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the kwokkie diaries: day 2

June 27, 2018 , , , , , , , ,

Day 2: Vancouver

Glorious, sunny Vancouver!

The lengths of the summer days here in Vancouver are ridiculous + amazing. It was still light at 9:45pm, and my very awake brain was having a toddler meltdown trying to unwind to go to sleep. And at 5:30am in the morning there was the Adelaide equivalent of 8:30am, fully-fledged, BRIGHT yellow sunlight flooding my room, about an hour after I finally DID fall asleep. Jet lag: 1; Kwokkie: 0.

Steps taken: 25,683; Vancouver National Art Gallery, Stanley Park, and Robson Street.

I’m not even interested and I found this funny!


One memorable meal or food item: The French toast of gargantuan proportions presented to me this morning; three thick slices covered in maple syrup, caramelised bananas, hazelnuts, and vanilla ice cream. WITH A SIDE OF CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER SAUCE! Thank God I did 25,683 steps to burn off the sugar haze! Jet lag plus inordinate amounts of sugar let me see pretty colours temporarily for free…!

One special photograph: The light flooding into my room at 5:30am. This picture doesn’t do it justice; I was seriously lying in a pool of gold + yellow. And damn grumpy about it too!

One decent coffee: 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters, where the coffee was fabulous, but strong enough to make your eyebrows fall out. I ordered a flat white and it came out in a latte glass with what tasted (and felt) like 3 shots rather than one!

The coffee that threatened to over-caffeinate. 


One amazing moment: This was a cracker. I’m trekking along Robson Street and from the other side of the road I hear, “KWOK! 6A! KWOK! 6A!” And I’m thinking, “WHAT the ACTUAL EFF?!”, and, “Do I run from these crazy people who somehow know my name?!” And two people come running across the road to me and the lady says excitedly, “Air New Zealand, Flight 24! We looked after you on that flight. We’re the Auckland to Vancouver crew!” Oh my goodness, what a moment! “WHY on EARTH do you still remember that?!” I asked in sheer amazement. “You’re supposed to forget all of that incidental information once you get off that plane!” The lady was Julie, and the guy was like a German version of Dick Van Dyke called…HANS! I had loved chatting with these guys on the flight, and they had been totally awesome, so lovely, attentive, and patient with not just me, but everyone they were looking after. So we stopped for a coffee and talked about travel plans, air-hosting disasters, teaching disasters, the equally freaky memory capabilities of both air stewards/stewardesses and teachers, and as a final topic, Canadian money. Which is when I found out that Canadian money smells like maple syrup, and I’ve been snorting air through my rolled up fiver ever since.

One unplanned detour/adventure: On a total whim, I lined up at a place called “Twisted Fork” for breakfast purely because there WAS a line-up. And experienced sugary, maple-syrupy, banana + chocolate peanut butter French toast heaven. And sugar high + low extremes. They had the coolest menus featuring, yes, twisted forks!

One act of kindness: I did the Vancouver National Art Gallery today and when you buy a ticket, it is unlimited entries + use until 9:00pm that day. I was done + dusted by 11:30pm, so I waited to find someone to bequeath my very usable ticket to. Along came a whole heap of uni student art majors; one had forgotten her student card, DONE!

20 minutes reading: The continuation of Strength in Stillness, with a very hipster blue spirulina, lemon, and ginger kombucha, which you could buy on tap like beer.

Canadian letter box! I want one!


30 minutes composing: Fixing the God-awful efforts of yesterday. I have salvaged 8 bars to “decent” and hashed out 20 more. In terms of composing styles, I am very much in the “Beethoven” style of composing camp; hack away at it until it damn well gives up and submits to what you would like it to do.

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