries. I ate the two or three broken cookies but couldn't rationalize any more. Then I cleaned my desk, wallet and purse, watered and toileted myself and stared at my calendar for a while before strategizing and pinpointing the targets of my omiyage blitz. Read: Secretaries I think are nice. The two sitting next to me are not all that bad but when the devil from down the hall comes by at lunch all conversation hell breaks loose. Devil is definitely not getting a taste of the sweet maple nectar.
I don't know what it is about passing out omiyage that causes me to sweat, quite literally, but props to Japanese societal pressures, they have most definitely taken effect. I even found myself blushing (or was it flushing?) while making small talk with each Secretary, causing me to wonder if I was going through puberty or perhaps menopause, both stages I had previously thought myself quite far from. When I got back to my desk I felt like the office heating had been turned up to a million degrees and taking off my cardigan barely offered any respite. Thank the sweet lord my omiyage quota has been filled for at least half a year and maybe, just maybe, the cookie-munching Secretaries will pass along a kind word about me to someone.