I've just watched the first 4 episodes....

I'm loathe to say it is the best thing on TV at the moment, but it feels like it might be. Its just so dense. The last 3 hours feel like a whole day watching tv. And yet it is light and fluffy and so incredibly charming....

Seeing as I am here and inspired to write rave...
On tv... Castle is also very good. Dollhouse less so.  Leverage is just silly and contrived. House still has good writers though they struggle for consistency. Battlestar Galactica season 4 was rubbish.

On comics... Geoff Johns run in Action Comics is really very good.  Gary Frank is the best superman artist ever... Really.
Angel, After the Fall is also excellent (well mostly). Also good: Legion of Superheroes, All Star Superman, Justice Society of America.. .(I'm a bit of a DC fan). I don't actually buy comics themselves anymore. But the latest collections of all of the above were very enjoyable. Serenity: Better Days was good too (if a bit short).

On games. Agricola really is a brilliant game. There are better games than it (though not many), but there is something really enjoyable about building a farm. Highly recommended. Princes of Matchu Pichu is good, as is Lost Cities the boardgame. Name of the Rose is so so.

Chocolate recommendation: Michel Cluizel Mangaro Lait. Available in Dublin in Terroir in Donnybrook....

I reckon that's enough for a while... :)
Inspired by <lj user="gothwalk">, I too shall blog about my gaming, and in the same format too... (No shame here)

2008
Roleplaying suffered alot in 2008. I think I played in 1 ad hoc superhero session and 3 games of Star Wars. I ran 1 session of Star Wars but despite plans for running a Traveller game over the christmas, there was just no requirement for it. Computer gaming was mostly EVE. I achieved alot in EVE over the year, leaving myself in a very good position going into 2009. I have a super solid income stream almost completely divorced now from my main character Yoritomo Aleta. And I have trained ambitiously, and can now fly some of the more epic ships in the game with good technical ability. Experience of actual combat has been neglected, but hopefully that is about to change. Played an insane amount of boardgames this year, mostly in Vancouver, where I played a good 40+ games for the first time, catching up on years of games that I sold but never played.  Only played 1 miniatures game, and whilst I played a reasonable amount of Versus, I would say that my interest in CCGs is at the lowest it has been since 1994.

2009
I should definitely run a regular space roleplaying game. It would just be something creative I could do, that I would get alot out of. Must give this more thought. I'd want to run it on a week night, which could be problematic. I am always trying to get <lj user="dualpurpose"> to run 'The Game', and I must redouble my efforts.

I'm actually feeling very good about EVE at the moment after going thru a period of boredom brought on by the very long training times for capital ship skills, and the succesful end of an epic trade war that I waged for the best part of last year. Now, morale is good, and everyone is ready to engage evil scummy pirates in pvp action. Over the next few weeks I hope to learn to use the ships that I have spent so long training for (since about last may) in various types of fleet action, both PvE and PvP. Trade and manufacturing will likely take a back seat, though my Freighter construction has only recently gone into production and the first one roles off the line in about 8 days after over 3 months of preparation. As you can see long lead times are the norm in EVE, and I will no doubt be looking toward other projects too, not least of which is my goal of being able to fly every ship in the game, Titans included, by the end of 2010.

Oh, and I have a RTS computer game there called Sins of a Solar Empire that I want to play too.

I want to host a regular boardgames evening every week (or as close as possible) this year. I will also be heading back to Vancouver for 2 weeks in the first quarter of the year, so that will be boardgametastic. And there is Warpcon and K2 both coming up which I am very much looking forward to, and at which I will play mostly boardgames. I've just ordered the Battlestar Galactica boardgame from my friendly local supplier, and I am very much looking forward to that.

I want to use the Star Wars Starship Battles miniatures that I have about a kazillion of, but I am stuck on what to do. I am not really in the humor at the moment to do anything obviously star warsy... I'll bring a fleet to K2 anyway to try and get revenge on <lj user="daceholenfor"> for last years shaming.

