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Meeting nicest people in BC with GREYHOUND (22)

# by tetsu95jp | 2007-12-03 10:15 | 7.By Canadian Rocky
Meeting nicest people in BC with GREYHOUND (21)
The next day was the day I depart for Nelson on Greyhound in early morning. The taxi was supposed to pick me up in front of the motel to the bus depo. However, it never came even 30 minutes after the appointment. Calling them, it appeared the driver already came! What's the matter? Oh, no. My watch was one hour late; I hadn't realised the time zone has changed from Pacific time to Mountain time here. I missed the only bus a day. I was at a loss, since I already reserved the hostel in Nelson.
The only thing I can try there is, say, the hitchhike. I stepped forward on Highway 95 and tried to stop the cars coming from the town. Many many of them passed by; some shook heads and some ignored. After hours later I seemed to have no choice than staying one more night.
The next morning when I pulled my stuff to a Seven-eleven with a self gas station nearby a middle-aged guy accosted me fueling gas, "Hi, I'm going to Vancouver. Do you want a ride?" It's a small town, I thought. "No, thank you. I have to go to Nelson. It shouldn't be on the way to Vancouver."
On the bus was full of Country & Western music. The driver was pretty old, though he made his way in full speed with a little smaller bus than the usual Greyhounds. Despite the cloudy weather, the mountain landscapes were splendid. With pasture scenes which was being continued from the Yellowhead Highway, I was in a feeling of that I was travelling in the United States of America.
While waiting for transfer at Cranbrook, I asked the depo persons to keep my heavy stuff for me to eat lunch, but they declined. As I made my way carrying the stuff, the bus driver popped out to me and said, "You can keep your stuff inside. You don't have to worry about it." Cranbrook was such a city.


# by tetsu95jp | 2007-12-02 08:36 | 7.By Canadian Rocky
Meeting nicest people in BC with GREYHOUND (20)

# by tetsu95jp | 2007-12-01 08:28 | 7.By Canadian Rocky
Meeting nicest people in BC with GREYHOUND (19)
Everyone I met in town recommended me to go to Kicking Horse, but I wasn't interested in commercialised artificial greatness. However, staying in Golden for two days had me nothing to do. In the end, nearly evening, I hired a taxi to get to top of the resort.
Getting off at Day Lodge, a young Caucasian guy was prepared to open the door and ingratiated himself with rich people. Next to next, over-weighted ugly Caucasian gentlemen wearing dinner jackets and dress-upped ladies parked and entered the lodge. Just beside a helicopter tour for them to look across over the resort went and came back extravagantly. What is the pleasure wearing a tuxedo in such a wild mountain, it looks rather funny, I thought.
Calling on the front desk, however, the young lady was very helpful. "Excuse me, I have no tickets for the gondola but I want to take pictures of this resort from the top of the mountain, please." Among of all things, she gave me a free-pass to Eagle's Eye Restaurant, which is at 7,700 m altitude. The gondolas were almost vacant even though they were moving restlessly. As it went up, the atmosphere was second by second changing as if the air was alive. I thought this is the mountain and we, humans, aren't able to disobey this natural power.


# by tetsu95jp | 2007-11-30 08:48 | 7.By Canadian Rocky
Meeting nicest people in BC with GREYHOUND (18)

# by tetsu95jp | 2007-11-29 07:23 | 7.By Canadian Rocky
Meeting nicest people in BC with GREYHOUND (17)
Approached Kamloops downing south, the woods suddenly changed shrubs in landscape from a Greyhound and the scenery was completely covered with dried rough skins of naked hills. At first I thought they cut all of the cedar trees for timber, but later it appeared due to the climate and soil, especially extremely hot weather in summer that is common in valley, this area didn't produce any trees in nature.
The bus departed Prince George at 8:45 am and arrived at Kamloops around 5:00 pm, and I took a taxi to a hostel at the heart of Kamloops. The driver was from the Middle East. I thought the climate similar to their home might attract them. The car he used was better than the one in Prince Rupert, still I felt something primitive with its ride. Kamloops seemed a bit like Downtown Vancouver with a lot of down-to-earth restaurants and pubs, but a spaghetti I ate at a middle class restaurant tasted awful with rough service.
As a matter of fact, I had no idea in deciding where to go in this journey. However, the Tourism British Columbia was extremely well organised with decent booklets and information centres even in tiny villages, I was like playing in their hands. Actually, nothing felt wild having certain patterns such as whale watching in coast area for instance. I was thinking such a man-made tours produce nothing impressive because a journey should be unexpected experience, not by artificial arrangements. Furthermore, you know, here is Canada. Anyway, as such way, I made up my mind my next destination to Golden for observing the life near Rocky Mountains.


