From the plane, mountains craned upward. City blocks of land became streams. Grey became blue became green. Toronto becomes Vancouver in the way that airplane travel distorts sensibility.
Then, Vancouver becomes an airport that was quiet. Then a city that was quiet. Like, Tokyo. Quiet cities are like Buddhists; they have something still inside them.
Vancouver is also a city where adults come to be children and children get to live outdoors. It is a city where on Sunday morning people run as we pass them on the seaside promenade–their foggy breaths strained. They make me want to go for a run. They make me want to live in a city near an ocean. A land of maritime whispers, of seagulls crying, of green trees reaching up and up and up.
We pass some street performers and they call out, ¨You have good bodies!¨ I do not like being street harassed and I do not like talking to street performers, but I call out ¨Thank you!¨ to this–what I see as positive street harassment, sort of. Until, Vincent says, ¨Those guys were talking to the runners in front of us.¨ I am laughing but I don´t care. I feel good about my body, sort of. I read Roxanne Gay´s ¨Hunger¨ on the plane and was blown away by her ideas in the memoir: we each travel through space differently based on our subjective experience of our body.
I love her work. I loved the flight. I love Vancouver. I feel connected through her writing and then through traveling in this city. The spaces between us are not so divided. Isn´t this why we travel–to connect with people, with a land that is not our own? To be somewhere else?
During the day, we walk 11 miles. We speak in French around the science museum. Le jour est tres belle. Les arbres dans le cartier sont vert. Les gens de Vancouver sont genial.
We get yogurt and a banana at a grocery store. Now, I am beginning to hear French in a different way. When Vincent says a word, I do not know, I can learn it aurally. This has not happened before. I learn ¨Dis donc¨ which is slang for ¨wow.¨ My mind feels ready to absorb French and I listen to Quebecois on the TV. It sounds like chopped carrots. I mistake it for Portugese. I have no idea what they are saying.
We eat at The Granville Island Public Market. The city gives us free bikes for a day because I found a promo code here. We scoot all around the city, in and out of Stanley Park. To some microbreweries, Strange Fellows and Yaletown. I drink good sour beer. We go to dinner at Bombay in East Vancouver. I will leave that here for today. Review these places in other posts, but thank you for journeying with me. La vie est belle, mes amies. La vie est belle.