About two weeks ago me and my husband Simon moved to Vancouver from our hometown of Auckland, New Zealand. We live close to Stanley Park, which is a bonus. There are all sorts of animals that live there, which make me happy. I was thinking today that I probably won't even notice them after a while...but for now the squirrels and raccoons and herons and Canadian geese are a thrill. Today we bought some walnuts and fed some squirrels. It was raining - as it often is in Vancouver - so there weren't many around, but the ones that came out to brave the rain were pretty stoked with our walnuts. We later learned it was illegal to feed them - oops! We saw one that was holding his tail over his head like an umbrella. He was a more seasoned Vancouverite than us, who forgot to bring any wet weather gear on our walk.
That little squirrel guy was on my mind when I was naming this blog.
We live on the seventeenth floor of an apartment building in downtown Vancouver. The view from our bedroom/lounge/study (it's a studio apartment) contains both harbour and mountains.
I can't get enough of this. I love mountains, but on the most part if you live in a mountain town you sacrifice seaside living. Not here. And the sealife seems incredible so far. On a ferry back
from Granville Island - a market of shops and restaurants with a good brewery - there was the largest starfish I have ever seen. Put your arms out in front of you and link them in a circle. That's how big he was. Unless you happen to have very long arms. I'm also almost certain I saw a whale when we were driving the Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler last week.
People in this town come from everywhere. There are as many Asian people as there were back in Auckland, so I guess this is a good place to study English. Japanese is a particularly strong culture, and there are many Japanese restaurants along Robson Street, which is one block from our house. There are also plenty of French-speaking people and a lot of Kiwis and Australians around, which is almost disappointing. But at least it shows that this is a place where anyone can settle. We were kinda hoping to be a bit of a novelty.
We spent a few days in Whistler, which is run by Australians. It was funny - almost every shopkeeper or waitress had an Aussie accent. There wasn't a lot of snow while we were there but it was mostly awesome weather and the views were amazing. Apparently now it's had three more feet of snow...but we have to be here to find work. Whistler almost broke the bank.
In the coming weeks I hope to be able to document my employment in Vancouver. That will complete the picture. We have the apartment and we've accumulated all the things we need for that - a bed, a table and chairs, cutlery, pots etc - so not we just need to make it sustainable. In the meantime, I will just keep writing...