There was a hostel where I waited for the arrival of the owner, though he seemed never to appear. Meanwhile, a group of drunk young people returned. One boy of them said came to Kicking Horse for snowboarding from Calgary over Rocky. He was a student of a graphic design institute and showed me his excellent design and photos taken with a digital camera. The photos were quite different from the ones taken with analog cameras; watching at the LCD of his Powerbook I thought I can't take this kinds of pictures. He is definitely to be called a digital age; shown my CONTAX T2 he said, "OOld!" As I realised his English was a little different and easy to understand for me, he said his parents were from Germany and he was brought up in Britain.
Without the permission of the owner, I got into one of the beds. However, next to next the VIA train passed by just next place to our hostel and with horrible big vibration like earthquakes I couldn't get a wink of sleep until dawn, while young guys seemed to sleep well. Pounding on the door to upstairs, a man stripped to the waist was getting up scrubbing his eyes. When I said I want to leave instantly because I couldn't put up with the trains, the boy said I was OK with sad look on his face to me. "The last night was out-of-ordinary," the man excused.
Anyway, I had to search for alternative accommodation since the departure was the day after. With my heavy baggage I crossed the railway to the town. A Caucasian lady was sweeping in front of a pub, and I asked, "Excuse me, do you have any accommodation facilities?" She replied yes, but it seemed like full for a band who stayed and played at the pub. The rate was quite understandable, so I asked the lady to confirm if really there was no vacancy. I imagined vaguely the band would be better than the earthquakes.
Until she got an answer from another, I strolled around the small town. When I ordered a cup of coffee at a cafe, a White guy spoke to me, "Are you Japanese?" Despite I was before him in the line, the waitress somewhat served him first.
He, Stanley Tim, used to work in Japan for his business, a house builder, and wanted to do the business again; according to him, he was declined by his client because his double business for another's was to be known. In Canada he had an office in Vancouver, though recently moved to Golden because he got another business and bored with urban life.
He was constructing lodges in one of the blocks of Kicking Horse Resort. The ski resort was in a midst of boom; since Banff nearby has been prohibited any developments including using such as snowmobiles for it is a national park, world's funds, especially Swiss's according to Stanley, rushed to invest to Kicking Resort. As they ignored the community life of downtown Golden to pursue their own rights, a conflict between the rich up in the resort and the residents in town occurred. I heard that story was to a film and got a prize in Canada.
He was funny in that criticising the rich he is on the other hand helping them with their business. Inviting me to see his construction site, he also cheered that melting snow in the rivers must attract a lot of fishermen to start the season; however, I never found figures of fishermen during a long walk along the rivers.


I visited the visitor information centre like in many other places. I asked, "What is the tiny light to be seen in the mountainside I saw last night?" "It maybe skiers with lights. Was it moving down?" "No, it was still." "Then, maybe the restaurant of Kicking Resort; it is the highest restaurant in Canada." "Do you mean it's the most expensive or the highest located?" "Both!"
When I ate lunch at the only Chinese restaurant, known I am Japanese the Chinese owner and chef interestingly accosted me. "How was the dishes?" "Very good!" Actually, it was an authentic Chinese fried rice unlike the one I ate at Barns Lake. Even though his and his wife's English was not so great, with their good dishes as well as good characters with warm smiles many Caucasian residents were gathering there and greeting with them. I thought this is a good town. The downtown residential area seemed also developing with new immigrants like those from India.


