Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Do Something Pretty 

“That one,” said Girlfriend, nodding towards the foxy waitress with the pigtails and piercings.
“Uh?” I replied, pretending not to have already noticed her. I scattered pancakes, maple syrup and small pieces of artfully presented fruit about my person.
“That one’s a Slayer.”
Girlfriend, like many people, sometimes likes to live her life vicariously through the adventures of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It keeps me on my toes.
“Cool,” I replied, mopping myself up. “Are there any vampires here?”
She glanced around the breakfast room.
“Not at the moment.”
“Good. Oh look!” I said, gesturing towards another waitress with my sausage. “She’s Alan Smith!
“Bloody hell! She is, isn’t she?”
We passed a lot of time this way.

We did the guided tour at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.
We learned that if you did a perfect job of designing your “Scholar’s Garden,” you and your family got to keep it. And if you didn’t, the Emperor chopped your head off.
My understanding of Yin and Yang is now greater than it ever was. It was peaceful and instructive.
As we stepped back into street, we reminded each other that we should on no account drift east of Main Street, into the part of town the guidebooks all inferred were ‘rough as fuck’.

“It would have been helpful,” I said a few minutes later, “if there’d been some touristy street banners depicting drug addicts. ‘You are entering the Junkie District! Don’t say we didn’t warn you!’”
We quickened our pace and resisted the urge to look at the map.
“Left! Keep looking straight ahead! Nice and steady! Right!” I barked under my breath, working from memory, more by luck than judgement, as we navigated our way through a minefield of crazy people who’d fallen on desperately hard times.
Back in the safety of our tourist bubble, Girlfriend asked if I’d noticed the piece of paper nailed to a tree, the heroin advert with a phone number on little tear off slips. Nice. We don't really get much of that sort of thing round our way.

Later we browsed through Yaletown - where film stars stay when they’re in town - at galleries and suchlike, and later on still we went out for a posh meal at the Raincity Grill. I ironed my best shirt especially.

The food and wine were both very good indeed, only spoiled by the fact that my Wobble Head thing - mildly amusing previously - was back with a vengeance and was really getting on my nerves and making me feel nauseous.
Oh yeah - and I'd had to ask what the vegetarian option was because there wasn't one on the menu. That really pisses me off - it makes you feel like you need to have allowances made for you. Nobody wants that. It seems the swankier the restaurant, the more they want to make you grovel for it.
I felt shitty because Girlfriend had been looking forward to eating here for months, and I wasn’t exactly at my suave and sophisticated best. And to top it all off, I could barely finish my pudding.

Just ask the poor sods outside the Carnegie Centre - life is hard.

Dinner shot: Way too posh for taking photos.
Wobble Head Factor: 10

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