What a vapid start to this entry…but there it is. And it is true. I swear I don’t think I have ever been to a lovelier city than Vancouver.
There is no arguing the beauty. Across the Pacific, tall mountains tower over the water that is as deep as they are high. Colorful flowers I have never seen before grow a bit wild here in the summer. Dense hedgerows cloister homes along the main boulevards. Waterscapes and art are built up around the city belying a culture clearly in love with the aesthetic. Perhaps inspired by the art of nature there.
And the people are nice. Like, really nice. And not in that “duh-i-have-to-be-nice-to-you-because-you-are-the-customer” kind of way. The way they are nice feels like a habit. Like something they do involuntarily, like breathing. Even the street people begging for money are gentle, “maybe you will have some change on your way back?”
The rains are gentle. The cold is gentle. The newspaper headlines are gentle. It is a nice place to rest.
It did not occur to me until last night what I was missing in this place. I could not figure out why I felt so uncomfortable there. Then it hit me. I had not heard anyone laugh since I arrived. No one. I was constantly in meetings…on trains…in crowds…in restaurants…in shops. No one laughed. No one erupted in anger. I saw no one who was clearly unhappy.
I am not suggesting that my four days in Vancouver represents a complete picture of the city. In that time, I realize that my experiences are extremely superficial and can only represent my personal snapshot from the pieces of the city I visited. But I leave here today feeling a little odd. I wonder how long a fiery person like me would last in the kind of world that, at least in my small impression of it, did not appear to have a lot of emotional variance going on. At least publicly.
Still, it was nice to rest. And I really did feel peaceful in this lovely city.