So, I am recently returned from the dual v's of Vancouver and Vanderhoof and safely ensconced in my 3rd storey Prince George apartment, reunited with my poor computer who has, I feel, greatly missed my presence. Or maybe I'm just projecting. I've spent the majority of our reunion downloading various and sundry things. Oh high-speed internet! I could rhapsodize about you forever.
In Vanderhoof, my mom and I watched creepy Korean dramas that were remarkably Machiavellian. And disturbing. God, were they ever disturbing. I don't even know why we had the dvds, but wow. Once the first movie was over, Mom looked at me and said, "That was strange, ne? It's not just me that thinks so?" All I could do was nod. I was traumatized speechless. I'm not entirely sure why we moved on to the next movie; some misguided hope that, y'know, it would get better. We were so very, very wrong.
In Vancouver, we visited libraries. Oh bliss! I have library envy right now, after having seen Vancouver Public Library and UBC's Koerner library. VPL is beautiful, built like the Roman Coliseum, with entire floors devoted to one or two subjects. We drove down to Vancouver, my mom and dad and I. Dad makes a multi-monthly pilgrimage down to Vancouver, so he's an old hand at the road politics of big truck drivers and knows with a frightening accuracy the speed limit for each stretch of road. The scenery was amazingly beautiful; there were some patches where the trees were all beetle-kill, and it looked a little like a war zone without any bodies but plenty of scorched ground - but even those spaces of stark landscape had their own weird, disturbing and compelling allure. And driving through the canyon - the mountains! The horizon! The shadow/sun interplay! (I like the exclamation mark!)
We stayed at the Holiday Inn, which, let me tell you, was not really all that holiday-ish. My poor mother. She thought she was getting a different deal for her money - well, dad's money - and was dreadfully disappointed. Which I got to hear about. At length. Great length. Other than that, it was a great trip; I bought books! Hee. Books about ZOMBIES. And I signed books out of Koerner (we somehow have a card, I don't ask questions), also about ZOMBIES. Oh, zombies. We also walked both below the bridge to Granville, and over it (it was nice to get the two perspectives of the same site. What wasn't nice was the whole "I'm not talking to you, because you get us horribly lost and make us walk for three hours" tension I had going on with my mom. Neither of us has a sense of direction. This can be, at times, horrifically painful). My mom got to see her old friend, Eiko-san, who took us for dim sum along with her boyfriend (named Fred) and student-boarder (named something like Shinji, and who my mom proceeded to attempt to set me up with so obviously I could have died from embarrassment). I also bought rose tea, and poetry, and Japanese food in bulk. Mmm... ochazuke, furikake, wakame. Long have I missed you, my palatable (literally) friends. Not to mention we stocked up on seaweed. Mmmm. It was a good trip for my consumerist soul. Not that good of a trip for my dad's wallet. Oh well.
The only real down points, aside from the whole 'omygod we're lost in downtown Vancouver we're totally gonna diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiie' incident, were that I discovered that I am allergic to Vancouver (I had this non-stop sneezing thing going on, apparently there's troublesome pollen in the air), and that takoyaki - while nummy on a plate - is not all that nummy on the way back to Vanderhoof. Major motion sickness, dudes. I should've known not to eat take-out octopus balls...
It was nice to be in Vancouver again. A little overwhelming, at first, but the more we walked around, the more familiar it got. It's funny, I haven't lived there since I was nine; but the topography of the city, of its streets and turns, houses and parks - has made its way into the landscape of my dreams, and the longer I was there, the more I felt like I was in the middle of my own subconscious. It was surreal, but also cool.
The last cool note of my two weeks of relief from academia was the return of last semester's grades. Whew! I have to say, I feel smart. And also proud. I may have had minor mental breakdowns, but I pulled it off; life is good. I'm feeling confident. The future, it is bright. Here's hoping it is for all of you as well.