A brave new world in air travel. Not very long ago, I can remember when long airplane flights were really really boring, especially if you were not able to sleep. On my British Airways flights from Vancouver to London, and London to New Delhi, my economy class seat offered a personal screen with access to movies, tv news, sitcoms, documentaries, and games. I played a lot of blackjack, a little hangman, and watched Frazier over the width of Pakistan. A little surreal, but a great way to make a long flight go faster.
After watching the (surprisingly) incredibly good Little Miss Sunshine last night, I boarded the 1:30am Greyhound to Vancouver on the first leg of my trip to Ludhiana India. This could likely be the last time I will see my Grandmother. I have been prepared for the probability that she will not recognize me, but its obviously still quite a strange feeling on this trip back.
So, back to the Greyhound - sat next to a fellow I know named Sean Coyle for a while, enjoyed finding out about his goings on, and appreciated he was interested in mine. I slept a little, but my legs started to rebel boxed into a window seat, so I sought out a pair of empty seats. Found them, but still did not sleep all that well. Bus driver was business like, but quite friendly.
Just before our scheduled stop in Chilliwack, we passed a Future Shop. It was somewhere around 5 in the morning, and there was already a healthy line up of well insulated maniacs waiting. I thought to myself, hmmmm, maybe I should get serious about checking out some boxing day sales myself.
We arrived in Vancouver at 6:15am or so. My plane to London leaves at 8:30pm. So lots of time to do stuff. I took a cab to the airport, stored my bags, and then took the same cab (driven by a Romanian dentist who is getting recertified for Canada) to Richmond Centre mall. I started sniffing around for a Future Shop or a Best Buy - and I soon found both, conveniently located at Lansdowne Centre mall, just down the road.
Tell you what, I have never seen so many people awake at 7am. I joined a long, but fast moving line outside Best Buy. The mall parking lot was almost full. Once I got in, it was chock a block. The sales associates were friendly, but were hard pressed to accommodate any requests other than those directly related to the sale items "in the flyer".
Future Shop didn't have a lineup, but the rest of the situation was pretty much the same.
After my initial browsing excursions, I stopped a while at White Spot and had some oatmeal, fruit, and yogurt. Then, off to London Drugs, also nearby, and which hosted a pretty respectable boxing day sale itself - crowds, harried sales people, people rushing for a deal. Generally, though, the crowds were well mannered.
I then went back into Richmond Centre. I finally got a new strap for my swiss army watch, bought a new charger for my digital camera battery.I went to White Spot again and started to notice the crowds growing. Richmond Centre was filling up fast. Just before returning to the airport, I took in a movie, A Night at the Museum, which promised mindlessness and childishness, and pretty much delivered.
I got a taxi to the airport. And experienced my first partially electronic check in - look mom, no ticket.
All in all, the holiday season 2006 has been very very pleasant...
A few years ago, I thought it might be interesting to start to track well spoken people that I have happened upon in my life's journey. I started a bookmarks folder in my web browser and would actively search online for people I had met or had heard on the radio or tv.
I was browsing that folder today, and here is a sampling of the 30 or so people who have a spot there:
- Ian Bird: A decorated Canadian athlete playing field hockey, I first saw Ian on CPAC, presenting to a parliamentary committee. I don't remember the specific committee, but I do remember Ian impressed me with his eloquence and poise.
- Tom Jackson: I would say Tom's Singing for Supper Christmas Tour (in support of Canada's food bank was a highlight of my Christmas 2005. A gentleman with a remarkable stage presence and the ability to mesmerize, I hope Tom comes back to Kamloops last year.
- Ron Shore: 20 years ago, I met Ron Shore in London's Heathrow airport. He had just climbed Mount Kilamanjaro and was joining a group of us young Canadians on an exchange trip to the UK. Ron is still living a very interesting life, as you will see if you click on his name.
I thinks that how you spell your last name Colin! Well, my friend and tenant Colin has played a strong part in helping me get organized the past month. There is still a ways to go. But, I feel stronger, especially in managing my apartment buildings.
Oh yes, and Colin - I have also started cleaning up this blog.
Much respect to you my friend.
I don't know I have ever seen as much snow fall in Kamloops as I have seen the past couple of weeks.
Tomorrow, I turn 37.