On CCGs, I am stumped. Versus is dead, and even if it somehow manages to survive, it will likely be Marvel only, and that just doesn't interest me. Its a great game however, so I will continue to draft it and play the odd constructed game, perhaps at warpcon, but it is taking up no brain cycles these days. I kinda want to replace it, and I kinda don't. CCGs are expensive to play competitively, but they have been a part of what I do for over 14 years, and I will miss it if I stop. I will definitely come out of semi retirement if they relaunch Legend of the Burning Sands as a CCG, or if someone redoes Lord of the Rings. I have fond memories of the Star Trek CCG too, but I am not confident that I can recapture that playing the 2nd ed of the game, despite it being really, really cheap. I guess I will just wait and see what happens. I would like to use the cards I have already of course. I have literally 10's of thousands of cards from a whole spectrum of games there, most nicely tidied away. Anyone for a game of Shadowfist?



The following trailer primarily consists of shots of a space battle. These shots are all made using actual in game graphics.

http://ccp.vo.llnwd.net/o2/video/2/QuantumRise_1920x1080.wmv

www.eve-online.com

So, John McCain has chosen Sarah Palin the noted conservative, 44 yr old mother of 5, former beauty queen and governor of Alaska for the last 20 months,  as his running mate....

I can't help wondering if someone has just done a deal with the devil somewhere. My suspension of disbelief is under considerable strain right now. It just doesn't feel like a choice that is going to give the republicans any chance of winning the election. So either, the democrats secured that veep choice thru magic and trickery, or the Republicans feel they are going to win, regardless of the 'real' outcome.

Hmmm.....

I guess even 20 months is more 'executive' experience than McCain, Obama & Biden have between them....

Grrr....

Jun. 13th, 2008 12:37 pm

 Stupid LJ ate a post. Suffice to say it was witty and incisive, but I don't have time to redo it. Last full day in Vancouver an' all...

Summary: Not stressed about leaving. I will definitely be coming back. Knowing Vancouver better than Dublin. Bitter about the Lisbon treaty. Some ramblings about materialism (mainly my materialism), and a brief discussion of how much I'm looking forward to Tuesday night Versus CCG again. Oh, and there were cats, lots of cats... And there was one for everyone in the audience... But not now... :)

I'm going to miss BBC World when I get home... Great debates about the big, big issues with the star players...

Yesterday was a debate from the Middle East Economic Forum, with the Deputy PM of Israel, the Fatah Palestinian leader, the foreign minister of Egypt, and Tony Blair (that's a title btw :) ). It was really, really interesting. 

And then later, there was a great show on another channel which had excerpts from a Canadian conference called Ideas07, which has Richard Dawkins talking about the God Delusion, and a rebuttal by a famous Rabbi. Also, very, very interesting...

Maybe BBC4 carries these types of things, but they are not the norm on tv in Ireland, that I remember.... Are they?

Went to an Irish restaurant, and had a draft Guiness whilst there.... Not a bad pint, a little acidy perhaps... The food was interesting... Curry chips as a starter anyone? :) I had the Pot pie, which was essentially stewed beef marinated in Guinness with peas and carrots in a pastry pie surrounded by mashed potato, smothered in gravy.. Very heavy, but very nice. The menu also included Fish & Chips, Bangers & Mash, Smithwicks, Harp, Shandies, Irish Stew etc. Not bad... Felt more truly Irish than most places I've seen so far.

By far the most interesting thing there was the collection of cigarettes they had. It really struck a chord with me. Now, I don't smoke, and never have, but I strongly identify cigarette brands with people from my childhood. The cigarette brand that started my thought processes was Major... I haven't seen a packet of Major in years... A friend of mine when I was growing up smoked Major all the time. And there was Benson & Hedges for my mother & another friend, Silk Cut for my grandmother, Players for my brother, Sweet Afton which reminded me of my grandfathers sweet shop... They had the usual Irish writers pictures and guinness memorabilia aswell, but it was brands of cigarettes that made me feel my irishness for the first time since I got here... Weird.

