justin adler, blog, buenos aires, bahia blanca, university of arizona, brooklyn, basketball, travel, paul mcpherson

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Canadian Adventures Part II

I got off the bus in Vancouver and took their above-ground rail system toward my temporary digs. On my way, I stumbled upon a Costco and I grabbed a hot dog because having been out of the States for almost 45 minutes had caused me to grow rather homesick.

Then I got to my Airbnb apartment and it was just as amazing as it looked in the pictures. I departed to hit Gas Town, which is a touristy part of town and was disappointed with how lame it was, but I was able to buy my friend a Vancouver White Caps tee, so there was some success.

And aside from terribly kitschy Canada tourist junk, I stumbled upon a rack of this:
and a rack of this:
Both of which made me very happy.

Then after walking around in the pouring rain for a few hours I went back to my apartment and talked to Jennifer, who was my Airbnb hostess. She was insanely nice and answered my many questions on her Airbnb career and about Canada. She told me she'd hosted about 40 travelers and they were all great except for one Middle Eastern guy who tried to treat her like a slave because she was a woman. One of her favorite guests was a single 50-year-old woman who stayed with her for two weeks during the Olympics.

Jennifer said she could tell why the woman was single because she had five cats. Which is only two more cats than Jennifer kept in her apartment, but apparently the difference between three and five is a lot to cat people.

As you'd expect from anyone who continuously lets random strangers stay in their home, Jennifer was slightly off. She told me she was dating a 35-year-old Aussie who she would move in with, except that he lives with his mom in Victoria. To which I responded, "Isn't that were Steve Nash is from?" because I was unsure of what else I might have to say about her relationship. She loved her three cats to death. Their names were Bean, Bertha and Buddy, who as she told me, despite his name, he won't be your buddy. I was OK with this as I was mainly looking for a nice place to stay and I did not need too much cat companionship.

Jennifer was kind enough to let me use her netbook. "Just log in under Bean Industries, it's Bean's fictional company," she told me. Of course it was.

She recalled the time Bertha was Facebook, but she had to delete Bertha's account because it maxed at the capacity of 5,000 friends and was constantly receiving "lewd messages" from other cats on Facebook. I never knew Facebook had a cat cybering underbelly, but it sounded about right.

Jennifer also told me that she had a brother who was 11 years younger than her and did not hesitate to let me know he was the accident child. He worked at McDonald's and she was now studying public health at the local community college after she quit her job at the train station. All of which did not explain how she was living in the nicest apartment of the 25th floor of a brand new apartment building in downtown Vancouver. Maybe she ran a paysite for Bertha.

When I wasn't eating delicious teriyaki udon noodles and watching hockey with Jennifer, I was exploring the city and being continually underwhelmed. I visited a thrift shop with hopes of finding any piece of Vancouver Grizzlies gear, but I came up with nothing, which made me feel like the whole trip was for not. The coolest thing I did was visit the campus of the University of British Columbia, where I walked around listening to weird Moby songs on a dark cloud-covered day as I reflected upon my own college experience and let shit get real. There is heavy sarcasm in that last sentence, I just needed to clarify that.

I went in as many buildings as I could. Their rec center is shit compared to Arizona's, but then again Arizona's is rather insane, and the UBC rec did have an actual dojo, so maybe they win.

Their campus was directly next to Wreck Beach, which apparently is a popular nude beach in the summer, but during the winter it was just a spooky, log covered beach that was entirely empty except for a bum and a skim boarder.

The proudest point of the trip was when Jennifer taught me the names of all the provinces and I felt like a better American for actually knowing something about our neighbors up north. Then the next day I realized there were northern territories that I was completely oblivious to, and I again felt retarded.

Overall Canada was nice and Jennifer left me the following feedback on my Airbnb account, which I am now considering adding to my resume:

"Justin was a terrific guest - I can't really say enough great things about him! It was more like having family over for a visit and he's welcome back anytime.