Hello Vancouver!

The first two posts of this blog are “hello”s. They say that spring is supposed to be a time of beginnings, but until now I’ve never found that to be particularly accurate for me personally. This is probably because my life has revolved around institutions that all end in the spring (thanks school…).

Anyway, yesterday I (finally!) arrived in Vancouver, BC (from Toronto, ON) where I’ll be doing graduate studies for the next few years. The departure was fraught with drama and chaos, but I am happy to say that I can now write to you from the carpeted floor of my empty new apartment. Yay!

With any move, be it down the street, across the continent, or across the world, I seem to inevitably begin internally cataloguing the similarities and differences, what I like and dislike, between the new location and the old. It’s not meant to be a criticism, just a method of acclimatization I suppose. The most obvious contrast (apart from mountains Gandolf) is the weather. From my new apartment I can see solid masses of rain pouring from dark indigo clouds on the mountains to the north while a patch of rain falls in a sheet onto downtown Vancouver and I stand bone dry in the sun. Wikipedia tells me that coastal BC experiences microclimates that make it extremely difficult to predict daily weather for any given day. That certainly appears to be true from where I stand, though I think they meant that to describe the variation over a larger area than the greater vancouver area. It was chilly when I stepped off the plane, probably 3 or 4 degrees cooler than Toronto was when I took off – this was unexpected because the last time I was here it was 5 or 6 degrees warmer than in Toronto.

Weather in Vancouver is interesting, though I don’t really know much about meteorology. From what I understand, it’s all caused by a mix of mountain effects (warm humid air hits the mountains, is forced upward to where the air is cooler which condenses the moisture in the air into water – pouring buckets onto poor Vancouver below), and ocean effects (keeping the temperature moderate) which I think is related to the warm ocean currents coming north from warmer climates. Vancouver also experiences something called “Pineapple Express” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pineapple_Express) heh heh heh.

Unrelated to weather, yesterday after I landed, I went to the licencing office to get my Ontario licence switched to BC (need it to vote), and had a fun encounter with the licensing agent.

Her: So, what does a flashing green light mean?
Me: um… Advance left?
Her: NO! What does it mean in BC?
Me: um… I don’t know, what does it mean?
Her: What will you do if you come to a flashing green light?
Me: Er, I guess I’ll look it up before I drive? I don’t actually have a car…

Anyway that went on for a while before she finally told me it means a pedestrian crossing (which actually, I had figured out last time I was here, but I thought it was a flashing yellow light, not green – oops).

That’s all for now!

2 thoughts on “Hello Vancouver!

  1. I’m surprised she actually gave you the licience. Are they very different than Ontario’s? Is that the only thing that’s different. And Hey! Email me your address so I can start sending you letters!!!

    xo Lianne

  2. That was the only question she asked that I didn’t know… then she spent a really long time asking me to enumerate the reasons why motorcyclists are more at risk on the road than other motorists. She was looking for specific answers so I just kept on giving more and more reasons off the top of my head until she gave up looking for the specific one and told me the answer lol. Oh well… I was more concerned about the eye-test because I was wearing out of date glasses and kept screwing up 8s and 5s and 3s! X_X;;

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