Okay, so Saturday was my first day on Wreck Beach and can I just say....oh boy!!
For anyone who knows Wreck Beach, it's certainly an experience and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about and, for those who don't just yet, well, I can't really describe it in words (or photographs as it's frowned upon there...for reasons you'll soon discover!)
Wreck Beach is a 'clothing optional' beach about a twenty minute drive from downtown Vancouver where tanned wrinklies hang out in the nip and like-minded people go to enjoy the sun, sea and sand, and a few cool beverages (although this is also slightly frowned upon so be cool about it!!)
However, apart from a few party poopers and the lurking police, it's the one beach where the rules are slightly loosened and, well, where people get loose! Anything goes, which is undoubtedly why people love it -- it was recently voted the fifth best beach in the world -- because it's basically like a hippy commune on sand!
It's really not that big but, as you'll see from the 449 steps you've to trod down to get to it....then back up again, beware of that part!....it's like walking into a rain forest and then you're smack bang on a nudey beach, eh!!!
Upon reaching the sand, you're met on the left by Rasta types selling their wares - think tie-dye and hemp fabrics, man - then straight ahead you can see....er...the sea, then to the right and all around people of all shapes and sizes, all colours and classes, lounging around either in the buff or semi-buff (us Irish types no doubt!) with lots of BBQs, beach volleyball, skimboarding (a sort of small wooden surfboard that you skim along shallow water and jump on to "skim"...cutest video EVER by the way!) and frisbee-ing..ing?!
But none of these sports as you've ever seen them before, mind you. No, it's all balls and willies and boobs - oh my!! For our sensitive emigrant eyes, I must admit it's quite a shock at first as you don't really know where to look. It's like carcrash TV -- Jersey Shore or some such other intellectual viewing -- you know it's awful and you should look away, but you just can't help yourself dammit!
Of course, my first reaction was to grab my camera for some gratuitous shots (is that perverted or just human nature, I ask myself worryingly?!), but you quickly realise from the glares and tuts of disapproval that this sort of thing is not welcome, and for pretty obvious reasons in retrospect as I wouldn't want my bare bum plastered on Facebook Monday morning, would you?! (Don't answer that!!)
However, for some odd reason that we still don't understand (and much to the boys' annoyance!), there seemed to be an unfair ratio of naked men to women (which makes a nice change from the bloomin' magazines if you ask me.) I naively thought that once you've seen one willy you've seen them all, but not so!
There are big ones and small ones and really really small ones, so like you can't see anything at all except hanging old man scrotum...it really was a biology lesson on a sunny Saturday afternoon, so be prepared ladies!! I'm the kind of doesn't-get-outta-the-house-much person who normally points and goes; "LOOK LOOK" not at all discretely, so it took all my willpower to bite my tongue and just let the naked parade ensue!!
We chatted to the naked vendors (I've never seen such brown, wrinkly skin in all my sheltered life) and watched the boys play 'Beersbee', which is a cooler version of frisbee that involves putting a beer can on 2 sticks a distance apart and trying to hit off the opponent's can with a frisbee, drink in hand, and, if you succeed, the other person drinks said drink and it all gets very, very messy, but very, very fun!! I'm not very good at it -- it's taken many drunken games to figure that out -- but, as they say, practice makes perfect, wha!! ;)
In general, however, I've never met such healthy people in my life as the Vancouverites...everything's 'organic this, wheatgerm that'...it's an eye-opener I tell you!
I would've considered myself quite healthy in Ireland (well, apart from the hangover cure of a dirty fry Sunday morning followed by a filthy Chinese take-away every Sunday night) but over here I'm positively horizontal!! None of the Chinese here are filthy (and by that I mean the food, no racism here thank you very much!) as it's all sushi, noodles or savoury sauces, none of this MSG laden crap you get at home that contains your total salt intake for the day in one tablespoon. Unhealthy or not, I must say I miss that. The awful truth is that when you're young and hungover you don't think of the heart disease that's a-comin'!!
But now it's all organic cereal accompanied by some freshly-made Portugese coffee, followed by a piece of wholegrain bread and extorionately priced fromage (if I say it in French it seems posher, right?!) A note of warning to newbies here in Canada, dairy here is VERY dear as is white meat like chicken, and the cost of living is, unfortunately, one of the few downfalls of this great land. Of course, healthy eating also pushes prices up quite substantially so, add on the taxes here and you're looking at quite a hefty bill. Then there's even organic popcorn as a healthy snack (I have a sneaking suspicion it's not at all healthy but I'm going to buy into the marketing hype for my own sanity.)
And that's it so far! So, from naked antics on Wreck Beach to healthy eating on Davie Street, it seems to be all coming together! :)
This week, it's the incessant job hunt -- sigh -- and investigating possible bedbug bites (I know, I hope you're not eating!) As you might know from my earlier post, despite our intrepid efforts to avoid such a situation, I think we've been well and truly scuppered, the feckers!! The Apartment Manager (a very nice Czech lady who calls us her surrogate son and daughter!) is getting in a special bedbug sniffing dog next week to suss it out, free of charge, so now all we have to do is lie back and try not to think of what could be burrowing into our private parts as we sleep...sorry, but it's the truth!
My hilariously hysterical boyfriend keeps saying he's obviously 'filet mignon' to these critters whereas I'm a cheap old bitta steak 'cos they seem to prefer chowing down on him every night than lil ol' me (delighted I am!) And to hear him massacre the French language by wrapping his broad Dublin vowels around those words made it all the more poignant!! It's just so disconcerting that they come out at night - what's that about? - and it makes me feel like I'm lying on a bed of tiny vampires!!
My other half - or should that be 'better' half?? - keeps waking up with huge bites even though he sleeps in full clothing, on a towel, so the only place that offers some comfort is the couch where there don't seem to be so many. Ironic as we bought the couch second-hand and the bed brand new to avoid such an epidemic! Our former neighbour who moved down the hall confessed that he thinks they gave them to us, and the little feckers live in the floorboads until you arrive, then come out and invade your precious furniture so we were ultimately doomed from the start!!
Oh well, as wannabe Canucks we're trying to take it all in our stride and not let it get to us TOO much. It's doubly trying as this is our first time living together alone...but the problem is that we're both very aware that we're NOT alone so it's like the bedbug-sized elephant in the room!!!!
As always peeps, I'll keep y'all updated with the latest news on our time here so far in beautiful BC and how we face all these new challenges in a new country, head-on!