We arrived in Vancouver after 10 hours on the train and the first thing that I noticed was a homeless person sleeping on the pavement outside our hotel, which was a surprise.
Thirty minutes later, after checking in, we walked down the street to the crosswalk and another homeless person was asleep complete with placard and sleeping bag.
Across the road on the street corner a colourful character, who advertised that he was homeless and broke, sat beside his bike and stroked his dog. He had just come out of Subway with a paper cup full of ice, which he poured into a bowl for his dog.
As I looked around the area there seemed to be a homeless person on every street corner either asleep or sitting begging with placards. I was surprised as it wasn’t something that I had expected and I felt disappointed that this was the first impression that I had had of the city.
I wondered what first impression a Vancouverite would have of Manchester, if they visited and then I realised that they would have felt quite at home!
On the coach journey into the city, the Rocky Mountaineer assistant told us some interesting facts about the city and one of them really surprised me.
Apparently, the language spoken by 60% of the population was Chinese. Next was Punjabi, then Spanish with English fourth; again something that I had not expected.
However, it did make me wonder how many of these people who spoke these as their first language could also speak English as their second language. If they did then to my mind English speaking people would come out on top! LOL
We continued to walk around the area closest to the hotel and came across a sunken area, which turned out to be part of the University. This sublevel square was used as an ice skating rink in winter. We could see a crowd of people in the square and when we investigated we discovered that they were ballroom dancing.
There must have been about 100 participants of all different ages and ethnic groups dancing. As the music finished the compere announced that a world champion Latin American dancer had arrived and she proceeded to teach the crowd the tango!
Somehow I couldn’t see the same response happening in Manchester! Could you?
It looked fun and I would have liked to have joined in but my lovely husband has many fantastic qualities but rhythm isn’t one of them! However he did spot a partner for me; a gigolo! He even offered to come back for me later.
You can imagine, my response; one look at the tight black shirt and even tighter white trousers, slicked black hair and pencil thin moustache, I gracefully declined!