It has been a strong self observation in Canada that I respond to childhood memories far stronger than I do to anything I've encountered in the last 20 years. There is a shop with the old original Star Wars figures from the 70's that gives me that same warm feeling. They have a Millenium Falcon, a Slave 1, the Hoth Wampa, all things I had myself as a kid. I don't remember enjoying my childhood that much, but I must have... 

Also in recent weeks I've been spending alot more time outside of downtown Vancouver, and seeing the less well off parts of the city. Its been a sobering experience. From conversations about 'nearly dying and having a piece against my head' heard on the bus, to druggies, and boy racers, and foreign men mistreating their partners, I've seen a bit of the seedier side of life here. The smell of pot is becoming a bit distracting too. Its not one of my favourite smells, and though I think it should be legalised, it isn't and I'm uncomfortable with it as a result. And I think BC is making a big mistake by keeping it illegal and not policing it. From what I can see, alot of people who would otherwise be 'good' people are involved in the production, distribution & use of a controlled substance. These people are encountering the truly 'bad' people who organise the whole shebang, and some are getting into more trouble than they bargained for. I've also discovered where all the black people were (though still in small numbers)... Economic racism is alive to a degree here in western canada too.

Back to North Vancouver for this week. Still outside downtown, and relatively poor, but alot less urban. And the scenery is just incredible.

Is really, really bad.... Just trying to set expectations to the right level :)

I had read some really bad reviews, so my expectations weren't high, but my god did it fail to reach even those lofty heights... A computer game turned into a movie with implausibilities everywhere. Others I went to see it with liked it mind you, but they seem to remember previous indy movies to be equally stupid... I think its how I enjoyed the 2nd and 3rd Matrix movie cause I thought the first one was pretty ridiculous anyway.

Anyway there you go. You have been warned :)

This weekend, I am staying on the 11th Floor of the Hilton Vancouver Airport. This building reputedly has 18 floors. Or atleast the top floor is the 18th floor. Fair enough, in europe an 18 story building would finish with the 17th floor.. crazy europeans...

However, closer examination reveals that Americans are far crazier. Of course this building has no 13th floor, a well documented superstition in these parts. But the crazy is spreading. This building also has no 4th or 14th floor. Apparently in many parts of asia 4 is an unlucky number... So in europe the top floor of this building would be the 14th floor, and I would be staying on the 9th floor...

I can understand why commercial property developers or their tenants do this of course, superstition is a powerful economic force. However, I am wondering if there is a benefit to legislating this stupidity away?

The reason I am concerned is that it seems to be getting worse, and that the market will usually move to service the lowest common denominator. My gut says to leave well enough alone, that this is a pretty harmless situation, but I am always alarmed by trends moving away from a totally secular society.

Oh, and on a completely different note, it seems that when it comes to internet access the more you pay for a hotel the less you get. Despite this being a considerably pricier establishment than I usually stay in, they charge for internet access here, and have no wireless access....

Again, Blenz is awesome... :)

You saved me from 2 hours of Whistler...

I am in Whistler, BC at the moment. A 4 season holiday resort up in the Coast Mountains, and soon to be host of the winter olympics. And I am so bored, its incredible... I spent 4 hours in the middle of the day in bed (after having been up and about!), and went to the cinema on my own, not things I tend to rate as useful things to do on any normal day. 

The flight up was awesome. I took a floatplane which spent the first half of the journey flying up the coast to Squamish and then up across the glacier and on to a lake just north of Whistler. Whistler Air gave all the passengers a ride into town straight to our hotels. My hotel was cheap, a mere $49+tax, and I got what I paid for :). Actually to be fair I got slightly more than I paid for in some areas. It was a huge room and had a huge lcd tv which was a nice change. But, the walls were paper thin and Whistler is flooded with rowdy australian twentysomethings at the moment. (In some ways it was alot like my adventures in hostel land earlier in the trip). 

