Thursday, September 28, 2006

Vancouver



[Updated to include photos]

So I'm in Vancouver. "On vacation," as they say. I haven't driven a cab in a few weeks. Instead, I spent that time completing the first draft of the book. Which I accomplished. And when I get back home next week, I will probably have my editor's notes for the second draft and get back to work on it. But I also plan to get back in the cab, even if it's on a minimal level.

Anyway, I arrived here in Canada yesterday and, of course, I'm experiencing a tiny bit of culture shock. It's been a little while since I left New York last, and everytime I do, there's a small transition. It's really quite beautiful here, and also incredibly quiet, to the point that it's creepy. I'm not used to it, but I can see the appeal.

So, of course, the first thing I did after leaving the airport was get into a taxi. The one we got was green and white, though there are plenty of yellow cabs around. I was a little skeptical at first that our ride would be slow and boring because this city seems so clean and pristine, but it turned out to be okay. Our driver had on flip-up shades under the brim of a tan Vancouver baseball hat. In the taxi, he sat up so completely straight that the top of his head was in constant contact with the ceiling of the car. He also had on spotless white gloves and drove with his arms at the strangest angle.

At the end of the ride, I decided I totally approved of his moves. I mean, he didn't do anything particularly special or out of the ordinary, but he definitely had that quick, efficient, get-you-there-in-one-piece-but-fast style that I have tried to perfect in my own driving.

The only other thing of note was that when I tried to buy cigarettes, they didn't have my brand. I didn't recognize most of the others either, so I resorted to treating the girl at the 7-11 like a salesperson who works on commission, asking her, "Can you recommend a good light cigarette?"

She handed me a pack of "Canadian Classics Lights" and said they were "popular." I bought them. They're alright.

53 comments:

wil said...

Vancouver, the "Hollywood" of the pacific north west. Probably be a good place to shop your book for a tv or movie deal.

It is a beautiful city, isn't it?

... said...

Best strip clubs in North America... from what I hear.

Kait said...

Welcome to Vancouver! Hope this incredible weather holds out for you. I really enjoy reading your blog and have missed your New York stories. Funny to find out you are in my town now. I trust you have a good guide and will see what should be seen and not what should stay hidden. :) Have fun!

TheBiblioholic said...

If I recall correctly you have a Canon Powershot SDxxx camera? The cable is a standard USB cable ("A" USB plug to "B" USB mini plug), so if you have any others around or can borrow one, it will work fine. It doesn't have to be the white one that came with the camera.

Daniel said...

Heya, MP: Enjoy your vacation!

Clankazoid said...

Next required cab experience: Tokyo cabs. Now that's culture shock.

george the atheist said...

Hhmmnn...let's see..you mention the cab "WE got" and "OUR driver"...Ms Plaut, I think the readers would like to know, WHO is with you in Vancouver?...Anyway, indeed you are "all right"..But Puleezzee STOP SMOKING!!

Anonymous said...

Du Maurier!!!!

....I can't believe she said classics were popular. Also, Van is quiet....but watch your shit. You know the drill.

Kelly said...

I go up to Vancouver once or twice a year to visit the relatives. Love it! Would move there in a heart beat. Have fun!

Drunken Master said...

Out west eh? Interesting cabbie story, surprised you didn't try to chat him up.

Sicilian said...

Been missing your posts. . . to bad you can't buy a cable somewhere in Vancouver. . . you can share the photos with all your fans. . .
Oh and maybe a photo of the "us"
Ciao

DragonFly Designs said...

Welcome to Canada...Toronto here haven't been to Vancouver yet..A trip in the near future.

Lite smokes...Du Maurier Light is good...my friend smokes them. I use to smoke the Canadian Classic regular one and totally agree..they were alright..=P

Congrats on finishing your first draft!

Greg said...

Speaking of Vancouver and smoking... Isn't pot legal (or at least decriminalized) in BC?

Momo said...

Canadian cigarettes are the worst! (In my opinion.)

