I wanted to go to Vancouver.
So I flew. Via Dallas, Texas, naturally. Leaving Canada, US immigration, leaving US, Canadian immigration.
Question: are you arriving from a country affected by foot and mouth disease? Answer: blinks.
I was delayed in Texas for four hours, enough to wallow in a sea of big hair and fat hats, and down home-style
slack-jawed goober-mouthed nothingness. Only a little more of that, and I would have been fit for nothing except
leadership of the free world.
Finally: Vancouver. I have only just arrived here and I love it already.
Mountains, cool sea air. All the hiking, sailing, diving I could ever ask for.
I went for a run for a few miles along the beaches yesterday (result: I can't bend my legs today) and exulted in it.
I could stay here... but time... time is not on my side. Everyone says, don't judge Vancouver now, wait till you see the
rain! As if rain could bother a Limavady Ulsterman. There is so much to do here. So little time.
Of course, this is the West Coast: almost everyone here is tanned, svelte, pierced,
tattooed and interesting. I, of course, am unaugmented in any way, and refuse to accept
that some doodle on my skin will give me any more character than I already possess.
But as I realise this argument is not compelling, I'm thinking of declaring that my non-pierced body is in
itself an art object. A white album. A purposely blank canvas. A proletarian scream of rage against the corporate
tyranny of the tattoo houses who scheme to control our every thought and deed. That should do it.
On an aside, every time I meet you damn foreigners, one you will say something along the lines of:
You're from Ireland! You must be interesting! Like, completely mad and drunk all the time!
Sometimes I like to say no, Irish people in general are really very sober and hard working
and among the best educated in the world. The drunken image is simply a redundant piece of nineteenth century
Anglo-Saxon propaganda that you are perpetuating. If you want serious drinking, try Bristol or Manchester on a Friday night. If you don't get stabbed first.
There is then a short lull as this flies over everyone's head, before they continue unabashed,
"Yeah, you Irish, really like to drink and go mad and party, eh? I was in Ireland,
great place so friendly everyone always pissed, eh?"
I'd argue further, but what's the use? If I did,
it is guaranteed, guaranteed, that the following will happen: an Irish student over on a summer work visa
will suddenly pop up, looking all red-haired and leprechaun-ish, pissed out of his head, bare-chested,
with someone's knickers on his head, take a huge swig out of his Heineken, belch, shout "WaayHay!" before
launching himself backwards into a disused swimming pool. And everyone will shake their heads ruefully, laugh and say,
"Those Mad Irish", while I, defeated, look sadly on.
I know he's only putting it on, but what the hell. At least we get to be "interesting". Could be worse. Could be Belgian.