The main problem with Whistler is that it is a resort, and as such is completely false and sterile. I went wandering looking for real Whistler where the 6000 natives live, but the sun is lethal at this elevation, and so after 2 hours dodging from one piece of shade to another I gave up once I found an upmarket food mart, a non-touristy cafe and a bus stop :). Whistler is above the clouds that keep Vancouver weather so gav-tastic.

Post this, I went back to bed... (I had been up at 7:30 that morning to get my flight, but I was really more bored than truly tired). In the evening I went out looking for a free internet connection (the hotel was charging $10.95, which I was not prepared to pay). The only free wi-fi in whistler is in the Blenz cafe, everywhere else charges... So Blenz, already a chain I rated highly, goes up another notch. On the way back from there, resigning myself to 5 hours of tv, I spotted the cinema... 

Iron Man was a good film. 3.5 out of 5 stars from me. Had the usual gaping plot holes of all super hero movies, but this one was better than most. Robert Downey Jr and Gwyneth Paltrow were great. Jeff Bridges less so.

Getting the Whistler Mountaineer Train back to Vancouver this afternoon, and then spending the next 3 days in the Hilton, Richmond, which should be an experience. I stayed in the Fairmont Empress in Victoria (5 star hotel) and was roundly disappointed with it, but I am more hopeful of this one, though it is only a 4 star. Richmond itself is a bit of a dive, but I haven't wandered around it on foot yet, so hopefully some gems will emerge. If the worst comes to the worst, I can just get the bus downtown and go to the chinese gardens which I have yet to do...

"Hi, can I get a fruit parfait please."

"Sure, milk chocolate with that."

"Ermm.. no, dark please. And can I get a fruit waffle aswell please."

"Dark chocolate with that too?"

"Absolutely.

Oh, and a mint tea, thanks."
In the last 5 hours I have been on 3 ferry trips, 3 bus rides, and a train ride. (One of each completely unnecessary!)

I have been to the second place that I want to revisit with a camera... (which bodes well for  a random camera seller)

If I relocate here, I have found the place that I would most like to live in too... :) Though I might need a spare C$500k (about €350k). And a very good internet connection..

The place: Bowen Island, a small island accessible by BC Ferries excellent ferry service. Picturesque is not a word that does the place justice. I was sooo taken aback by the place that I even walked up an incredibly steep hill voluntarily. (though admittedly the terrain tricked me). If I don't buy a camera, I'll find pictures of it...

The coast here is amazing. There are coastal communities that are essentially islands, because there are no roads connecting them to the rest of civilisation. (Mountains can be a bitch that way). And there are something like 6000 islands, and I have discovered that I am an island person (which makes a degree of sense...).

Later...

Just watched the Compassion Forum, a democratic primary debate of which Faith & Politics was the theme.

Putting my cards on the table:
As a non American I can't vote, so my opinion is purely that, just an opinion
If I had a vote I would be voting for Hillary (both before and after the debate)
I am secular to the core. It wasn't always this way, but that is currently the lay of the land.

I thought that Hillary was completely unconvincing as a christian. She reeks of secularism, and I think she is a christian by convenience.

I thought that Obama, who I had assumed was also largely secular, seemed to be too close to god for my comfort levels. Its not that he isn't rational, and he was at pains to stress that he believes in evolution etc, I was just more convinced that he might actually believe in god. Maybe he's just a good performer, and was lieing through his pants, really well :), unlike Hillary who was lieing badly, or atleast being very evasive.

(I don't expect honesty from my politicians, and I am happy to try and read between the lines to find their true thoughts. Obviously honesty is preferable, but I think its unrealistic in the world we currently live in, where the majority of voters are informed by dubious media.)

