Last week when 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 served us both perfectly, I was 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 third I just wanted to soak up some big city buzz.
My friend in turn got a reprieve from her, five months and counting, green sheathed, scaffolded, plywood strewn, beeping work trucks, strange mens legs dangling outside the front window, exterior condo refit in exchange for peace and quiet, a lot of trees, and the ocean.
I love the energy and bustle of cities. The visuals, even the noise. I wanted grit, chaos, to see people moving in all directions, to see weird people, smells, colour, texture and even the anonymity of walking down a busy crowded street and no one knowing who I am. There is for me a kind of perverse liberation to be alone in a crowd. To be unnoticed.
I can fill up, and 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, get off at Horseshoe Bay in Vancouver and jump 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 and without expensive hotel costs? Perfect. Plus I had enough time to get an evening in with my stepson and his wife.
Also Bob is away for work. I could also add that this friend I have swapped with is in fact Bobs ex. Yes, she is the mother of my step son whom I’ve had the pleasure raising from the age of ten. When Bob was telling his co workers that his wife and his ex have swapped houses there was some laughter, some ‘Whaaaa?’ and some head shaking of disbelief. Bob was pleased with their reaction. We just all get along, long story short.
The four days went exactly as I had planned and if you care to check back my following posts will cover my time with Monet, the Museum of Anthropology (MOA), city walks, and will answer the pressing query -what the frick is a Catfe ~