Sunday, 13 June 2010

Mouse and cake

MP3 track of the day - Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol

Weather: Perfect weather; sunny but not too hot ... brilliant


Anyway the start of the day didn't go that well. Last night I was talking to an English couple who had been to India and Thailand; they told me that they had a mouse in their room and I was glad I didn't ... I spoke too soon.

After getting up this morning, having a shower and generally getting ready for the day I decided to make my bed. My bed has two blankets which, when I originally put them on my bed, had a little area where they over lapped. Under this I had put my 'sheet sleeping bag' because there was no sheet to separate me from the blankets (and it was a good job I did). Anyway, I pulled the top blanket away from where it over lapped with the lower blanket to find a baby mouse snugly asleep. Now it was actually quite cute (reminded me of my brothers two mice, 'Chip' and 'Pin', but we won't go into the story of their fate) but I don't remember putting a mouse there last night. Anyway I gathered up the blanket and took it, at arms length, to the front door.

Have you seen the scene in 'Faulty Towers' where Basil carries a bin at arms length ... this was similar but a blanket instead of a bin. As I went passed reception the lady asked if anything was wrong to which I replied "... it depends on what you mean by wrong. There is a mouse in here and I'm taking him outside..."

As I got to the door I christened the mouse 'Toby' and wished him the best of luck as I launched him into a 'free falling air dive' out the door. Coming back in the woman was very apologetic and it seemed like 'Def con 1' had been activated with all the traps being laid down. The traps in Canada are different to the UK; here they have, what seems like, sticky tape with nuts attached. I didn't think it was very humane, the poor little thing would get it's feet stuck on the tape ... but then I remembered the UK method of the great big, spring held, metal chopper and thought the Canadian method was probably better. The lady then said it was the spring season and it's around this time when mice have hundreds of babies ... which was reassuring (the Canadians do have this unfortunate tendency to always tell the truth). I then spoke to some other hostel mates who said they too had a mouse and it appeared that, within this hostel, there is a 'IMH' (International Mouse Hostel) as each room had it's own 'mouse tenant'.

After this I checked all my bags, the floor and my food. Luckily, because I can't be bothered to cook, all my food is well packaged and there were no bite marks in any of the plastic bags my food was in ... so I then moved it to higher ground.

The whole episode reminded me of an article I read within my 'Backpackers Bile' book where, within the 'budget chapter' this guy was saying he was looking around a hostel in Asia when he noticed tarantulas hanging from the celling ... however he was on a budget so he had to stay there. Okay I can cope with mice ... but I draw the line at tarantulas.

It was only 9:45am by now and I was going to meet Kristoff at the Skytram station at 10:00am. Kristoff is a Canadian I had met on the Greyhound from Winnipeg to Calgary and we chatted on Facebook and decided we would go to the 'Granville Island Market' together today. However I waited at the station for around 40 minutes but no sign; I'm not sure if my phone is working properly for receiving and making calls so, even though I had his cell phone (mobile phone) number, I couldn't call him.

After 40 minutes I decided to go off on my own ... maybe I'll see him at the market (plus there was this homeless bloke who looked like he was on drugs and he was swearing and kicking things within the station ... think I prefer the mouse, Toby).

It took me a while to get to the 'Granville Island Market' but it was worth it; there was lots to look at, touch and smell and I just wandered in between all the stalls. However everything was expensive (in a market!) but it was getting near lunch time and so I bought a big slice of pizza for $4.50 (£3.00).

Now, when I was in Banff, Rosie (the cyclist) and I had been on a quest for cake. I hadn't really thought about cake before I met Rosie but ever since I had been on the lookout for it and, when I was in the market, I found this cake stall with all these beautiful cakes at a really expensive price ($4.25 each). However I still purchased a slice of 'New York style chocolate cheesecake' which was actually nicer to look at than to eat, but it filled a whole (Canadians can't do cake).

After this I headed for a walk along a couple of the beaches (Sunset and English Bay Beaches). It was lovely as loads of people were out enjoying the sun, playing football, beach ball and there were musicians playing different styles of music all the way along the beach's ... it was lovely. Vancouver has really come to me and this display of 'small community gathering' in such a big city was very pleasing to see.

Once I had finished walking along the beaches I headed, once more, along the beautiful harbour front walk to downtown Vancouver, to go up the Vancouver tower. It was okay (met a girl working there from Nottingham), the sights from such a clear day were good but the actual reason I bought a ticket was to return tonight (it's a day pass ticket) so I can see Vancouver at night ... the tower stays open until 10:30pm so no problem there.

I'm back at the hostel now but not for long. I'm going to read the last ten pages of my book before heading back into town to post it home, purchase another book, have tea (don't fancy cooking here with Toby's family around ... somewhere) and then go back up the tower for my final attraction of this part of the tour. I shall then head back to the hostel, do a mouse sweep and try to get some sleep.

So here ends part two of my tour of North America; I call it 'the race to the west'. I've had a great time and I look forward to heading into the USA and up to Alaska.

Toodle Pip!


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