Vancouver – Prince of Persia?
This day dawned much darker than the one before. Outside the hotel window misty clouds were rolling through the streets, obscuring the tops of the buildings and spraying the streets below with bursts of rain. The weather wasn’t amenable to outdoor activities, so the day was spent sheltering where possible in cafes, a shopping centre, and the nearby art gallery. After a nice meal in Zeffertinis, we took the train out to Brodie’s company office party. This took place in a dark industrial open space. Techno rave music beats filled the night, and people in various stages of inebriation mingled, jumped and waved on the dance floor, or woke to find they’d passed out on a couch and were the subject of many an entertaining photo.
Around 3am we decided it was time to get back to the hotel. Outside we hailed a lone taxi as it rocketed past. It screeched to a halt, and speedily reversed back up the road to us. We climbed in to find ourselves dealing with a rather strange character. First, he enquired if Brodie was Persian. Then asked if we wanted to listen to Arabic music, despite being told that no one was Persian by any stretch of the imagination. Just to set us all clear he then assured us that he was not an Arab, as if this might have been an issue. Okay then, thanks for sharing. Now he had trouble with figuring out our destination. Although unsure of what he was doing, he nonetheless continued barrelling along in the direction of downtown Vancouver. More often than not flying through junctions in the wrong lane. He sped past our intersection while we were preoccupied with other taxis cutting each other off to the bellow of horns and squeal of brakes. “I made a little mistake!”, he announced while fiddling with the meter. “I did not know Georgia, I made a mistake, but I switched off the meter” he explained to us repeatedly although we told him we understood and it was fine. “Taxis are expensive. I am a student and taxis cost a lot”. Yes, we were familiar with this notion but really we weren’t disputing that it was a necessary evil if we wanted to get back to the hotel at that hour. We did a high speed circle around a few blocks to the soundtrack of the driver still repeating his running commentary on his actions and opinions. When he finally pulled in we all made a rapid exit to the relative safety of the stationary sidewalk. Definitely time for bed.