This will interest almost none of you, but there are enough people out there who are taking the absence of a blog as evidence that I am doing nothing, that I felt I should show that this is not the case.



Thursday (today) is the only day I tend not to game, though I have an open invite to do so. Today I am going to wander down to Denman (not that far) to sample (apparently) the best hot chocolate in the city.

I am taking things easy as is my nature, wandering around finding interesting things to eat & drink. I tend to avoid touristy things after a few lame experiences, as of course, do all the locals :). 

Its not quite 'living' here as I don't have to think about the future the same way as others do. And in many ways, because my day to day reality is alien to my life, I tend to only think of the future in the most nebulous of fashions. If I were to guess what effect this trip will have on me, I would suggest that it might start getting me to think increasingly short term, and let the future worry about itself, because it feels good to be free of the heinous grip of it here. At home the future takes the form of a search for meaning in life, a raison d'etre, a belief that a future self will be disappointed with my present self if I don't come up with a valuable contribution to society, a justification for my existence. Here I don't suffer any of that unless I make an effort to think about it. I'm just enjoying myself, because so much of what I love to do is readily available. Long may that continue.

Its been overcast and showery for most of my time here. A bit cool in the evenings, and never warm.

However...

I have just heard the loudest thunder ever, and the lightning was red.  This could be the best thunderstorm ever... :) (and I have to be somewhere reasonably far away in 70minutes...)

Hotels

Mar. 26th, 2008 03:47 pm
 I'll be moving into a travel apartment next tuesday, April 1st for 29 days. For the last while I have been staying in hotels in the Granville/False Creek area.  Overall they have been pretty good. They seem alot cheaper for alot more than you get back home. (though no breakfast). I am spending between €49 and €70 per night on hotels (the €70 was poor planning on my part that led to having to stay in a slightly more expensive hotel). I am much happier away from hostel land. I really appreciate my creature comforts, and I like the 'holiday' feel of hotels. And wireless internet access at my desk in my room is far better than having to trundle half way across the building to a room with 1 table and 15 people trying to use it. If I end up staying in a hostel ever again, it will be in desperation.

Staying in hotels has given me the opportunity to watch Canadian TV. And as it is mostly imported US fare like back home, more importantly canadian advertising. Unfortunately there is not much to say yet. Alot less drug ads than I was expecting, no drink or tobacco ads that I've noticed, the usual high production car, cosmetic (Pantene is pronounced pan-teen here it seems) and cleaning ads, and some really cool ads for some internet sites. Actually, now that I think of it, alot of advertising is directed at driving you to an internet site of some sort.
So, I was trying to get to the bus stop before the bus (actually Transit) got there. So I got there and stuck my hand out to wave it down, when a twenty/thirtysomething guy alongside me cried out "First J walking, and now hitch hiking!!" Apparently you don't have to wave down transits, and yes, the more I think of it the more I realise that whilst I am flagrantly crossing streets everywhere and anywhere I choose, no one else is. At all. I wonder if I should stop? Its so hard to do though, alot of the streets are one way so you can see that there is nothing coming. I suppose I'll stop if I get pulled up for it by an RCMP... :)
Back by popular demand. Tales from British Columbia. Actually, whilst there will be some anecdotes, this is really a series of opinion pieces and random observations from here on in :)

It is hard to find anyone over 30 who is from Vancouver. In fact, though I am sure they exist and in some numbers, I have found no one so far.

I have now played games with a Serbian, a Bosnian (both called Bojan, and best of friends), an Israeli, an Argentinian, a few Chinese guys and Canadians from Toronto, Edmonton & Calgary. And some kids. The local fine chocolate shop is owned by an American man and his french wife. My one taxi driver was an Indian Sikh. The hotel receptionist is middle eastern.  There has been a huge influx of people in recent years, mainly from asia, in particular Hong Kong in the mid nineties, and from eastern Canada. House prices here are relatively astronomical (though we would consider the place cheap enough). Can$1650 to rent a 27th floor 1 bed apartment, about €1100, and Can$300,000 for a new 1 bed apartment, about €200,000, both in downtown Vancouver (where the view is worth paying for).

