You can’t really argue with a province whose tagline is ‘The best place in the world’, now can you?
‘Those Americans will give you a tough time at the border’ they said. ‘The Canadians are great, you’ll have no problem going the other way’ they said. They said wrong. I was supposed to cross the border back into Canada on the train, but there was some sort of problem so they put us on a bus (I still need to complain about that…), and I was the only one who had my bag emptied and swabbed for narcotics. If it had been anyone but an armed immigration officer with my passport and visa in his hand, I would have told him to bugger off and did he realise how bloody difficult it is to pack a rucksack? But I didn’t. Because he was.
It turns out that the day before, an immigration officer had been shot at that exact same border crossing, so I forgave his paranoia a little.
People told me that it rained a lot in Vancouver. “Puh, I’m from Glasgow”, I scoffed. “You don’t know rain until you’ve been there for a summer”. It turns out that they do. In fact if Vancouverites were to compete against Glaswegians in a rain-athon, my money would be on Vancouver.
This view may be slightly tainted by the fact that it rained for 24 solid hours when I arrived here, thus dashing all of my hopes that this talk of rain was just a vicious rumour. I has booked into the Hosteling International Downtown hostel – I had realised a few hostels ago that the Planet Traveler in Toronto was a gem unto its own and so had stopped expecting such a standard, but even with this in mind, I couldn’t help but be slightly disappointed by the retro-but-not-in-a-cool-way feel of the place. Regardless of this, I was happy with my room and new roommates – Sinead and Ursula. The girls were from Ireland and had arrived in Vancouver on a working visa ten days before me, it was a reminder that the care free traveler part of my adventure was over, and it was time to start looking for gainful employment…and a fixed address.