# by tetsu95jp | 2007-11-28 14:50 | 7.By Canadian Rocky
Meeting nicest people in BC with GREYHOUND (16)

# by tetsu95jp | 2007-11-27 06:32 | 6.Northern BC
Meeting nicest people in BC with GREYHOUND (15)
The bus started in the morning took rest breaks several times. As I was smoking at an ashtray outside, an old woman who was also smoking accosted me. "I'm from Nova Scotia and on the way home now. I visited my son who established and run the news paper of Prince Rupert." All of her children, she said, became independent already moving about all over Canada and such stories are pretty common among Canadians. Among of all things, according to her, the popular way to move to West like BC was to start ranches.
When I put off my tobacco into the ashtray to get back on the bus, the woman followed but threw it away. I didn't think a great mother would do such things. Later, as she knew I was taking pictures, whenever she found the remaining snow she pointed at it in front of my seat. All of them were not worth pictures, though.
Barns Lake was already in the evening when the bus arrived. Asked how to get to the Takysie Lake at the small bus-depo, he said it would take over an hour taxi ride. Over an hour from Yellowhead Highway? They say "Just Off Yellowhead Highway" on the ad, he confirmed if the motel could come receive me on phone but not. Then he also called a taxi company to ask the fee to Takysie Lake and it appeared well over double the accommodation rate. Finally, I asked to him whether there are any cheap motels near there. After telling me a few places, he casted the Greyhound slogan, "Take it easy," on my shoulder.
What a hell, I remembered a cold look at casted by the old lady when I got off the bus alone. Explained that how I came to the motel and that wanted a cheapest room to the motel lady, she really sympathised me. However, when it came to the rate she costed me a bit higher price than shown in a brochure, even though no other guests were there for the off-season.
I asked for fishing information because around Barns Lake has a lot of lakes. She called to another person, though it was too early to fish with thin ice on the surface of every lake. Then, I asked if I can take pictures of working people there. Some logger might be, she said, but eventually appeared no one was working that time!
"Okay", she said and her English was very clear to understand -she and her husband came from Germany-, "if you want to capture Barns Lake, you can observe two Indian bands. One is upwards and affluent with a lot of woods to log; the other is downwards by the lake and very poor without good rights. You can see the contrast between them." "But," I said, "it's maybe difficult to take pictures."
First, I called the hillside to hilltop band. On the way, asking my way to a grandma with kids I also saw middle to old aged men slowly stepped forward and rested sitting on a public building gazing at air without doing anything. Passed by an elementary school, I found a neatly lined houses along the road, some of whose widow showed the Maple Leaf flag of Canada. Other than a few kids running out and in a house like the Queen Charlotte kids, no one appeared. The neat houses, however, displayed messy around them scattered tools or what not unlike White people's houses'.
And then, next, I went to the poor band, where stood shark-like houses bit by bit in a wild. However, young guys out of them passed with me each other greeted smile greetings. Some guys were flocking together to cut timber just playing with each other. I was told that this district was poor, though it looked happier than the band on the hill. Passing over the poor band to a small park on the bank, a White girl amused herself on a swing. I accosted her but she never replied. The lake was surely still frozen and it was too early to fish, which only me might have not known.


