Posted by: TomA | 7 January 2007

Ikea and Englishness

Yesterday I trekked out to Ikea in Coquitlam, about an hour east of Vancouver, in order to buy some bits and pieces for my new room. The journey was especially fun, most of it on the Skytrain (similar to the Docklands Light Railway), through endless creepy looking suburbs. Although everywhere I went through was still Greater Vancouver, it was a nice reminder that not all of Vancouver is as nice and friendly looking as the central bit. Whether any of these places have an edge it’s difficult to say; I expect they’re simply slightly dull places – houses, malls and coffee shops and little else of interest. What is nice is that although nearly all of these places have been built in the last century (compare that to anywhere in the UK – except Milton Keynes), you don’t get row upon row of identical looking houses. Maybe it is just something about that typical North American style of residence – the front door is raised, with steps, a porch, nearly always made from timber, rarely from red brick – that I find appealing.

Ikea itself was mildly enjoyable to begin with, watching families have domestics, children breaking things – the normal. Meatballs & loganberry were consumed, as I believe is compulsory in Ikea stores.

In the evening I went out for a meal with my new roommates (always roommates, never flat- or house- over here) and ended up in an awful thai, called, conspicuously, Yummy Thai. Hm. We ended up in the pub behind our house (yes, there are actually pubs over here and not just bar restaurants). It did occur to me how very English I sounded when talking to them. Perhaps now living in a house with a group of Canadians I’ll start to pick up the accent…

I’ve not heard from my parents for a while. Having left me they were off to Jasper and Calgary in the car. It was relatively warm while they were there, but we had snow in Vancouver the other day, so they must have had a lot of snow there. I expect they’re stuck in a snowdrift on a mountain pass somewhere, cursing the choice not to go somewhere nice and warm instead.

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