Posted by: TomA | 3 January 2007

Parents in Vancouver

So I’ve not had time really to update this much over the past week or so, but here’s a rough outline with some pictures of what’s been going on over here since my parents arrived last week and left this morning:

  • We discovered the traditional Chinese garden in Chinatown (the Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden), which the day before I’d completely walked past when showing Becky’s parents (we only found the somewhat rubbish park next door – less of a park, more of a tiny garden). We arrived just in time for a tour by a rather enthusiastic octogenerian woman, who could go into immense detail over the tiniest things. I particularly enjoyed her stories about this type of tree, supposedly on the Earth since the beginning, which was almost but not quite wiped out in the ice age and was the only thing to survive at the centre of the Hiroshima hydrogen bomb explosion (people turned instantly to mere shadows on the pavement, buildings reduced to dust, yet this tree still grew and flowered….).

  • Much good food was had. Bin 941 in particular was fantastic – really good West Coast tapas.
  • It is odd seeing very English films with other English people abroad. The History Boys was really good, even if the podgy one from Teachers was a bit distracting (is he typecast as the fat, geeky kid forevermore?). I also wasn’t aware that even Canadians are aware that Hull is a place to be made fun of.
  • My Dad got very excited about his 5km run in Stanley Park on New Years Day. My Mum and I just got very wet and cold watching (in the end investigating the totem poles, and the Japanese tourists flocking to them instead).

  • He got even more excited going into Chapters to sign copies of his book. Bless…

  • We had a quick peek around Vancouver Art Gallery. We all found Emily Carr to be extremely dull. Is it symbolic that she only draws trees and totem poles or is she lacking in inspiration? Either way, out of context at least, her art is on the dull side. The modern British Columbian art upstairs (1960s – 2000s) was far more enjoyable. Two pieces stood out for me. The first was a series of very cartoony works, poking fun at art and art gallerys (“Next week the gallery will be full of dirt“); the second monochrome prints of the creepy personals found in the Georgia Strait (“Were you the beautiful asian I couldn’t keep my eyes off at Home Depot in Burnaby… Box 316“).

It is very strange being over here without Becky. I finish work and then feel somewhat lost with no one to hang out with and do stuff with. She gets back from England on Sunday night, which still feels an age away.

My house is now fully populated. Brad arrived back this evening bringing our occupancy up to four. The cat is now less tempted to sit on my face while I try to sleep, which is nice. I’m not sure if it’s insane – while I cooked this evening it spent half an hour chasing it’s tail and sliding around on the wood floor and pouncing on itself. Too much caffeine perhaps…

The main diet here seems to consist of instant noodles and Kraft dinners. Not a tempting prospect.

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