Codex Manenssisdon’t remember who told me that people get richer and more valuable as they grow older– with every year you age you become more likely to increase your reserves of gold in your teeth, silver in your hair, plumb in your feet, and hydrocarbon in your stomach.  In order to celebrate our yearly and unavoidable step towards our own personal seniority richness that happened a few days ago, Amanda and I decided to take a short trip to Vancouver for the weekend.

The vision I have of Canada has gone through different stages all along these years. When I was a kid Canada was that beautiful land with plenty of green forest, gorgeous mountains and awesome landscape where John Wayne used to ride a horse in a red shirt.  A few years later they turned into those nasty fish thieves whose army ships wouldn’t allow the European fishermen to go fishing somewhere in the northern Atlantic.  In the recent years the word Canadian has come to have this “wannabe-different” feeling to it for me: wannabe different from the Americans; wannabe different from the British; wannabe different from the rest of the Canadians since I am from Quebec - but at the same time wannabe different from the Frenchies; wannabe different from other that follow international laws and common regulations (which makes them more similar to the Americans); wannabe…, wannabe…. Parzival Codex, Germany

That is probably a wrong and rather simplistic vision of mine about Canada. I really hope I’ll have the opportunity to get to know Canada much better in the following months – after all I just live 2 hours away from the border. In the meantime, a short visit to Vancouver looked like the perfect way to start the exploration trips.

Here you have a few pictures with some comments on them.

1.- Vancouver is a very interesting city. Even with the shitty weather we had during the entire weekend it was rather easy for us to feel its charm. It is all surrounded by clean, cristal waters, and by deep, rain forests. It has this weird mixture between European and American style- depending on where you are, you might think you are in a small British town, or in the middle of one of the most sophisticated American cities.

2.- I have never seen so many glass buildings. As hungry for Sun as Vancouver is, almost all the buildings try to be as translucent as possible. That gives downtown Vancouver a neat homogenous look.

3.- It has one of the biggest chinatowns in North America, where everything is written in Chinese, with Chinese shops, Chinese statues and Chinese culture. There is even a real Chinese park, so silent and quiet that is difficult to believe it is in the middle of the city.

4.- Although Vancouver is a very rich city (a walk through the main harbor is more than enough to notice the high quality of life that people enjoy here), there are A LOT of vagabonds and drifters. You can see them almost everywhere, with their shopping carts and their card boxes and old stuff asking the pedestrians for their “spare change”. In Vancouver there are certainly many more scents other than the Winter Olypmic Games sweet perfume…

5.- Up the northern part of Seattle you can visit one of its most well-known attractions: The suspension bridge over the Capilano canyon.  It is an impressive 140 m. long bridge 40 m above the forest floor.  Here you have a short video I took with my camera. On the other side of the bridge there something like a small natural park, with treetops Ewok style, cute little lakes, Indian totems and very interesting explanations about Canadian rain forest. Really enjoyable.

6.- Remember the wannabe thing I told you about? Look at this. Where else could you find a country’s flag inside the McDonalds logotype?

7.- And speaking of flags, Kunst der Messerfechtes Codex, Germanywe entered in a super big tourist shop to buy maple syrup and a few other things. They had this special sale on flags from all over the world, probably as a preparation for the Olympic Games. I would say that almost every country in the World was represented in the stand. I looked for the Spanish falg… and did not find it. I just couldn’t believe it! Maybe a result of the Turbot War? Does Spain not exist for the Canadians or what? Oh, wait a minute, YES! I FOUND ONE. Just one, a bit smaller than the rest of the flags, but hey!, the colors are rig… SHIT!, it is a flag from Franco’s time, from the dictatorship. Do these Canadians know that there is no dictator any more, and that the flag has changed? Oh well… wannabe, wannabe, but they look pretty Americans to me :-)


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