Skepticism, sushi, and sex.
Today I'm in Vancouver - lucky too, considering all the trouble I had getting in to the country. Apparently my answers to the customs officer's questions weren't satisfactory so I had to go to a back room for further screening. Tip for lazy travelers: read up on some famous landmarks before you arrive. The guard was kind of incredulous when I said I didn't know anyone here and didn't really know what I was going to do when I got here (the second one thought a shrug and "I dunno, be a tourist," was cute though). Public service announcement: THIS IS A TOURIST CITY. People come here to spend money on snow globes and snarky greeting cards. It's not premeditated.
Seattle was fun - cold and windy, especially by the water, which includes a lot of places. The "best of" list for this vacation definitely includes a dinner I had the other night. If anyone is ever in Seattle, you must east sushi at Saito's, 2122 2nd Ave in Belltown. I got the 'chef's combo' or whatever and for $16 had a feast composed of: a delicious, delicious salad, miso soup, a side of spinach, 6 tuna rolls and EIGHT pieces of nigiri - and green tea to finish. I heard the portions were generous but it was really unbelievable. I love sushi and it has never crossed my mind that I might not be able to finish my meal - not once. Oh - the atmosphere was good and the service great too. Eat there!
When I made my Vancouver booking, I could choose between 2 hostel locations run by the same company. I chose the "hip" one by "all the action" as opposed to the "new" and "quiet" one in a residential area. Walking back from Granville Island this afternoon I knew I had made the right choice when I considered all the nearby amenities. Within a couple of blocks I have convenient access to a bong store, a sex toy store, an S & M store (yes, distinct from the regular sex toy store), and a tatoo/piercing store. I stopped in at the tatoo store to get a new navel ring. The first thing I noticed when I walked in was the artist tatooing an elaborate, 3 piece butterfly design across this girl's ass. While I was there "Daniella's friend" stopped in to "pick up something" for Daniella. Apparently it was money and Carlos, the tatoo artist, was in debt to Daniella, the friend of the 17-year-old in a pink hoodie and chunky white sneakers (he was also disappointed to see her, given he thought he had until 7 to get the $40). I'm sure if I followed that girl around long enough I could have the first half of a Lifetime afterschool special - you know before everyone cleans up. Anyway, I waited for a while for the clerk to mix and match little dumbells to get what I wanted - and then they didn't take Visa or Mastercard. I never went back to retrieve it. I only feel a little bad. It wasn't exactly what I wanted.