First Blood! …er First Beer!
We drove towards the ends of the Earth, caught a ferry, then kept on going. O’ Canada! I hadn’t been up to Canada in years, and admittedly felt a little nervous. What would it be like? Would I be judged for being an American? Would I fit right in as an Asian? Would I run into Nathan Fillion? But the suspicious customs agent shifted us thru quicky, and without a stamp…
I don’t know what to make of Victoria, B.C. as we walk up the main street to our hotel. We pass the typical tourist shops that sell the identical shirts at the same prices. We pass the untypical shops, the military antique shop where I hope to find a sword. My father reminds me I have no room in my suitcase for a sword. We saunter down the wee market street, and found a lone man selling home-made chain mail. I seemed to have caught his eye, rather than him mine. I stopped and he admired my subtly rude T-shirt. It wasn’t long before he had his phone out to snap a picture of it. Admiring my tattoo and piercing while at it, much to my mothers chagrin. I silently cheersed myself to being an International Head Turner.
We don’t find much in the shops on the drag. My father tries to feel the spirit of the Brits and we attempt to find him a woolen hat, but he scoffs at the prices. It’s not British enough here to warrant those prices. We head back down to the dockside stalls. Mother buys some icecream and father and I watch as a ridiculously small boat heads out for whale watching. The stalls sell handmade goods, jewlery, fabrics, wood work. I stop at a stall filled with box picture frames all filled with taxidermy bugs. The people hovering around all squirm at the sights, I lean in closer, wondering if the man has any larger spiders. He sells keychains of smaller bugs, and pendants of small animal skulls. I stare, longingly at the bird skull, but think of the joke. Wearing a bird skull around my neck, next to the cat tattoo..
Victoria boasts of Old English spirit, but I am failing to see it. Dinner is in a pub, though no pub like I’ve been in. It’s high ceilings and fancy chandeliers. We are seated in a booth facing the 3-4 man bar, each bartender buttoned up and skilled. Infront of us sits a young man with his pants halfway down his ass and us full view of his patterned boxers. Beyond him is a TV showing the Worst and Best plays in American athletics. Maybe I haven’t been in enough European pubs, but I’m thinking of those low ceilings, and the smell of old chips buildings. Cigarette smoke, and a game of darts in the corner. Floor might be a bit sticky from the beer. It sounds terrible. It sounds wonderful.
Give it time. I’ll try again tomorrow. The seagulls have gone to bed, music is rocking in the distance, Ma and Pa are passed out, better turn out the lights..