For the past 8 weeks I've been coming to Vancouver just for Mondays and Tuesdays to teach my writing class at UBC. Wednesday mornings I'm on an early ferry back home to Vancouver Island. It doesn't leave much time to enjoy the city. This week, however, I'm spending the whole week in Vancouver because of an assignment in Abbottsford on Sunday. So today I took the opportunity to get my eyes tested, which I hadn't had done in at least 3 years. I walked to the eye doctor since I knew I would be getting my pupils dilated and didn't want to make even a short drive slightly 'impaired'.
The test went fine, my eyes haven't changed that much so I don't have to spend another $800 on new glasses. I decided to take my time heading back home, seeing as how I was still quite dilated and didn't want to sit in front of the computer squinting at a bright screen.
So I went into the Book Warehouse and squinted at books, picked up Julia Child's autobiography about the time she spent in France in the 40's and 50's, and an Ian Rankin Inspector Rebus mystery.
Second stop: A Chinese food restaurant, a 'step above' hole in the wall. I bought a big bowl of glistening slices of bbq pork, served in noodles bathed in a mild broth, accented with a couple of spears of just-cooked bright green broccoli, and a carefully sliced sprinkle of green onions. ($6.95) The best part of this multicultural adventure was that I could sip on a bottle of Belgian Stella Artois ($3.50)to enjoy with my Chinese food, read how Julia learned about the pedigrees of various French butters, and ogle a young Japanese woman who took the whole Catholic schoolgirl look to an anime extreme!
Then my iPhone rang. Much to my surprise, it was a charming representative from BC Ferries! I had filled out an online survey complaining about lack of a 'frequent user' discount or incentives, lack of info on upcoming fare discounts, and lack of a good system to keep my profile on file for ease of making reservations. She reassured me that they are looking at a frequent user program, the planned discounts (30%) for December and January are happening, but they can't do anything about the reservations profile. Hmmm…2 out of 3 ain't bad.
After picking up a few groceries, I decided to walk home through 'The Forest'. This is part of the University of British Columbia Endowment Lands and a path I had never been on before. It was amazing! Pools of water reflecting moss and salal and ferns, mushrooms all over the place, although none edible. I did come across some boletes, (edible) but they were well past their prime, their spongy caps riddled with worms and slowly decaying back into the forest floor from whence they came.
This part of the forest is amazing, you can see the huge stumps of trees that were cut down probably 80 or 100 years ago, scars in the trunks where loggers cut notches to insert boards so they could balance on them to start cutting where the tree wasn't so thick. So many of them have rotted from the inside out, so all you see are the eerie hollow shells of the scarred trunks.
I tried taking some photos with my iPhone, (here's the album) but between the low light conditions and my blurry vision, I'm afraid they didn't turn out that well!
Still, I think they give you the idea of the wild nature of the forest….which was spoiled a little bit by being able to glimpse the UBC Golf Course just off to the north. At a certain point nature started to call, the kind of nature I wanted to take care of in a warm apartment, so I whipped out my iPhone once again at the next trail intersection and took a more direct path back to civilization.