I remember being in Canada on a business trip. Several Canadians flocked to us to bum some of our cigarettes!

ghostwritta said...

Great to see you're doing good on "vacation" :) I hear Vancouver is one beautiful city. Hope you enjoy your stay!

Amos said...

De Murrier, tries those then next time you get a pack :)

BAF said...

Hey MP - great to hear the news - so looking forward to the book. I trust Borders will have them in NZ? Amazon?

Have fun in Canada!

Andrea said...

Hey MP,
So glad to see a post on your blog. But, even happier that the book is getting closer to being published. Well enjoy your stay in hockey[the greatest game on earth]country. Can't wait to see the photos of your trip. EH!

MJ06 said...

I've been to Vancuver it is very nice and quite and clean. While I was there I rode in a yellow cab to the air port the cab was like a 95-97 crown victoria police interceptor(retired hence why it is a cab) the driver was freindly he did not have the white gloves on though but he was not bad the cab was nice and clean to. But all in all the city is really quite

Nicole said...

I can never quite get used to the peace and quiet in other cities. In some places I've been to people are also extra polite, which makes me nervous and suspicious. I guess you can take a girl out of NY, but you can't take NY out of the girl. Or something like that...

Have a great vacation, and good luck with your writing! Lots of eager people can't wait to see the book.

Gerry Gibberer said...

The "Man of Lettuce", my other favourite cabbie blogger, has just returned from his vacation. (http://www.cablog.com.au./)

Must be cabbie holiday time (do we buy gifts or just send cards?)

george the atheist said...

Neither...we celebrate by listening to Frank of Queens and John of Staten Island every Friday at 10PM on the greatest Talk Radio Show evah, The Right Perspective (www.therightperspective.com)...This week's topics sure to include Bill Clinton's Fox News "shit-fit" ("Bill Clinton" is sure to call in as he has in the past!)..Don't miss it.

EverJack1 said...

Too bad about the pics, but hey! You're our NY cabbie, not Vancouver.

Through with the first draft, huh? You're getting closer, Melissa. :o)

Enjoy your vacation..........

EverJack1

Leann said...

Nice to hear from you again.

Vancouver is a nice city. Enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to Vancouver! Oddly enough, I just returned from NY for a week - the difference between the cities is astounding.

Enjoy your time and let us know if you want any recommendations!

taminator1969 said...

Welcome to Vancouver! The weather has been nice so far, so you're lucky. They don't call this the Wet Coast for nothing. :)

If you get a chance, head up to Whistler for a couple of days. You will not regret it!

Have fun!

Anonymous said...

cabbiesreadthis:
..wow, you need to relax and find a hobby. Honestly, redirect your angry energy into a positive outlet. Life's too short Hon

Dana said...

Hey MP, Good for you on vacation :) Sounds like your post will soon be getting fewer and farther in
between ;( I wish you all the best.
And Cabbiesreadthis... SHUT THE FUCK UP!!! You are just pitiful.

Peace

Dana said...

Hey MP, Good for you on vacation :) Sounds like your post will soon be getting fewer and farther in
between ;( I wish you all the best.
And Cabbiesreadthis... SHUT THE FUCK UP!!! You are just pitiful.

Peace

Anonymous said...

that's kinda funny just back there, i never heard that catlady thing but it made me smirk...just glad they didn't give ya menthols MP!! happy holiday 'oot' and 'aboot'

Mel said...

Do you ever worry that you are alienating your blog fans by posting less and spending more time on your book?

Anonymous said...

How different it was from California, or so far. I like the idea of things being quiet.

lugosi said...

Mel: You raise a very good point, and I think you should demand a refund of all the money you've spent reading this blog. What? You're reading it for free, and you're still bitching that she's not writing enough!?!? That's like stealing someone's Ipod, then complaining that you don't like your victim's taste in music.

I'm guessing she's decided that the book has the potential to earn more money than those Google Adsense links.

zona boy said...