In another oddity, there are very few blacks here. I'd say I have seen maybe 4, and 2 of those were obviously tourists from the states (and boy did they look the part). Apparently Canada has very few african blacks, and that Toronto is where all the caribbean folk go. 

As a result, I have yet to determine what a true Vancouver meal would be? Apparently there are West Coast Restaraunts but I haven't found them. There are alot more Afghan, Persian, Mongolian, Vietnamese, Taiwanese, Thai, Italian, Greek and of course zillions of Chinese restaraunts just about everywhere. And then of course there are Irish and English pubs, and American diners. But nothing recognisably Canadian apart from Tim Hortons and Blenz, both coffee shops. Is Canada renowned for any food in particular, bar Bacon and Maple syrup?

What is west coast cuisine? Anyone? 

So, yesterday I found an upmarket grocery store, the likes of Mortons in Ranelagh or perhaps Donnybrook Fare. Canadians aren't remarkably overweight, but it is not because there isn't tons of fatty and sweet foods available. I'd say fully half the shop was given over to chocolate, bakery items, crisps & other snack foods. And there were some really interesting items in there, not least of which were select Cadburys items. There are Cadburys items made for the Canadian market (you can tell because of the disconcerting french on them), but these are generally Cadbury Dairy Milk with Peanut of Caramel. This store (and another specialist sweet store I came across) have british import chocolate, notably Crunchies, Frys Turkish Delight, Double Deckers & Picnics. All for the princely sum of around €1.50 each (Can$1.99 + GST).

Other things I spotted that reminded me I wasn't in Kansas anymore were:

Ice in the vegetables, like we present fish in supermarkets

A Spring Water Dispenser, that you had refillable drums for

Flowering Tea, yep tea plants that you place in a glass teapot, that flowers when you pour the hot water on it. (And I assume then dies)

Haagen Daas 'Choc Ices', I assume we don't have these because of the omnipresence of Magnums

Girardellis Hot Chocolate, which I have discovered is Ming but is worth mentioning because it comes in interesting flavours. (Hazelnut, Milk, Dark & Mint)

Almond Milk, there was an entire row of dairy replacement products, but this range was the one that stood out for me. Of course having such a large Asian population this makes alot of sense.

One of the big things that was missing were smoothies, in particular Innocent smoothies. There was nothing like 'em. Though I did discover a smoothie shop later in the day, which seemed to be a Greek all day breakfast shop.

Didn't end up buying alot because I have nowhere to put anything really, but I intend renting a travel apartment soon enough and then I will have a fridge and a microwave so I will be able to experiment... Speaking of which, I will finally be leaving hostel land on friday, and moving to the Howard Johnson Hotel on Granville St. Got it for €49/night on lastminute.com (was tempted by the Sheraton at only €93/night), which seems good for a *** hotel that got a special mention in the Vancouver Accomodation guide. The plan for April is to try and get a travel apartment, which will hopefully work out cheaper, and more interesting.

The day before involved wandering around Stanley Park (worlds largest city park apparently), watching Seaplanes land and take off and gaming in a games shop in South Vancouver (on the same street that I'm living on, only about 30 minutes drive and 7000 house numbers south)

My luggage did turn up...

So yesterday I didn't get up to much. Decided I'd do some cultural stuff. Did some shopping in Sears, bought a donut and coffee in Tim Hortons. Had a slurpee from a 711. Some strange purple flavoured slurpee. Purple is pretty tasty...

