Thursday, June 11, 2009

Day 8: Victoria, B.C.

Day 8

Grandma is already over the top with making us feel comfortable. She cooked us a “Hungarian breakfast” with peppers, onion, pepperjack cheese, eggs and a variety of sausages. It was delicious and I was almost as full as the night before when she took us out to fish and chips. We discussed all of the things that we could do with the day in Victoria. We decided to kayak around the islands off the coast. It was bizarre to think that we were floating in the Pacific Ocean. We paddled into an inlet and swam for a short while. There were jellyfish undulating around our waists and we cupped some small ones into our hands. Andrew proceeded to throw one home to deeper waters. I remember our late jelly friend fondly. After his apparent death, we braved the jellyfish ridden waters back to the dock.
Later in the day we took the 20-minute drive from Brentwood Bay to downtown Victoria. We parked the car in the parking lot of a Volvo dealership, locked up and headed down the closest street. We walked around and searched for a coffee shop in which to purchase a caffeinated beverage. According to Andrew’s selective memory they had 2 Mazzer grinders, a Rancillio grinder, and a three group La Cimbali espresso machine. Naturally, I ignored what he said and made fun of him with curt sarcasm. This has been a common occurrence on this trip. We’ve coined the phrase, “You’re still talking aren’t you?” in order to let the speaker, Andrew or David (rarely myself), know that the listener is tired of either the conversation or the sound of their voice.
Anyway Victoria turned out to be a much larger and cooler city than I thought it would be. The demographics were really interesting. The old folks had retired to the outskirts of town while a very active and prevalent youth culture hung around downtown. The architecture and layout of the city reminded me of a European city, and there were certainly a lot of languages to be heard whilst walking around. People from all over the world seemed to come to vacation or liver there, yet downtown didn’t have a touristy feel.
After meandering for a while we headed back to the car. We reached the dealership’s lot and I made a joke about having a broken window and missing valuables. Andrew responded with a, “No… but um… shit.” Parking patrol had put a boot on our driver side wheel. As we complained for a minute or two a drunkard rode up on his bike and put in his two cents about the situation. He was an eloquent speaker and presented his argument in a well-organized manner. Droplets of saliva and liquor hit the pavement as he observed our plight as “fucking bullshit.” This is Andrew’s recollection of the man’s take on things:
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, what the fuck?” He came off his bike next to the tire and went to his knees so as to examine the large yellow boot closer: “This, this is like, this is bullshit. The man’s got you by the balls. Just fucking tear this shit off! There’s like only–“ he slowly counted the lug nuts–“one, two, three, four, five, six things here.” He stood up shakily and put his face close to mine, so I could see his dilated, watery eyes: “Do you guys have, like the tool thing? Do you have it? I’ll fucking tear it off for you, just take this shit to the streets man, I’ll help you. This is fucking bullshit from the man!” and so on…
We called the number on the piece of paper rather than taking the drunk’s advice of trying to rip the wire off of my axle. The parking guy showed up and we talked to him for a while about our road trip, the city, and our car situation. I almost convinced him to give us a break by pulling the ignorant foreigner card. It pained me that even the guy responsible for making us pay $80 was nice. In fact, despite having a few loose screws the drunkard was nice too; just trying to help us out and stick it to the man. As a general whole I’d like to comment on the character of the human race. Refuting Locke, with the experiences I’ve had with others on this trip as evidence, I would say the vast majority of people are very welcoming and kind. People just try to get by, and you can’t blame them can you? So at the end of the day we came away with a great life lesson: park in the street.


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