Prince George seemed not interesting without its feature, so I decided to stay only over night for next Greyhound. Calling to an appropriate B&B and asked the rate, he offered fairly high price at first but somewhat suddenly changed to $50 including tax.
In the evening of 24th March, 2004, I got on a cart of the SKEENA train from Barns Lake, which was late for over an hour. The station was nothing but a rail side only with a small sign of Barns Lake. To climb onboard, I used a stairs I remember. The price was far more expensive than Greyhound, so I expected a gorgeous travel with gorgeous dinner.
The diesel train was historically old and the conductor with mustache also looked appeared from old Britain. As a matter of fact, his English sounded so different from ordinary Canadians that I could hardly understand what he was saying. Just over my seat, a group of Caucasian were getting wild, who were the only conspicuous passengers; in other words, there were few passengers on board. I tried to order dinner and found there were no chefs, instead the conductor eating himself's gave me a cook of a kind for an instant dish. Oh, this is the SKEENA; this is the Canada.
Since the restaurant compartment felt like occupied by the conductor and another White female passenger, I got back to my seat. Then I found my seat was taken by one of the Caucasian group chatted loudly. "Excuse me," said me, she moved to another place without apologises. The train went like a tortoise and stopped frequently; as for the landscape, except sometimes white breathes of horses outside stables amused me, only a little difference from the Yellowhead Highway was seen. After night has fallen, I was rather worried if the B&B person would wait for me to pick up at because I had no means to tell him this significant delay.
The train was supposed to arrive at Prince George at 8:10 pm. But actually it went over 10:00 pm. Surprisingly, however, Bernie, the B&B man was still there! Mentioned my concern thanking him, he said such a thing was common in SKEENA and speaking with other people who were also waiting the train had him never bored! I simply couldn't his tolerance.
My room was really gorgeous; it was like the civilised world has suddenly come. The B&B was named "Gallery House B&B," since his profession was to frame pictures with a workshop. He served me a very good breakfast, when I asked what brought him there. He replied that just for jobs as well as many other people did, and that settling here he became fond of it. In his car to the Greyhound station with bad visibility for the thick fog, he explained the fog is common in changing seasons at Prince George because two rivers meet and pour into the Fraser River, which starts here a long long way until Vancouver.
# by tetsu95jp | 2007-11-26 08:34 | 6.Northern BC
Meeting nicest people in BC with GREYHOUND (14)
I expected there should be a taxi stand so walked forward to another building pulling my heavy luggage. However, it was a government office with no pay-phones and somewhat closed. Other than a few people carrying stuff on a pier ignoring me, no one was to be seen around there. I had no choice except returning to the ferry office. And then, the office person called me a cab.
A huge old American sedan came to me. The not sophisticated ride with smell and vibration of the vintage class made me feel like in old America. The driver's English was not so great and he didn't know cheap accommodations in town, though anyway he brought me to the hotel district of the central block. I wanted a cheapest hotel but it costed over $70 including taxes.
In that hotel, once again those Indian kids with some parents met me. With their room-doors opened, their energy with loud voices seemed never to go down. Bullshit, give me a break, I won't sleep again?
Smoking outside, one of the parents finally spoke to me, "Where are you from? You were taking pictures on board, weren't you?" And then he said, "We have a problem with our ferry to Queen Charlotte, so until departure we have to stay here."
"Wait a moment," he said, "I know Japanese people eat just the same thing as ours." What he brought from his room to outside was the Japanese saying "Shishamo" but smoked. The small and thin fish is very popular, especially the ones with eggs, among Japanese to eat with rice baking. Getting a bite of it tasted the same taste of sweet and bitter that I used to eat in Japan.
This experience alleviated my prejudice to them and I began to feel their basis might be the same as mine. Asking the hotel lady for which part of the island they came from, she said they from the northern most part, Massert. Confirming it on a map, across a sea was Alaska.
The town of Prince Rupert was like Wild West but concreted; everything looked like primitive with a lot of aboriginal people. On the other had, however, I could purchase foods and what not in new shopping malls with chain stores which are the same as Richmond's. When I rested sitting on an edge stone of pedestrian, some boys approached and asked for money for them to buy something. I replied, "I'm not enough rich to give you." They seemed to look for another person, though I dropped by a liqueur shop near there by the hotel. The Indian girls of the shop scared looking at them out of the windows and called the police. Such a group of bad boys might have been in the old days' Japan.
Somehow I wanted to reach Yukon territory over BC border, so I attempted to rent a car at Prince Rupert but not only they declined me to leave it at different town but there were no cars available actually. Luckily the hotel was by Greyhound station. I planned to use Greyhound until Burns Lake and then the Skeena (VIA Rail Canada) to Prince Geroge, since I found a Takysie Lake motel's ad for fishing in a thick travel guide of Northern British Columbia. It says "Just Off Yellowhead Highway" on which Greyhound goes and the address was Barns Lake. I took reservations on phone.


