I woke and pulled back the drapes in the living room a pair of panted legs with heavy dark boots hung before me. A bridge of metal tubing crisscrossed the window.
Oh yeah, I’m not at my house. I’m in Vancouver, staying at my friends downtown condo while she’s staying in my house on Vancouver Island, we agreed on a four-day swap.
This arrangement serves us both perfectly, I am wanting some time in the city before the summer ended for a few reasons. First Claude Monet was showing at the Vancouver Art Gallery, second I have never been to UBC’c Museum of Anthropology and planned to spend a day there, and third I just wanted to soak up some big city buzz and an evening with my step-son and his wife. And my husband is away for work for the week anyway.
In exchange my friend in turn got a luscious reprieve away from her five months and counting green sheathed-scaffolded-plywood strewn-strange mens legs dangling outside the front window-exterior condo refit for some peace and quiet, a lot of trees, and the ocean. Fair trade.
I love the energy and bustle of cities, and Vancouver is one of the most beautiful. The visuals, even the noise. I wanted grit, the smells, the chaos, to see people moving in all directions, to see weird people, colour, texture. Even the anonymity of walking down a busy crowded street and no one knowing who I am is for me a kind of perverse liberation, to be alone in a crowd. To be unnoticed.
I can fill up on all the stimulation, then return to my tranquil island home where everybody has known me for thirty years. Best of both worlds.
I can certainly do day trips to Vancouver, the Departure Ferry is only a short city transit bus ride away from me. Walking onto the ferry for $16, getting off at Horseshoe Bay in Vancouver then jumping right onto their express city transit bus that, forty and so minutes later, deposits me right downtown on W. Georgia. But all in, there and back alone, eats up a solid four hours of my day in traveling.
So, to have several days to meander that beautiful city with an open agenda without expensive hotel costs – a perfect four days away.