January 9, 2014

Vancouver Photo Diary

{Photos by Alfred and me}

While catching the ferry to Vancouver Alfred and I decided to hang out in the ferry cafe. The cafe was packed but we found a empty table. There was an Asian family sitting across from us. The father looked like an ordinary man. The mother had messy hair, was wearing sweat pants, sneakers and carried a $2000 Louis Vuitton bag. That's one thing I never understood- is the bag a statement from rich people to look homeless because they're too rich to care? Or is it that they spent all their money on the bag that they look homeless?

Both parents were focusing on their phone. Their daughter was maybe 8 years old, in pig tails eating a baked good. I checked the text messages on my phone for a few minutes, then glanced back at the family. The daughter had finished eating and she was flossing her teeth in the middle of the cafe.

"Alfred! Alfred! That girl is flossing her TEETH in a PUBLIC RESTAURANT!" I whispered to Alfred.

I starred at the girl's parents, waiting to see their reaction, any reaction. But the parents continued to on their phones like nothing happened.

"Alfred!  I'm going to pretend to take a picture of you but actually take a picture of that girl flossing!"

I've been all over Asia where I've seen human feces in pool's public shower, where people use gutter water to wash dishes, where people cough up flam the size of a penny in public because "we think it's best to get it out." explained by my tour guide, where people are so desensitized they eat their lunch a foot away from where they butcher animals, in plain sight. So they could eat while looking at dead corpses and think "Hmm, that chicken missing its head looks plump and appetizing. I'll mark that to sell for $400 NT".

I guess seeing the girl floss in public brought me back to my trips to China and Taiwan, where I learned that we can have things come out of every hole and creases that we have, no matter how much money we have or where we live, from a penthouse on Robson Street downtown Vancouver, to a ghetto shack in Surrey. The server who served you food might have went to the bathroom and didn't wash their hands before bringing you the food, the cab driver who gave you change probably sneezed into his hands prior, but you just take it without thinking twice.

I still have that picture of the girl flossing on my phone, along with my other not-as-intriguing Vancouver pictures. Perhaps I'll instagram it to make it look artistic and socially acceptable here in Canada. Or perhaps this will be my next conversation piece at work, where amongst the midst of an awkward silence at lunch, I will pull out my phone and show them a picture of the time I once saw a girl openly flossing her teeth in a cafe, followed by this one time I ate duck tongue in a shady alley in China followed by a sea turtle for dessert.

"Ew. You're eating that?" My sister said.

"I am already 'gross' eating the duck tongue. So why not add a turtle too?" I asked.

Overall it was a nice trip to Vancouver visiting friends (hi Lisa!), and hanging out at Steveston, West End, False Creek, Gas Town, and Capilano Suspension Bridge in which I realized I have vertigo so I quickly walked through most of it without looking down. Perhaps that's why I look so pale in the 8th picture above.

Alas, thanks for the great trip and hanging out, I'm lucky to have been in such great company!