Friday, 23 July 2010

Vancouver day 7

A chilled out day today. I try to have a lie in (never a problem back home but my body cant get into proper Vancouver time here). I get up just after 8. I head over to Jane’s after breakfast and we set off to do some shopping up The Drive. The shops along the drive are funky and full of character.

One smells strongly of Incense and reminds me of Osiris in Glasgow, but this one is more ‘wooden’ and hippy. It sells lots of nice scarves, tops, incense and jewellery. Jane points out a Scottish man at the counter. When I hear him talking his accent sounds comical. It’s been a few days since I’ve heard a Scottish accent and it sounds strange and exaggerated to me, amongst the Vancouver drawl.

We go into a funky vintage store called ‘Mintage’ and it’s full of old dresses, jackets and t-shirts. Jane buys a funky little white jumper with pink bobbles on it.

We head into another vintage style shop called Pink Elephant and there is cool rock/retro music playing. It has a real American vibe to it (even although we are in Canada) I can imagine characters from the film Empire Records shopping here. All the shop assistants greet us with a cheery “Hey girls, how ya doin?” There is a pretty little boutique with great clothes in the window (a puffball white skirt with silver studs on it) and very chique clothes inside. The shop is very white and there is French music playing. The girls working in the shop are sunny, blonde and wearing yellow.

We stop for lunch at a French/Tunisian style restaurant. It feels like stepping in to Paris; it is quite small and has very ornate, chique decor, with lantern style lights and European sounding music floating out from the speakers. There are amazing smells floating out from the kitchen. Our waiter has a drawn out Vancouverite accent, he talks in a lazy way like the cartoon voice of Garfield. We decide on Chicken Ratoue; chunks of tender chicken, potato, peppers, onion and beans in a warm spicy sauce, a perfect meal for yet another rainy day!

After lunch we walk further along The Drive. There are lots of murals on the sides of shops and cafes. All very professionally painted and vibrant – it adds so much to the street. We see a Rastafarian man on a bike talking to another guy saying “Yee man.”

We have a tea break at a cafe called Turks. I have Early Grey Tea and a delicious lemon and blueberry cake; Jane has a banana and chocolate loaf – a popular cake in Vancouver which is also yum. It has a great kick of cinnamon. A guy with really furry dreads is sitting at the table beside us. He smells like he needs deodorant, as do a lot of the guys in here. Total hippies. I like the chilled vibe though. The sun comes out so we move to a table outside. Dogs are very popular on the Drive and lots of people pop into cafes to fill up bowls of water for their dogs. Some places leave out bowls for them.

A really hippy guy, tall and skinny with a beanie hat, glasses, wearing cords and beads, who looks a bit like John Lennon, leans against the fence outside the cafe. A hippy girl walks past. He half calls out “Hey, there’s Meegan. Hey Meegan.” She looks like she hasn’t heard him, or is ignoring him at first. Then she walks back over. She is sort of hunched over, is wearing 2 cardigans and a cool dress and boots with little heels. She has a very chilled manner, is kind of strange, possibly on drugs...

We head to a shop called Virgin Marys which has very cool clothes and caps. All of the clothes here look very small but I manage to fit into a Medium sized dress so they can’t be that small. Next we head to Urban Empire where they have great Alice In Wonderland cases.

Before we head back up Parker Street I stop off at a home made chocolate shop called Dutch Girl Chocolates. I buy a Peace shaped chocolate lollipop. The sun is still out so we head back to mine and sit out on my balcony for a bit.

Jane informs me that Vancouverites love British alternative/punk/electro music as it never really reached here. Apparently a lot of musicians move to Montreal because it’s more ‘happening’ there, with more music venues and cheaper rent. Here the nightlife is a lot quieter and it’s apparently called ‘no fun’couver because of this!

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