Vancouver. I love you, and I love to hate you.
I don’t know what it is about Van, but it gives me the creeps. I’ve been there dozens of times, and I’ve always enjoyed being in and around the greater Van area, but for some reason, the last trip I made there felt off. It was a great trip, don’t get me wrong, but I swear, there was something in the air or water that made me want to get out of there and back to Alberta as fast as I could.
My trip to the West Coast was for a trampoline competition in Langley, and I decided to stay an extra three days or so (like I’ve done for years) and hang out around Van. A friend and I shared a room at the ritzy Sutton Place downtown, and we generally hung out in the mornings together. I was lost to him by lunch, and would wander around my usual haunts around Robson and Commercial.
As I walked past the art gallery one day, time seemed to slow down and not in the best of ways. All of a sudden I felt very small and so very insignificant. I looked at all the unfamiliar faces around me, and I felt like I didn’t fit in. I didn’t feel like a tourist per say, but I felt like I was wandering, searching for something. But what was I supposed to be looking for?
A city I thought I knew all of a sudden became daunting, and I just needed out.
Luckily for me, my pseudo big sister Jess was in town and unluckily for her, I latched on to her so fast she didn’t have time to understand what was going on in my head. The day and a bit I spent with her and her friends were absolutely fantastic, and the memories I made with them will stay with me for a long time.
But as I walked back to the hotel alone, it got me thinking: was it familiarity I was looking for? I thought I knew Van well, but after that first day alone, I didn’t know what to think.
At that point, I was snapped back into reality as I narrowly missed getting hit by a truck trying to cross the road. That was the first truck I saw in ages, and I got all nostalgic thinking about Alberta after that.
I’ve always thought that Van would be a nice place to live, but after that trip I didn’t know what to think anymore: all I knew was that it wasn’t the place for me.
I got really giddy when I was flying home, but don’t know if it was because I was so excited to sleep in my own bed, or because I could spot little bales of hay down below. What I do know is that I’ve never felt so weirded out by a city before in all my times of travelling, and almost seven months later, I still can’t shake the feeling.
See ya never YVR.