Scant days after my first-ever trip out of the country, I find myself making a second.
Today I am in Canada (Vancouver, BC) for work. I gave a little talk for some developers up here on Encounter Design, and I’ll be giving another little talk tomorrow (assuming my voice doesn’t disappear).
It’s been an interesting trip. The money here confuses and frightens me, though after I spent a good 10 minutes staring at it it’s starting to make sense. The sheer volume of coins is a problem for me, though. Having 18 dollars worth of change is just not something I’m used to.
The hotel I’m staying at is pretty neat. It’s a swanky place called The Opus. The room and amenities are really nice (they gave me some free gummi-candy, which is always neat. The people here are super friendly and very helpful. The internet connection is expensive and unreliable (I get dropped every 5 minutes or so) and there are some… very odd usability problems with things in the room. For example, if you want to draw the curtains you have to move them out of the way to reach the drawstring (you have to move about 50% of the fabric). The lights are controlled by little switches attached to the cords of the lamps instead of switches attached to the lamps themselves. You can’t adjust the water in the shower without reaching through the spray of water (i don’t know what I’d do if it got stuck on “too hot” since i wouldn’t be able to reach the controls).
All in all, it’s a nice place but the little idiosyncrasies make me feel homesick and far away.
The bar downstairs is pretty nice, though the staircase leading down to the bathroom is FRIGHTENING:
When I went down, I half expected the lights to turn off halfway. Then, just as I would despair that they would never turn on again, they’d come back on. I’d feel a moment of relief until I noticed that at the bottom of the stairs was a little girl wearing a wedding dress and staring at the floor. Slowly, she’d look up at me and I’d see that she had no eyes. Then she’d open up her lamprey-like mouth and sing a song that, for a moment, sounded like a zebra choking on broken glass but which over time would morph and change and I’d feel like I could almost understand what she was saying. Then, when my eyes finally teared up at the beauty and horror of it all, a torrent of spiders would crawl from every surface and cover me until, moments later, they would recede and I’d have vanished. Then the little girl would laugh and laugh.
Or maybe that’s just me…
I also ate at a neat sushi restaurant that had food shaped like a butterfly!