Thursday, 20 July 2006

Canadia Is For Canadians

15 July - Well, today was the symbolic end of my time in Vancouver - the Canadia is for Canadians picnic at Third Beach to celebrate the upcoming removal of three of the Australian visitors who have been residing in this fair land for the past year. Ozzie Marcus and his girlfriend, Larni, have reached the end of their visas (although the way their plans seem in a constant state of flux I don’t think they’ll ever be leaving this place) and my home ticket is rapidly approaching its expiration date. Started the day by riding down to the previously boycotted Bikes On The Drive to donate my embarassingly large collection of unrepaired inner tubes and Elan, the owner, very nicely offered to box up my bike for free for the jouney home but have already organised that with Simon.
Collected some picnic stuff and beer from Toby's and took Celeste down to Stanley Park and eventually arrived at Third Beach and the due time of 1pm - since I was the instigator of the event I needed to make sure to be their first and despite Sasha arriviing about 20m later it was a fair while before anyone actually turned up and I went through the usual feelings of inadequacy that the event was going to be a no show, despite the day beingfantastically hot and ideal beach weather. Well, my anxieties certainly turned out to be completely groundless because there was a massive turnout - people staggered in over the next few hours but I couldn’t believe how many people deemed by departure to be significant cause for celebration - mostly couriers but certainly not all - attendees included but not limited to former housemates, Mark Mat and Robert, friends Abby and Loria with little Bo, and about half of the couriers in the city seemed to come - all very touching although I tried to avoid beingtoo morbid about the fact that i'd soon be leaving all of these fantastic people behind. A couple of barbecues were brought and lots of beer - not long after we started lunch a policeman came by and told us to dump all the beers and then asked for the senior person responsible to come and have a chat with him - thinking the senior person would be the one to get a fine nobody came forward but eventually he told us just to keep it hidden and there shouldn’t be a problem (f**kingCanada - loves it bylaws). Finally managed to immerse myself in the (rather polluted) ocean and got terrifically sunburnt (it'll turn brown in a couple of days - it always does) and played football (until the lifeguard told us to stop), then frisbee (until the lifeguard told us to stop), cricket (until the lifeguard told us to stop) and hackey sack (which is was just compoletelycrap at). Scored four new jerseys (a couple of dynamaxes, a pdx and a vip - a lot of the courer companies have an x in the title because 'x' means fast) as going away presents from other courers (have a fairly complete collection now) and said what could very well be my final goodbyes to many of them. Tried to get to the gun turret to see the supposedly spectacular sunset but got lost and missed it by about five minutes and after dark the group started to trickle off - a couple of us decided to ride out to a another party in burnaby and I was stuck with a very drunk (and, truth be told, incredibly irritating) shadow and a few others and had to lead the way but lost most of them on the way, its not much fun ridingwith drunk people - picked up jolene who decided to come alongfor the ride and then came to the burnaby boundary and found ourselves without a through road - rode around a few blocks looking for a way to get over before seeing four silent fixed gears with one liught between them wooshing east and concluded that they must be heading in the same irection as we were. The party was already on its tail end but managed to get a few more farwells thrown in to the mix before me and jolene headed back into the west andd to civilisation.

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