Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Post 26.1: Departure for Vancouver (LAX-YVR: AS 711)

For this July 4th weekend, I did something highly unpatriotic... I visited Canada.  Is that so wrong? The guilt in my heart indicates that it is just a tad bit wrong.  But, but, but... before we jump to any conclusions about where my heart lies, I will say that after this trip I have set my feelings towards my country in stone.  YEAH, AMERICA ROCKS.

But here's a little warming up to the slew of fatty, fried foods that I had in our friendly neighbor to the north.  Behold, the commute:

Fill'er up! Every trip starts with a stop at the gas station.
My Sam Adams from Goldstone's in Terminal 3 at LAX.

Preparing to board.
EVA Air (BR 16) to Taipei prepares for departure across the way at Tom Bradley Int'l Terminal.

Gate 33, eh? The AS staff throws in a few jokes during the boarding announcement.

The scenic route. 
The captain directs our attention to the Sierra Nevada mountain range just to our east.

My in-flight reading. 
Gaga article and McChrystal controversy.  And OJ for a change.

J'ai arrive.  Landed twenty minutes early.
It's cool to see French instead of Spanish as the second language on signage.

To baggage claim.  Native culture adorns YVR Airport.
Speakers play the bird's calls, and the water under the kayak is reflected on the ceiling.

The arrival hall at YVR.  Immigration and Customs.
Totem poles of the natives stand guard for Canada.

Of course, I was interrogated regarding my purpose for visiting Canada:

Officer: What brings you to Canada?
Me: Fun...?
Officer: Fun...?
Me: I'm visiting... um, uh... sightseeing...

Officer: When was the last time you were in Canada?
Me: Uhh... after high school?
Officer: Where in Canada are you staying?
Me: Vancouver? Um, uhh... Burnaby?

Officer: Who are you staying with?
Me: My friend...?
Officer: What's your friend's name?
Me: Amanda...
Officer: What does she do?
Me: (sweats) I'm not really sure, but I know she works at a school.  I think it has to do with education.  (thinking... I sound really credible here.  My answers probably scream DRUG TRAFFICKING.)

Officer: How long are you staying in Canada?
Me: 5 days.
Officer: Not 115 days?
Me: Oh, don't worry! I'll be gone by Monday! (thinking... what the hell is wrong with me?!)
Officer: (stamps passport and smiles) Welcome to Canada.

A warm welcome! I love Canada? Maybe, but not just yet...
Meet Amanda, my tour guide and awesome hostess for the weekend.

Whoo hoo! Can't wait for poutine and some delicious Cantonese-style Chinese cuisine.  What else does Canada have in store for me? An unexpected Hawaiian-themed barbecue, way too much fried food, more unexpected surprises in Taiwanese form, too many Kit Kats, and a tow truck (and the onslaught of being insanely late for the return flight home).  To be continued...

ML - 20100701/20100708

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