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Granville Island, Kitsilano, Chinatown

Written on: Saturday August 8th, 2009

A journal entry from: Vancouver, Canada 2009

Tried some Vancouver coffee this morning, it was as good as their sushi! I walked down to the marina to catch an aquabus (tiny ferry!) to Granville Island. On the way, the driver pointed out a seal in the harbour. I didn't get a photo :( Apparently, seeing a seal in the harbour is pretty rare though!

Granville Island is a collection of market buildings and various art & design company buildings. It's really nice to walk around, it reminded me a bit of the Valley going towards Hamilton. The Public Market (food) is the best-smelling market I've ever visited (and I've been too a LOT of market in a lot of countries). I hung around till 11ish when I decided I could have lunch there - BBQ salmon sushi & 2 spring rolls with plum sauce. The spring rolls were the tastiest I've ever had. 

After that, I walked to Kitsilano, which is described as like Vancouver's West End. It's probably more like Vancouver's New Farm, bit too yuppie and upmarket for me. I bought a good jacket there for Japan though. But, in line with everyone in Vancouver being the friendliest people on earth, the shop assistants are TOO FRIENDLY; it was hard to look at clothes without a shop assistant talking to me or pointing other clothes out, even with my wearing headphones/listening to music! Clothes are expensive in Canada though.

Then, I walked along the shore from Kitsilano, passed the "beach" on my way to Vanier Park. They were running "Bard on the Beach" - Shakespeare done in a circus tent next to the water. It was nice to see a line about 100m long to get in! Still no bogans in Vancouver :) I visited the Vancouver Museum, which was a rip-off as half of its displays were being renovated. So, I headed back over the Burrard St bridge to Downtown.

Back at my hotel for a break, I shared the lift back to my room with the Hong Kong Police. Vancouver was hosting the World Police & Fire Games, so the city was crawling with cops!

At night (though the sun doesn't set till 8:30pm), I went down the Chinatown (5 minute walk from where I was staying). On weekends, they hold a Night Market with lots of food stands that I wanted to see and sample. I got way more than I was expecting, 1st a breakdancing competition, complete with 4 year olds busting moves! Then, at the Night Market they had a stage with organisations doing martial arts and tai chi demos. They made me feel guilty for being slack with aikido. I also managed to pick up an SD card reader for $5, as I had cleverly left the cable to connect my camera to my laptop back in Australia! I almost did some reverse haggling, when the guy said the reader was $5, I was surprised, "$5! I would have paid $20!

The only bad part of this day was I got approached by a 2nd hustler. Again, the initial line was "Do you have the time?" followed by a barrage of other questions. This guy was way more obnoxious, he offered his hand when he introduced himself and I went to shake it, but then he wouldn't let go of my hand even though I was trying to pull it away politely! After 30 seconds of being hassled by him, I had to say, "Let go of my hand, I'm leaving now!" in a loud assertive voice! I want to know what these guys are after though - is it sex with tourists, are they trying to sell me something? I never talk to them long enough to work it out. And if I asked them, they wouldn't give me an honest answer. So frustrating!