Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Green phlegm and leprous zebras

Vancouver has been showing its not-so-glamorous side for the past couple of days. The weather this morning at 8am was brutal - rain drizzling off the trees, my usual mellow path slushy and slippery, ice cold greyness creeping its way into my lungs. I am beginning to master the art of dragging my carcass out the door, down the stairs, across the soccer field, onto the Skytrain, off the Skytrain, onto another Skytrain, off the Skytrain, and into the Blenz coffee shop on Burrard street. A small medium roast for 1.73, out the door, to the waterfront, into a giant glass building, into the elevator, arrive at work. That is when I slowly but surely begin to wake up. It feels great to work when it's raining because you can't go running around the parks like a wild child when it's soggy and wet.

I've managed to catch one of the colds that the Vancouverites have been talking about. So much for making fun of them for dissing the weather - now I am hacking up green phlegm myself. Very appropriate for St. Patrick's Day - at least something within my bodily system was green today.

Speaking of missing holidays - something seems to have happened to Easter this year. For some reason, it is happening in March. I thought the Canadians had gone absolutely Easter mad, since my coworkers had started asking me about my Easter plans. This gives April a whole new meaning.

By the way, Vancouver celebrated St. Patrick's Day with a huge parade yesterday. Check out the pictures and read the comments here. Why are lepricons called lepricons? To me that sounds like a leprous zebra.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Hello everybody!

It's been a while! And, phew, has it been a while!

Vancouver is absolutely amazing. I keep falling for it more and more, despite the fact that Skytrains are always packed and smelly and the streets are dotted with crazy homeless people because the city doesn't know how to deal with them.

So, where were we? You already know that I scored a corporate job. The pace at my work place is about ten times slower than it was in Estonia and I get paid over twice as much. I no longer have to work overtime. I've had a few disagreements with the supervisor because she is not only from a different century, but a different planet. The supervisor's boss told me to keep disagreeing with her, because that is the only way we *might be able to drag the giant slug of a company forward. I spend my days watching and editing movie trailers and crazy multicultural shows, and like to walk down to the waterfront on sunny afternoons. So all is well in that realm.

We spent the past month looking for an apartment, which turned out to be an impossible mission. We went to 23 apartments and picked one that was significantly smaller than the rest and very close to the Skytrain tracks. That might not sound very nice, but there are very many factors that make up for the Skytrain, including but not limited to the cost, the dishwasher, the super cool housemates, the back yard, and the proximity to Trout Lake and Commercial Drive, as well as Vancouver's best beer store selling rare BC microbrews. Most apartments we looked at were either loud, dirty, or simply unsuitable for our purposes. We seem to have chosen to move during the time of a most severe housing crunch.

This city is truly happening! There are regularly 4-5 conflicting events every day of the weekend, and there is always someone calling you up, inviting you for a coffee or a pint. I thought Vancouverites were always minding their own business and never socializing, but it's the exact opposite. People are always hanging out in cute coffee shops, chatting each other up. Random people who pass you by on the street will suddenly jump in your conversation, and walk with you for the rest of the way. And everybody seems to, pardon my French, truly give a shit.

The weather has been absolutely wonderful, compared to what it is like in Estonia. I find it very amusing to hear my coworkers moaning about a few hours of rain here and there.

Speaking of Estonians, I absolutely insist that all of you go see this movie. It's playing at the Cinemark Tinseltown Vancouver March 28, 2008 - April 3, 2008.
The movie has one of the most touching and inspirational trailers and I trust that the rest of the film will follow suit. If you are even remotely interested in Estonia's story, or the concept of freedom, don't pass this one by.

I just realized that I never installed the Flash player on my Mac to view this site - it just works. I love it.

I can't wait to have my American friends visit us in Vancouver (This means you, Dara!). It will be very interesting to see them function in the Canadian context. I've shared many good laughs with an American guy, who is constantly bewildered by the Canadians' niceness. (If you bump into someone at a party, they will apologize profusely, and nobody ever raises their voices.)

The cherry trees are about to bloom. A few trees here and there have already "burst" - probably because someone left their car idling or something:) I can't wait to get out and about with the camera, to shoot the madness once it happens!