The second most expensive city to live in the world has a “vibe” of it’s own. When you leave the airport you are faced with an array of colour. Not only may you get into a yellow taxicab; but it could be green, red or blue. As the stream of colourful taxis leave the airport, you drive toward a sea of skyscrapers. On the way to the city, the outlining streets and suburbs are lined with trees. Leaves or snow, depending on the season, scatter the sidewalks. The electrical boxes are painted in cartoons to create character.
Once you enter the city, the skyscrapers do not appear so close together as other cities. There is room to breathe. (Except if you are driving. The driving is crazy.) The city is filled with the typical sounds of sirens and honking. Although the sights and sounds are typical of any city, you know you are somewhere different. The people are nicer. It is definitely Canada… The shop assistants all talk to you, not just ask the obligatory, “Hello, how are you today? Can I help you?”. Cars will stop for pedestrians in a non pedestrian area, just because they want to cross the road. The “vibe” is a good one.
Vancouver has all the elements of a city; but of course these are not always a positive. Vancouver has a major “hobo” or homeless person problem. They are on every corner begging for a looney (dollar). They will open doors for you and wait for a tip or when you look at their painting they drew on the ground in chalk, hold their hand out. I found the best way to help them was when you finished your Coke can, hand it to them so they could add it to their collection to hand it in to get a nickel or dime… But that does not help all of them. This problem is one I noticed that was most prevalent once the sun had set. Every one of them came out to claim their park bench or corner for the evening.
This is only a problem, depending on your preference of weather. If you like your hair curly or love wearing hats; Vancouver in fall is the place to be. Although the city beams beauty, the shopping is outstanding and never ending and the grass is bright green; the skies are always grey. It is not constant or heavy rain, just annoying patches. Enough rain to ruin the straightened hairdo, but not enough to pull out the umbrella and gumboots and start belting “Singing in the Rain”. But, if you do not let a few small showers dampen your day, then there are so many places to explore.
So all in all, I still don’t know if Vancouver is “the place to be”, but it definitely deserves to be on the travel bucket list.
– Jecca xox