# by tetsu95jp | 2007-11-25 07:21 | 6.Northern BC
Meeting nicest people in BC with GREYHOUND (13)

# by tetsu95jp | 2007-11-24 09:10 | 6.Northern BC
Meeting nicest people in BC with GREYHOUND (12)
I can work it out, thinking so I went out to the deck, when a White guy accosted me. He was on the way home in Prince Rupert, the destination of the ferry. He said he moved to Prince Rupert when child and then engaged in wiring work speaking to me of his awful work experience in snowing mountains; nevertheless, he loved his home because Prince Rupert has great mountains for skiing that he loves. Aware for us of being the same generation talking about our favourite classic pop groups, he picked a CD out of his portable player and gave to me. That was a Rolling Stones' one which I had never listened to. "Never mind, I can copy it whenever renting from a shop," he said. Well, Prince Rupert seemed more civilised than I expected.
He was very talkative. This ferry was imported from Baltic Sea, he said. As departed from Port Hardy one hour later or so than the expected time, many people got out on the deck and saw a long distance mountain coast which were pink-coloured reflecting the sunset on the Pacific side. "We are so lucky being able to such a sunset," talked with Mic (I called the Prince Rupert guy so because he was like Mic Jaguar), "since until now it has been cloudy." Indeed, it might be once a life time scene.
He said there held an event of basketball games for school children on Vancouver Island and a lot of boys and girls along with some parents on board were on the way home. That quite made a sense why this ferry was so crowded. But I couldn't help hate the Indian children behaving arrogantly since I first met at the waiting room, and seeing their rudeness without courtesy made me about to lose my interest towards Indians. In fact, they were rather like animals.
I picked out a small plastic bottle of whisky which tasted however awful. Then, Mic agreed with my opinion pointing out the plastic and recommended me an Albert Rye Whisky he had. I see, there are bad Canadians and good ones, I recognised. Getting colder outside with darkness, we returned into the cabin where we had to seek for our seats to sleep.


It was about dinner time, and the restaurant was in confusion with a lot of people. In a line to receive dishes, there was an Indian woman seemingly similar age of mine. I remembered I saw her on the deck. For there were no knockouts on board, she somewhat attracts me at first. She wore a colourful dress, however, approaching her I found she wasn't beautiful. However, she sat my table without hesitation with a can beer on tray as me.
She didn't speak out so much, but she said she was from Queen Charlotte Islands after traveling several inland places including Edmonton on the way home; so, she was alone without company apart from a number of kids, "I am bored with my life, I want to reside in urban area." When appeared that I was interested in Halibut fishing, she said that she used to be a fisher-woman catching a lot of Halibut, and that since the season got in she could guide me on boat from Queen Charlotte Islands. Hum, as if her man-like body told her previous profession.
The price she mentioned for arranging a Halibut fishing sounded pretty expensive, but rather the low-level attitudes and behaviours the kids showed deprived me of eagerness to cross over to Queen Charlotte Islands from Prince Rupert. Showing an Indian fishing book with a lot of illustrations I bought at Quadra Island, she said that this used to be the way they fish but not now, and that written by a White might make some differences in perception.
There were already people spreading out their rugs between and around the seat-lines and trying to sleep. On the other hand, bad boys and girls were going to and coming from a game machine room chatting loudly. I managed to keep a seat at a very front of a cabin, and I, too, tried to sleep reclining the seat fully. Except that, I had nothing to do with the complete darkness outside. Even it was far apart from the engine, its vibration was far beyond my imagination. I further drank the whisky but never could sleep.
Opened my eyes, I realised my next seat was Mic and then the Indian woman closing eyes. I remember the ferry stopped once for a long time spotting a huge light towards a coast; there seemed fairly wild with nothing to be seen. Other than that, when occasionally saw outside the windows lots of tiny lights of fishermen boats passed in the narrow aisle of the sea. I guessed the Linda's husband might be on one of them.
I already decided to shoot the dawn of the sea way. But nothing was so much significant than continuing similarly looked mountains on both sides. When the ferry reached Prince Rupert around noon, what I only want to do was to take a rest on a bed.


# by tetsu95jp | 2007-11-23 09:52 | 6.Northern BC
Meeting nicest people in BC with GREYHOUND (11)
On the way back to Greyhound, I dropped by the BeeHive and tried a Lunch Jambalaya this time. But it was not as good as the Lunch Ling I ate previously because the hot source killed the precious taste and flavour with plenty of seafood; nevertheless far better than other ordinary Canadian Western style restaurants.
Apart from Campbell River on the bus became sparsely populated, and I felt I came to north at last. Other than some port towns where rough boys were smoking each other without words, a mass of cedar trees continued until Port Hardy. Getting off at the ferry port, Port Hardy had nothing to be seen. Only huge number of Indian children were spreading in the parking lot out of a waiting room building.
No restaurants or foods shops were around there, which seemed not commercialised yet. The ferry was named "Queen of the North," which was supposed to take the inside passage with mid-coast stops for 17 hours. The cars were full and passengers seemed also almost full with a lot of Indian children; taken its procedure delayed the 6:00 pm departure time. With full compartments the passenger seats were almost occupied by the children for their sleeping spaces when I got on board.


