Vancouver Day 3 Part 1

Continued from Vancouver Day 2 Part 2.

I started the day with a Skype phone call to American Airlines. Last night, before heading to bed, I checked my flight schedule back to Austin. Shit shit shit shit shit. I realized that I only had one hour and 10 minutes for my connection in Dallas. Since this is an international flight, I won’t have time to clear immigration and customs and catch my connection. Stupid AA for selling me tickets that are unusable, and stupid me for not checking more closely. I should know better since I travel so often.

I called AA, and the person on the phone said that I’ll make my connection. Really? She claimed that since it’s Canada, I’ll clear immigration and customs over on the Canadian side. Really? I am a little doubtful, but I’ll check again at the counter when I fly out…Let’s see if she was just blowing smoke up my ass.


Speaking of smoke, I read this in our day old paper. I believe it. Just walking around the streets of Vancouver, I would get whiffs of weed.


Which one is unlike the others? They love their Prius taxis over here.


We are walking over to Chinatown to have some lunch. There is also this Asian bakery that OC wants to check out.


I wonder if these purple glass on the sidewalk is a skylight like in Seattle? Why always purple glass? OK, I just Googled this. The glass used to be clear, but turn purple over time due to the manganese in the glass. Ah Ha! Wait…it doesn’t explain the chemical reaction that makes this happen….I’ll leave that for another Google on another day.


Cool barber shop that didn’t show up well in the photo.


Imagine those trees falling down when a big storm blows by.


Back at Chinatown.


It’s pretty dead over here. The time is just before 11.


Amidst all the Chinese store fronts, there is a skate shop. Really out of place.


Found the bakery. Or at least OC thinks this is the one that she saw online. Good enough for us. Few shops are open, and really, there are not that many eateries over here. This is one of a few very busy places.


Well, I only have 5 CAN, so I’ll have to pay with what’s left of my USD and get dinged 10% on their rapacious exchange rate. Our hotel also charges the same 10% rapacious rate on currency exchanges.


It’s full of customers, which is always a good sign. This is very much a blue collar spot full of first generation Asians.


Pork bun. This is probably the first thing that I’ve had here in Vancouver that’s not flavored weakly.


This bbq pork bun was really good too. However, the milk tea that we got was not very sweet.


Reenacting a scene from Napoleon Dynamite from last night. I don’t know why she’s got her gloves on, only God knows.

While the food was delicious, and we were tempted to order more, we wanted to try other Chinese food while we are here. We peeled ourselves away from our table, and strolled around outside.


This Chinatown is super Chinese. There are some Chinatowns that are filled with fancy restaurants, and some are just Chinatown in name only. Not this one. This one is super legit. You get off the boat, you come here and you don’t need to speak a word of English.


Lots and lots of stores selling Chinese herbal medicine. There were more of these shops than any other shops. I think there were more herbal shops than there were restaurants here, and you know the Chinese love to eat.


Dried small fish.


More dried fish.


Massive dried mushroom.


Neatly stacked dried scallops.


Awesome and gross at the same time. Someone had the good humor to include an internet meme in the description.


Seahorse. We were wondering what they did, then we started talking to this customer lady standing in line. She said that it’s for pregnant ladies. She had it when she was pregnant and it helped with her nausea…I am not sure if there is any scientific ground to stand on(probably not), but she was a nice lady.


Ginseng.


These stores were everywhere.


Some sort of squash with fuzzy skin.


I am so money.


The fish here just didn’t seem as fresh, even the ones that are alive.


I don’t know about you, but that’s one dignified and intelligent looking water buffalo!


Store that caries all sorts of stuff for ceremonial and religious occasions.


The enthusiastic walker.


They offer everything. I laughed, until I realize that it makes sense because I eat all the above, and so do many people I know. I would like to have all that under one roof, but probably not at this place.


We had walked by this packed restaurant earlier. We only saw a few other restaurants in Chinatown and none of them had many people so we came back here to eat the second part of our brunch, the lunch.


This is indeed the place to be. I feel pretty good about this choice.


The crappy tea pot, now with a rubber spout sleeve. Equally as deficient. I don’t understand the rubber sleeve, as I’ve seen it often before but never understood why.


Oh, food, so good!


I think the food here is seasoned about 80% correct.

Hanging behind our table was a giant Chinese knot. I told OC that while in Chinese school as a child, I would take Chinese knotting as an elective while other boys took basketball, martial arts, or other sports. She laughed. Then I told her that making Chinese knot turtles was my specialty, and that I used to be able to make it from memory.


At first, nothing happened. Then I saw that she was suffering silently and miserably in painful laughter.


Omg omg omg omg, it’s so unbearable. I am going to die from laughing so hard. Hahhahahahhahahaha….ohhh I can’t breath…ahahahahhaha ohoh ohhh ahahahhhahahahahhahaha.


For once, she was not laughing at one of her own jokes, but rather one that’s at my expense. Cruel cruel world. She felt really bad for laughing so hard and started crying at the end as an apology. That’s a big lie. She cried from her relentless laughter, at me.


After lunch, I headed to the bus stop half a block up and OC went back to the hotel. I am heading to the aquarium, but OC didn’t want to go since she doesn’t like animals being locked up in tanks. Me, I love aquariums.


Even though it’s Sunday, the bus arrives quickly. It’s one of the new electric buses without AC that costs a million a piece…or so the driver from yesterday’s Capilano shuttle said anyway.


Looks just like a Cap Metro bus inside. Is there only one major bus public bus manufacturer company around?


Two stops from where I get on the bus in Chinatown, a whole horde of people get onto the bus to the point of standing room only. I had lucked out and gotten a seat.


The aquarium is located in Stanley Park, in the Western end of downtown. I could have walked here in maybe 40 minutes, but I was tired of walking in the rain.


Beautiful scenery over here. If only we had gotten no rain, a nice bike ride along the perimeter sea wall of Stanley Park would be one of the top things to do.


A short walk from the bus stop is the aquarium. Very short lines. In one of the counter farther down from the end of the line, the lady held out a sign that’s shaped like a shark with “Next” written on it. I was amused.


So far, the small but spectacular Monaco aquarium sets the bar for the best I’ve seen. Let’s see how the Vancouver aquarium measures up.


I love jellyfishes. I could just stare at them all day long.


This guy took photos with his ipad. Huge pet peeve of mine, people who take travel photos with their ipads. They look ridiculous doing it, and it doesn’t even have a great camera. Irritates me so much.


Part of the exhibit is outside for the larger marine animals.


I love to chill on my back.


This guy was furiously scratching an itch.


A small kid is about the size of a penguin.


See, the aquarium does more than just lock up smart animals inside glass tanks. I say they get people exposed to marine animals and motivates them to do animal rescue.


They’d be dead if not for this aquarium.


Daisy loves attention and would come up to the glass to look back at you.


She also shat all over the place while chilling by the glass.


I love to swim upside down.


These Artic Isopods are really creepy looking things. Ugh…gives me the creeps.


Narwals.


For some reason, I always think of them as being smaller than they are in life…not that I’ve seen one in life. How often do they accidentally poke each other with their horns?


Big starfish.


These were all these pill bug like looking things inside the same tank as the large starfish.


In this one tank, they had empty bottles as decoration. Is this trying to educate us not to litter?


Amazing florescent green sea anemones.

To be continued in Vancouver Day 3 Part 2.

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