One of my purchases was an awesome jacket. Yes, it is me. This jacket, apart from having the best timed hood purchase of all time (it was pissing rain yesterday), also has 2 inside pockets on the left hand side, one specifically it seems for an ipod. This was sorely needed, as I didn't feel comfortable wandering around with my ipod in an outside pocket. On and it also has some weird ass stuff to do with avalanches... Price: Less than 50 euros. Reduced from nearly 150 euros.

The weather here is actually Gavtastic. Its not too cold, not too warm, not too sunny and so far has not been windy at all. Being out in the rain yesterday was really rather cool. I think I should buy an umbrella though. The hood on the jacket not only makes me feel like a petty criminal, but also occludes my view all the time.

Still no baggage.

Later...

First things first.. Vancouver is huge. Huge! I walked around a tiny part of the Vancouver map, and I covered Rathmines to Dorset street easily, probably more.

This weekend is Celticfest in Vancouver. Its pretty shameless and awful, and actually makes me feel a little bad. This celebration of celticness is so trite, weird and inaccurate that I actually feel mildly embarassed. My own relationship with my national identity is complicated enough without people turning being Irish into a farce. The highlight of this was a place called Milsean. Yes, on the first day in Canada, I find a supplier of "authentic" Irish chocolate. Made to an Irish recipe apparently. Indeed. From what I could gather it was belgian Callebaut couverture, with boat loads of brown sugar and candy. Not that it wasn't nice. I just don't think it was in any way irish, and there was not a hell of a lot of chocolate there either.

As part of my bizarre interest in anything Canadian, I used to watch a show late on RTE2 on Tuesdays called Corner Gas. A canadian sit com set in rural Saskatchewan, its actually pretty funny. My first celeb spotting was 2 of the actors from that... Vancouver is known as Holywood North because of the amount of US film and TV production here. I encountered one film set myself yesterday. I'll keep ye updated as I spot more. 

Found a hot chocolate shop called Mink, where I had some Double Chocolate Stout with Salted Pretzel chocolate. Pretty tasty. And they had genuine Mint tea. Now if only the girls behind the counter had been interesting, but the overheard conversation was thoroughly vacuous, so I'm not sure I'll be back. Might be an interesting idea as a franchise though. The decor was good, and the chocolate was nice. Menu was probably a bit lite, but that might be a good thing.

I mention again, it was a really long walk. That is because I was looking for a games shop called Drexoll Games. And I looked at the map and didn't take account of the scale of things. I got a ferry at one point, (vancouver has super regular cheap river/inlet public transport) and asked the guy the way to MacDonald street... He looked at me and struggled and just said get a bus its about 20 blocks away... I chuckled internally to myself declaring all canadians dead lazy. I reckoned if I found 4th Avenue, it was just a straight walk from there. How far could it really be? I should remember that the Appian Way from Rome to the south of Italy was just one straight road.

I found the place eventually and felt pretty good about the walk. Got to chat to the owner and staff and even got a game of Brass in. Its the in thing here at the moment. They have only had it a month... (Europe gets some things way quicker than the north americans. And not just sarcasm.) (On that note vancouver is very like the US. The people are a good bit friendlier and the bus driver I will mention later was brilliantly unprofessional, but the cars, the infrastructure, the buildings are all straight out of holywood movies... Oh wait! Could it be that our views of america are actually our views of Vancouver, and not truely america at all?? :) )

The buses here are cool. They are kind of half tram, half bus. They are solidly connected to an overhead electric system by 2 arms that stretch off the roof of the bus. The bus can move about freely enough, as the arms seem very flexible, but the buses can't overtake one another, so if one stops at a busstop, they all have to stop. On the one bus I had, the driver was hilarious. Theres quite a bit of power in the engines of these things, and they'd speed up pretty quick, and then he'd need to slam on the breaks to slow down. Every time he did this he'd shout out a warning to the passengers to hang on!. The passengers called him sir too! Awesome stuff.

Still no Luggage. Should head down to reception now and see if it has turned up actually. May need to buy more clothes..

Later.. 

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