# by tetsu95jp | 2007-11-22 08:56 | 5.Till Port Hardy
Meeting nicest people in BC with GREYHOUND (10)

# by tetsu95jp | 2007-11-21 08:02 | 5.Till Port Hardy
Meeting nicest people in BC with GREYHOUND (9)
Linda welcomed me at the ferry port of Quadra Island driving me to her kilt shop she also run than the guest house. She was literally a helpful person; not only offering me a gorgeous room with her kitchen for hostels' price, but introducing me to an Indian band office when appeared I wanted to take pictures of real Indians' life.
Her house including the hostel cottages stood just aside of a clear cove and deserved to be described as an ultimate hideaway. Just down was a rubble shore scattered big Oysters around; piece by piece was quite huge nourishing. I picked one up and with difficulty to open ate in raw with nothing added. Wow, it was so nice, so sweet with flavour! The transparent feeling of the taste was far beyond fresh ones bought in Japan. I might say it was the best Oyster I had ever had.
Her husband was away on the sea for his profession, fishing, and supposed to be back in a few days. As for Linda, she departed regardless of his absence for travel leaving her daughter and me. Since no one related with aboriginal activities was available at the Indian band, We Wai Kai Nation, to and from where Linda gave me a ride, I began to walk as far as possible to examine the island. Although she recommended me to use a sea kayak, I wanted to walk with the equipments of photo-shooting.
Quadra Island was quite a huge island rather than expected from a map. Actually, only going and coming the tip of the sandbank seen from my window made me completely exhausted. Only seemingly retired people's houses were seen along the road with few people.


Meanwhile, Linda's husband was back and offered me frozen prawns he caught in the outer sea. Having mentioned the shrimp I ate at the BeeHive, he said they used to be caught in this sea but not now. That was why he voyaged as far as the ferry route to Prince Rupert to catch his preys. He also said there were no good fishing points around the cove, which was the other side from Campbell River. I couldn't understand such a clear sea didn't produce any commercially valuable fish, but he didn't give me that explanation. Ecosystem might be just changing.
Surprisingly, soon he left for voyage again and the daughter and I were left again. She was in puberty and avoided me at first, however, when realised I shouldn't be a dangerous man she began to behave naturally without minding me. The second evening, I baked prawns on a frying pan and she said adding garlic be better. Offered just for trying her sitting in front of a computer in darkness, she muttered, "This one is good," behind me. Surely, the huge prawns were another good ones in spite of frozen status. The next morning, I found a finished dish with many shells on, which she served herself in the same way I cooked.
The weather was unstable like in the mountains and I began to realise such was the characteristics of climate in Canada. Although it was raining lightly in the morning, I decided to rent a bike at a nearby shop. However, it was closed and they were not available on the phone they provided. While waiting for someone appearing, I guessed they should do business only in summer when a lot of tourists come.
Finally, when I called on an inter-phone in another facility down the slope to the waterfront, a White guy appeared bringing a big coffee mug with him. Asking for renting a bike, since the one I chose had little air he pumped the tyres up at a further waterfront building. When he finished, he signed me with gesture to come to his place. I thought he was rude. Without approaching him made him to come back upward to me. And then, I started pedaling the bicycle with difficulty for the steep slope to the road.
Someone had said there was a canning factory run by Japanese northwards, and I wanted to observe but so far that I turned my direction to southwards to visit the Cape Mudge Indian Band again. Pedaling up several slopes with a lot of sweat, and although I passed easily a horse riding lady at a down-slope she passed me at an up-slope and never to be seen. On the way at a dock, a wild-looked man was trying to sell a used yacht to seemingly a retired couple. Someone also said at a different time that the northern limit of settling in for retired people came from Saltspring Island to this Quadra Island.


