Daily Archives: 2009-09-13

The Big Fish – Victoria, BC

I am sitting on the last ferry from Victoria to Vancouver and I have barely caught my breath. I ran. After bringing in a 40 pound halibut in Pedder Bay, Shawn sped as fast as his VW Westphalia could go. Our fishing guide was clearly capable of creating excitement on land and on sea. For a few minutes I was sweating, sure that there was no way I was going to make the boat. Infact, I was the last person to board and the ship was chocoblock. It was tight.

It was a beautiful day to be in the water and although we really only caught one keeper, she was a gooder at 46 inches long. I would have liked to have tasted some of that sweet flakey fish but the transport would have been too much of a pain. I left it as a tip to Shawn contributing to his winter stash. Besides, I have been eating fish every day since I arrived. Ahhh how I love seafood. Even the worst sushi here on the coast is better than the stuff we get in landlocked Edmonton. I even went to one place twice, as a thank you to both of my kind and gracious hosts.

It was my first time to Victoria and it was much as I would have imagined. The flowers were in full bloom and the leaves were just starting to turn. There was every form of weather you could have hoped for except for snow. Thank goodness we didn’t see any of that. I was glad that most of the days were sunny and calm, making for some serene walks in the capitol city of British Columbia.

One thing that made a very strong impression on me was how friendly and polite everyone seemed to be. I was constantly caught off guard with cheerful greetings from every demographic. Now I am generally the one who spreads kind hellos to strangers without hesitation, but here they beat me to it every single time. Even the tourists have caught on. When I remarked on this phenomenon, it was a Winnipeg native who agreed it was a common occurrence here and was really quite contagious. A good habit I think it is time for me to revive.

Over here on the island the fruit is pretty flavorful but some of the prices are higher than I would have expected. All in all, I suppose the cost is higher but it is clearly reflective of the standard of living. Even the bums are friendlier. There are certainly more of them.

I went on a few good walks and was mystified by how quickly it was to immerse oneself in nature from just about anywhere in the city. The public transit was fantastic and the bus drivers were so kind I had to control myself from hugging them.

The coffee culture here is out of control. It’s a serious force to be reckoned with everywhere except for inside the sushi restaurants (they deliver caffeine in the form of green tea). The almighty java bean certainly dominated much of my visit either talking about it, drinking it, making it, or searching it out. It was bizarre to witness that at any given time, 3 out of 4 people walking on the street are carrying a cup of joe. Even the kids seem to be drinking it! I guess there are worse things to be addicted to.

It was wonderful to spend some time reflecting on the past few years with my good friend Petra who has started life anew here on the island. I guess talking it out really puts perspective on it and allows me to put stuff in the past. We are both in similar places of departure from an old self that no longer seems to fit. There was a time when I was sad about letting go, but I guess when one is ready, it becomes more of a relief.

I am starting to get excited about my trip to Asia. I am not quite there yet as I still have a few more goodbyes to make. I am on my way to visit some extended family in Vancouver from whom I have been apart from for way too long. We have lots of catching up to do over the next couple days, including meeting my cousins new babies for the first time.

I see the night lights of Vancouver dazzling the horizon of blackness. My old stomping grounds. It will be weird to revisit this part of my history. I finished high school here and needless to say, there are some key memories hidden in the crevices.

Grateful for movement.

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