Inspected and admitted by US Customs. I can't comment on any possible strip search though.

veronika said...

HI!
check out:
Aurora Bistro
Habit
Happa Izakaya
for restaurants in Vancouver soooo good!

and
Lark 8th Avenue
Jonathan & Olivia
One of a few
The block
for clothes

Pick up an Urban guide in your hotel lobby to find some of the hidden great places in this sleepy town.

Seismic_Pirate said...

MP,
Totally miss your posts, but keep kickin ass on the book!!!

When do we get to hear the title???

mel said...

Lugosi:
Angry much? I was not complaining. I was asking a question. She is writing a book, she has had to drive less in order to write it. Therefore has less stories to blog about.
I am sure that most people who buy her book (which I plan on doing) will have had some connection with her through her blog.
Seems to me that it might be a logical concern.
Of course the book will make her more money than ads but her blog will get people interested in the book. The two effect each other.

lugosi said...

Mel: Well, that doesn't change the fact that the music on this Ipod I stole stinks.

Eric said...

Hello there from Paris. Just discovered your blog as someone posted it on our DailyPhoto theme day "Taxis". Check out the different kinds of taxis from around the world today on all the DailyPhoto blogs. Quite interesting to see all of the different rules, licenses, vehicles, etc. Will check back here often to hear of your escapades after your vacation.

Randall said...

Last night at the midnight movies
in Denver we watched Fifth Element
With Bruce Willis playing a cool
Brooklyn,cabbie,in the 23rd century.Check it out if you havn't.
Milla Jovovich is in it and very
hot.New York Hack enjoy your VaCa.

JA Firebrand said...

Welcome to Canada - Ben Affleck can probably confirm the strip club status - as for those smokes you got at the 7-11 - wtf??? anywho, have a good time! Cabbieangry lady needs to chillax, whew

chuck said...

"He also had on spotless white gloves and drove with his arms at the strangest angle."

Thank God we have you, Melissa. Bet the book is going to be a real page-turner.

Jill said...

Well at least it isn't raining! Check out the downtown eastside and the city isn't so clean anymore. Come to Commercial Drive if you have a chance. Best coffee in the city. And no pot isn't decriminalized but the cops are less likely to be fussy about it when you have a heroin and meth epidemic.

carlin said...

ahh, i'm from vancouver. nice to hear you like the city. word of advice, pass on the canadian's. they're what i smoke when i'm broke. players light, export a light, belmont milds, i'd recommend. enjoy the city.

dny said...

cool blog. Have a nice time in Vancouver.

Anonymous said...

here here on the du maurier's. those were my favorites when i stayed in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick for a while.

Annamarie said...

I live in Cape Town South africa, there are about +/- 1million people, so your traffic reports are like Hieroglyphics to me! But hell girl, you can write!

R2K said...

I was just there, I love it!

george the atheist said...

HieroGLYPHS...that's the noun.
HieroGLYPHIC..that's the adjective.

P.S. Why do you all still smoke?

Anonymous said...

The best part about Canadian cigarettes are the no-holds barred labeling on the package:

Cigarettes may cause sexual impotence due to decreased blood flow to the penis. This can prevent you from having an erection.

Studies have shown that tobacco can be harder to quit than heroin or cocaine.

Your children are twice as likely to smoke if you do. Half of all premature deaths among life-long smokers result from tobacco use.

Cigarette smoke causes oral cancer, gum diseases and tooth loss.

All accompanied, of course, by some particularly lovely images. You have to give those Canadians credit for their honesty...

team gingerbread said...

I would have recommended either Export A Medium's or Mild's (Dark blue or maroon pakcs respectively)

Anonymous said...

Their Chinatown doesn't seem like a real chinatown. Where is the oil build up from all the chinese cooking?

Anonymous said...

Beautiful city!! I was born there and raised in another small town called kamloops about 3 hours east of Vancouver...Miss it terribly. now im stuck in the blah city of Edmonton.