I spent ten days last week in Vancouver visiting Jocelyn and her new flat. the very first thing we did when I arrived was go to IHOP for pancake breakfast, the perfect way to start my holiday. We watched the Canada Day Parade in Steveston, a little fishing village not far from her house and then I lay on the grass downtown by the water, watching the fireworks.

I drank London Fog in the gay village, where the bins and the bus stops are pink.

I shopped in tiny chinese markets for yummy foreign fruit,

I wandered through Gastown, Chinatown and the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Gardens, watching koi swim under lily pads, drinking strong green tea.

I found the most fabulous bookstore in the world downtown where boxes were stacked to the ceiling with old cloth-bound classics. I hired a bike and rode along the sea wall, through Stanley Park, and stopped at a lake in the middle of nowhere to feed chinese mango cake to a family of ducks.

I shopped on 4th avenue and walked along kitsilano beach collecting shells and driftwood, watching swimmers in the outdoor pool. I took a rainbow boat from Granville Island to downtown and walked through the city to watch the float planes take off.

We went to White Rock for fish & chips and a walk on the pier, taking photos of America.

I watched the first football game of my life, or rather, the cheerleaders, standing next to the most extreme Eskimos fan in a crowd of orange Lions.

I found a convenience store full of Japanese sweeties and DVDs and toothpaste. I watched cruise ships on their way to alaska and listened to the Titanic theme coming from the lobby as they departed. I ate delicious japanese food and drank bubble tea at the chinese night market. I watched chinese grannies walk around holding brollies above their heads in any weather and l walked past the shopping trolleys they have stolen from the supermarket and left outside the flat.

We drove into the mountains to Harrison Lake to eat dripping ice cream cones at a gorgeous lake, and spit fresh cherry pits out the car windows on the way home. I found slots with gamble buttons at the casino but still managed to lose.

And I had reflexology done by a little chinese man who soaked my feet in what looked like Bird’s Nest Soup and told me that when he was finished popping all the bubbles on my feet ‘You feel….fly” and he flapped his arms and made me giggle. But he was right.

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