Random Thoughts

(Ed. note: I have been craving the opportunity to write something – anything. My apologies if you find the following uninteresting or boring. Also, since I am now a sporadic (very) blogger, I am unwilling to pay the $100+ dollars I need to in order to buy a new domain name which is not called “Jiaxingexpress.com”. Sorry, but you are just going to have to live with it – or feel free unsubscribe yourself from my notifications. )

We have been so very fortunate to have travelled to so many different parts of the world and seen so many sights. Bangkok to Beijing to Budapest, London to Lhasa, Moscow to Manila, Prague to Phnom Penh to Penticton, Shanghai to Singapore and so many many places in between. But a couple of weeks ago we experienced a city so unique it demands our attention. We spent three full days in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Okay, so it may not be as exotic as the others but we haven’t spent much time in the last four years wandering around our own “hometown”. Thus we (ok, I) have some observations.

We went to Nordstrom’s for lunch. Now I haven’t been to the Vancouver Nordstrom so it was interesting. It provided me with my first observation. There is a lot of money to be spent in Vancouver on high end products and if the clientele in Nordstrom is any indication, it is mostly Chinese. I can say Chinese because after living in China for three years I can recognize the language when I hear it! My second observation – there are a LOT of wealthy young (under 30) Chinese. The store teemed with them and their bags.

At the other end of the spectrum, there are also a lot of street people in Vancouver. One of the nights we walked from Granville, down Robson to Denman, along Denman to Davie, up Davie to Burrard and back along Burrard to the Art Gallery.

Our Route

Our Route


We were amazed at the number of people sleeping on the street. The one who stood out was a woman, asleep, with a sign that asked for any help (there was a wrapped sandwich and a bottle of water beside her) right on the northwest corner of Burrard and Robson – and I mean RIGHT at the corner. One almost to step over her to get from the crosswalk back on to the sidewalk.

(Ed. note: here’s an interesting coincidence. The woman sitting next to us at lunch in Nordstrom’s showed up the next day at The Nosherie, a bakery/deli where we were having lunch. Hmm.)

We were also taken with the number of boarded up storefronts on our route. A visitor to Vancouver walking the walk we did would not think it was a vibrant, prosperous city – but then maybe it’s not.

Our final observation was of the overwhelming number of Korean BBQ restaurants on our walk.   Yes, we saw ramen, pizza, a few Mexican, some Chinese (know by the large, open, brightly lit caverns) sushi restaurants and even the timeless Dover Arms, but the majority to our eyes were the BBQ.

I would be interested in hearing the opinions/observations of those of you who live in the Lower Mainland. Do you see the same?

screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-11-02-37-am

Last night we went to see Bryan Adams. Now in the spirit of full disclosure, and at the risk of being accused of being unpatriotic, I have never been a Bryan Adams fan. Terry is a big fan so off we went. My observations:

        • Concertgoers in Penticton feel comfortable leaving their coats and jackets on their seats while they disappear for half the concert
        • Concertgoers on the floor in Penticton don’t care about the people behind them who can’t see – even when they are the only ones standing and they are 6 foot or more and 200 pounds or more
        • I am as tall as at least 75% of Bryan Adams’ Penticton floor standing fans since I had no trouble seeing when I was forced to stand up
        • Concertgoers in Penticton are constantly leaving their seats to go and get beer, missing a lot of the concert
        • It is okay for concertgoers in Penticton who have seats on the floor to leave those seats in order to go up into the empty seats in “stands” to watch the concert
        • Concertgoers in Penticton like to take selfies throughout the concert rather than just watching and listening to the artist they paid to see
        • Concertgoers in Penticton know the words to his songs and when prompted to sing along, do so with gusto
        • Paul Rodgers, (yes Bad Company’s Paul Rodgers)  lives in Summerland and can still sing as seen and heard in the two songs he sang in the encore (Bad Company and Feel Like Makin’ Love). Bryan Adams’ fans also know those word and also sing with gusto…
        • I agree with the fan, who upon leaving the arena, stated “I can’t F*&^ing believe I saw Paul Rodgers!)
        • Bryan Adams asks for a “Wild Woman” to dance along with the same named song. He got two in the spotlight, side by side. Crystal and Pamela must have been exhausted be the end of the five minute number, after dancing in the spotlight and being projected on the huge screen for the entire time. They rarely stood after that.
        • A lot of Bryan Adams’ song seem to have a similar formula and sound similar
        • Bryan Adams has some (but not all) cool visuals going on during his show
        • Bryan Adams put on a really good, but not great, 2 1/4 hour concert

The Shoe Blog

Pathetic, I know but at least it is mildly interesting – and guess the ancestral heritage of the owner. I think I even saw the same ones in China.

img_0744

Until the next time I feel the need to offer mindless drivel…

Cheers!

9 thoughts on “Random Thoughts

  1. Lynne Cregg-Guinan

    We stayed on Hornby on Wednesday night and I would concur about the numbers of homeless on our streets. Very very sad.

    Reply
  2. Lois & Robert Marsden

    We are moving and I asked our Port Coquitlam municipal office where the homeless people gather so we could give them some blankets. Noone could tell me…or would tell me. Maybe they moved to Vancouver.

    Reply
  3. Pat Wood

    Glad to see you back. This time though you have confused me, I admit not difficult to do, but your date at the end says November 19th and my computer and my calendar say it is Nov. 18th. Am I missing something or are you just seeing how many people will be confused? Keep it up, enjoy hearing from you. Pat Wood

    Reply
    1. ggwatt Post author

      Hi Pat. For some reason or other, the time stamp on every post is from Greenwich Mean Time in England. I have no idea why unless WordPress, who publishes the blog, is in England.

      Reply
  4. Barb Buczewski

    Keep on writing Geoff. I love to read your posts and I agree with you about the amount of homeless in Vancouver. Sorry you did not take your walk further to see what it REALLY looks like near Hastings and Main. So Very Sad to say the least!

    Reply
    1. ggwatt Post author

      Thanks Barb. We have driven through the Hastings and Main area previously. We have wondered about the “sidewalk sales” – one wonders where the goods come from. I do enjoy writing the blog – the issue is getting the material to make it interesting, but when I have some I will share it. 🙂

      Reply
  5. Wendy Wilson

    Geoff, anything you write is good to read. Informative; sometimes funny. I am from Osoyoos, so I enjoy any info or comments you have in your travels, especially the OK Valley!

    Reply

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