After the great first impressions Vancouver made on us, we decided we would make our own impressions.
Arriving at the airport after a 10+ hour flight, which had been delayed by about 4 hours and preceded by a 2 hour within EU flight, lining up to get our visas etc etc…. we weren’t in the most alert of states. We had a whopping amount of luggage with us – 3 bags at 20 kg each (ok I lied, they were all about 24 kg each but shhhh don’t tell the check in counter people), plus M’s bike box, carry on luggage of a laptop each plus one other bag… well needless to say we were tired and weighed down.
We needed a taxi to shuttle us and our gear to our new apartment because figuring out public transport with all of that gear and weariness was just not an option. Rather than simply look outside, M went and asked at the information counter for a shuttle that could take us downtown. I sat down and let the tiredness overwhelm me for a few minutes. M came back, with a receipt showing he had just paid CA$65 for a ride into the city – WTF?! Well, tourists will get ripped off I guess and I was too tired to care at that moment (plus his new job would reimburse him). We headed out to find the shuttle he had pre-paid for us, and asked a guy standing at approximately the right place where the shuttle was. He looked at our piece of paper and then waved us over to our left.
Where a black stretch limo stood waiting! What? The driver of the limo looked at us blankly, then asked why we booked him. We don’t know! The information counter guy did it! Limo driver man seemed actually kind of pissed off that he had to waste his time driving us. But hey, he was being paid right? Maybe he was the only dude with a car big enough to fit all our stuff?
So he popped the boot and proceeded to shove/shunt/push/recklessly squash all of our preciously carted cargo into the oversize boot, including the bike box (filled of course with a precious M bike), half shut the boot lid, and gestured for us to get in. He didn’t want us to put anything in the limo itself – I guess he was worried we would damage the ultra non-tacky interior (sense the sarcasm there?).
Flashing fairy lights that changed colours greeted us, long black seats, a sun roof – I guess for drunk people to open and climb/yell out of – champagne glasses tinkling (but no champagne more’s the pity) and lots and lots of unused (but paid for) space. Off we went, to make our first impression on the city that will now be “home”.
Three words to sum this up – tacky, embarrassing, hilarious. Work it baby!
However, now after being here a few weeks and realising we are in one of the more pretentious neighbourhoods of downtown, perhaps it didn’t seem so out of place after all, only seeming out of place to us.