Day 2: to Vancouver
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Our plans were simple - get up early and pop over to the King Street Station to catch a scenic train to Vancouver. Unfortunately, a minor disruption in the form of a freight train derailment north of Seattle abruptly put an end to that plan.

An hour and a half later, we were on a bus, chugging north on I-5 with the rest of our irritated, Amtrak compatriots. It wasn't a very pretty ride (and the day was surprisingly gloomy) but we made it to Vancouver successfully.

Note to travelers: If you're anything like me, you're completely and irrationally intimidated by the Customs Agents at any border. They're fully armed and asking you rapid fire questions about your intentions in their country, so if you blank on where you're staying in Vancouver, don't worry. That 5-second window of white hot panic is an easy thing to get out of - just play dumb and ask your boyfriend. Then the borders agent will be so irritated that you didn't approach him together, that he'll forget all about your bad memory and allow you to enter his country to do nefarious things like traffick drugs, break the law, and commit corporate financial fraud. Awesome.

Vancouver is really interesting - it's far smaller than I originally thought it would be. It reminds me a lot of San Francisco, and it's been interesting to see a city with very few African citizens. The major minority here is of Asian descent, and after touring the city for the better part of three hours, I only saw 2 African Canadians. Everything here is written in Chinese and English. Everyone working at McDonald's was Asian (because YOU KNOW I stopped for a large Diet Coke). It's odd, to say the least.

Lunch overlooking the harbor at The Mill (best pulled pork sandwich I've ever had), and dinner at Shanghai Chinese Bistro was good as well, despite the fact that my tongue is still recovering from a wicked hot dish of General Cho's Chicken. Nothing that a little mango ice cream can't solve, eh?

See? I'm Canadian already. More later - right now I have to go steel myself for a quick trip on a very, VERY small plane.