Canada Reboot

September 25, 2020 0 By S

smoke-filled vancouver

Our departure to start a new life in Vancouver did not come at a great time.

Covid air travel is not something I would recommend. Airport services are limited. Flight services are limited. We were wearing masks all through the duration of the taxi journey, departure airport, long flight and arrival airport. It makes the experience of being confined in a plane that much more claustrophobic. Frequent snacks (pre-packed because all we got on the plane was a measly mini packet of pretzels) and tv/movies are the only reason we survived the trip with young children.

To add to the doom and gloom of 2020, when we finally emerged from the airport the skies overhead were filled with smoke. A murky sun could faintly be seen overhead. We were arriving at the tail end of the epic wild fire smoke pollution that had drifted up over the border from America. Not helped by a local arson event that set an entire pier on fire.

For the first couple of days our plans to only eat outdoors were scuppered. Covid indoors, and smog outdoors. The worst possible combination. Rarely has rain been as welcome as it was at the weekend when it steadily washed the pollution out, leaving clear skies and normal air quality.

So here we are at last. Our belongings are en route somewhere on the roads from Montreal to Vancouver. We have a couple of weeks to find a place to live and a car to get us around. For now we have a cityscape view once more, and are quickly adjusting back to anglophone life.

Last summer we enjoyed city views of West End Vancouver. This time we are in Yaletown, overlooking Cambie bridge. We would be living it up right now if it weren’t for needing to find a new home, and having young children running about an apartment designed for neater and better-behaved adults.

Luckily we got to do a lot of exploring in downtown Vancouver last summer, because there’s not much time for that. In amongst making meals and washing clothes there are many smaller things to be done. We finally got ourselves Canadian drivers licences. The first thing I did with my temporary BC identification was sign us up for the library. We’re benefiting greatly from the familiarity of having been here last year.

It’s been hectic since we arrived. Working from home during a pandemic in temporary housing with young children is tough. My husband is basically in a large windowless closet taking calls and hoping no semi-naked child wanders in.

Pressure is building to find ourselves a new home. Everyone knows the property market is insane in Vancouver. Until we sort out that crucial piece, we’re not going to able to relax.

The views, though. The sun setting over the city, water glinting on tall buildings. Boats bobbing in the water. Miniature cars trundling across the bridge. A seagull gliding smoothly on an updraft. Stick figures marching below, sometimes with colourful umbrellas held overhead. I prefer natural views to cityscapes, but there’s something hypnotic about watching the world from far above. I can see the appeal.