It’s eight in the morning when I wake up. I’m glad to have slept for about eight hours straight, so I’ll have some energy for today. I call my parents to tell them about the journey. It’s nice that these days you can call from wherever you have internet just as easily as when you’re home. As usual the day starts with a workout and a shower. One of my friends got me really nice shower gel from Rituals for my birthday and it’s such a delight (thanks again Iris). Being rested and refreshed I get dressed and pack my bag to go into the city.
About a week ago I asked on some Facebook groups what the best coffee places in Vancouver are and I pick one of the recommended spots called Small Victory, I think the name is suiting for the start of this new adventure. I walk to the bus stop and because my credit card doesn’t work in the bus I get a free ride. The bus driver is very friendly and tells me all about the neighbourhoods we drive trough. He tells me where to go hiking and which coffee places to check out. It’s a nice bus ride and interesting to see the city in daylight. Unfortunately it’s raining, but that’s normal here. “It’s like death and taxes”, the bus driver tells me, “we don’t like it, but it’s a sure fact”. I don’t mind though, I think one of these days the sun will come out.
The bus ride to downtown is about half an hour and then it’s a couple of minutes walking to the coffee place. It’s packed, but I find a free seat next to a friendly guy who introduces himself as Chris. He also just moved here a couple of weeks ago with his girlfriend and tells me more about Vancouver. We keep talking for a while before he has to go. It’s nice to meet new people like this and we plan to have drinks again some time. My first impression of Canadians is that they’re very friendly and I think I’m quite sure I’ll make more friends here. Because there is no Wi-Fi at the coffee place, I decide to go to a different place that Chris recommended me. It’s about a fifteen minute walk from here.
I go to the second coffee place, it’s a real hipster one. They brew all kinds of coffees at a long bar. I just go for a cappuccino and sit down with my laptop to write the first blog post. I text with some friends back home where it’s already evening now. Time difference still remains a strange thing. After posting my blog I continue walking and searching for an umbrella, but they’re sold out at most places. I walk through Gastown which is a nice old part of the city. It’s all beautiful, but I’d like to come back here someday when it’s not raining. When I see a pub by the waterside I decide to stop to dry and get some lunch. A burger and a beer at a warm place bring some comfort.
After lunch I take the water bus back to North Vancouver. It goes much faster than the bus and it’s a nice way of transportation. At the boat I get in a conversation with a lady who tells me that it’ll probably be raining the whole week, so I’m prepared for bad weather. I’m glad that this city has so many small coffee places, which are nice to stay on rainy days like today. The lady also shows me where there is a supermarket, so I can do my groceries for the coming days. Just like in America groceries are much more expensive than back home and I realise again how good we have it in the Netherlands. Packed with my groceries I take the bus back to the Airbnb, planning to relax at home in the evening. The bus ride is actually quite longe again, because it stops almost every minute. I think it’ll be easier to pick somewhere to live closer to downtown, but for now this Airbnb is fine. I end the day with watching a couple of series and trying to stay awake as long as possible to beat the jet lang and get into the day rhythm here. Tomorrow I plan to have a normal workday to catch up with my business.