A Day at the Beach

Vancouver University, the most unlikeliest of tourist spots. Highly recommended for its natural museum and extensive grounds, I thought I’d include it in my itinery for today. I also wanted to check out the courses and costs of studying there. The scenic bus journey through suburbia was so lovely; very Desperate Housewives and such a contrast from the concentrated, fast-paced and transient lifestyle of downtown. Definitely appealed to me – I’ve had my share of rushing around and a more sedate pace would be more than welcome.

The campus was huge, just going from one building to another involved copious amounts of walking and a map to navigate the numerous buildings. I discovered that I would be best suited to a post-graduate course, a masters degree. If only my brain agreed. Still, it’s a possible option for the future. The staff were super-helpful. I have noticed that people are very polite and very helpful in a way that is so different from the UK. Some people may view it as saccharin and ‘forced niceness’. I would beg to differ. People here actually ‘thank’ bus drivers for taking them to their destination. I have only ever witnessed this on hail and ride buses in the UK. I’d rather the politeness I’ve seen here over the selfish and practically hostile attitude towards customers that we experience every day on our own public transportation system.

After my brush with academia, I needed to do something relaxing, so I decided that a trip to the beach on a lovely sunny spring day would be a nice way to while the afternoon.

Kitsilano Beach, an amazing place. Bordered by downtown skyscrapers and with the mountains in the distance, where else could you sunbathe, shop and ski in the same day? Only in Vancouver, it seems. Kitsilano is generally known as a highly desirable place to live; sort of upmarket boho, very environmentally aware and middle class.

I travelled to the beach but firstly succumbed to Starbucks. I wanted to break with routine and ordered a caramel macchiato. Never, have I tasted such an awful combination of sickly sweet, bitter, creamy dross. Having paid so much for it, I returned to the server and asked for a more traditional and reliable cappucino. Surprisingly, she complied and didn’t say I had to pay again. I think the look of shock on my face when my tastebuds were assualted by the drink that she personally recommended was enough to convince her!

I sat on a bench at the seafront, just watching people pass by and dogs running happily in the water. There’s something so heartening about the way dogs run wild on a beach, chasing the surf and running away from it. I love it and was fondly reminded of my little friend Milo, who I miss dearly.

I made my way home and grabbed a very tasty take-away curry from a trendy fast-food outlet very close to my apartment. Think McDonalds but healthy, Indian food instead. I barely made it back to my apartment; I was so exhausted from the huge amount of working that I had done. I estimated that I walked around 10 miles today. I hope the scales reflect this too when I get back home!

I crashed out in front of the tv, thinking about plans for my last full day in Canada tomorrow.


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