I expected the Indian fishermen to return from their voyage, because Brian, an administrator of the band office, suggested me so. However, they didn't yet. Dear me, again it ended as a wasted effort. When I felt like the return trip was endless for my fatigue, suddenly a decrepit American coupe slowed down beside me and a couple of guys called to me, "Hey, are you the Japanese taking pictures of the Indian band?" "Sure, but why?" "We heard that from the band office, and can help you with. We can show you our culture and good things." Unbelievable as it was, they ran after me to do me a favour voluntarily.
"Come get on this car, and I'll bring you to our place," a guy smiled. Seeing their faces, seemingly I could trust them, "But I have this bike, I can't leave it here on the road!" "No problem, I can load on my car," saying opened the trunk the driver forcefully packed my bicycle; I was afraid it for it was rental one. The elder guy self-introduced that he was an artist and preserving their culture. That was Dwayne Limeon.
Entering his studio, there were a lot of half made and completed wood sculptures. The backward was another room where another craft tools were arranged; watching around there were pinups of busty blond girls on the wall beside. "What's the tools for?" "These are for engraving and making rings," he showed me the examples that were completed. Those ones reminded me of the stall sales by hippies in Japan.
His sculptures were far better than I was shown on the Flores Island. I strongly felt something Indian with his works. Against my will of taking pictures of him working, he insisted on being taken his works, particularly odd-looked ones. I couldn't think it was good pictures, but after developing films I found he was right in that his works are firmly asserting their existence among pictures I took. His soul won mine.
"When do you do your work?" "Anytime, every time. I am still single, so don't have any fixed times; I sometimes work in daytime and sometimes at night." "What kind of route for selling your works do you have? I can contribute for to sell more greatly because I'm in proficient in that area." He didn't make it clear, though he said with confidence, "I have my customer all over the world. I don't have to open up a new market."
Stepping backward, I found his nostalgic American coupe, more gorgeous than his company's, in a garage along with an audio set with JBL speakers. Next to his studio was a gathering space arranged for party but very wild pub. "In summer," he said, "we get together without reason and have sprees with drug." That natural kind of pub (but maybe he doesn't earn money for it) seemed also his or their proud. I merely envied them. On his business card that he gave me were merely the name, Dwayne Limeon Studios, an Indian print mark, and tel number, to which he added another number by hand somewhat.


# by tetsu95jp | 2007-11-20 13:54 | 5.Till Port Hardy
Meeting nicest people in BC with GREYHOUND (8)

# by tetsu95jp | 2007-11-19 14:17 | 5.Till Port Hardy
Meeting nicest people in BC with GREYHOUND (7)
Anyway, visiting the First Nations drove me to want to further observe another ones. I was remembering then an old aboriginal lady's saying, "Hey! you look like us, Indian," as she rolled into a poor quarters' pub in the east side of Downtown. I don't know if she was drunk or drugged but she was dancing as if forgetting herself. Before Port Hardy, where the ferry to Prince Rupert departs, there is an island called Alert Bay and I wanted stay there next, because it had a hostel with abundant aboriginal culture.
However, the place was too far for one day ride and finally got to Campbell River where was famous for Salmon fishing on the sea. To be trouble, a cheap accommodation I found in the yellow page was yet closed when visited, but kindly enough a man keeping there gave me a ride to a motel he recommended. The office lady told me that a Greek restaurant along the main street was fairly good saying afterwards she also come. Across a bridge to the main road, with falling darkness behind a tiny tiny light of a house over whispering river with woods felt as if appealed they were surly alive; I wanted to hold that scene strongly pressing my shutter.
I was not necessarily satisfied with the dishes at the Greek restaurant, and began to wonder whether the tasty restaurants in Western style never exist in this country. The next day, however, I came to come across a splendid one.
Unfortunately, the hostel on Alert Bay was also not opened yet at that time of March, but she gave me another kindness over the phone in this town; she told Linda who lived on the island across from Campbell River and ran a guest house would help me with my accommodations. Calling her, I got her promise to offer a bed, even though she had not opened either and was supposed to go away.


Until the next ferry to the Quadra Island, I strolled around the town to look for a good restaurant believing this famous fishing town should have such one. Then, curiously maybe for my Japanese appearance and heavy baggage, an old Caucasian policeman accosted me, "Hi, where are you from?" He said he settled here recently from somewhere East of Canada after retired; such life changes should never happen in Japan, I thought, and he looked very happy with his not accustomed occupation. He might know, the idea struck me, "Do you know good restaurant near here?" "Well, what kinds of dishes do you want? There are several places I prefer." "I want a good, I mean tasty and possibly cheap, seafood restaurant. I want to eat Campbell River's fish."
This way I became to know "BeeHive Seafood Grill & Cafe." It was located at a corner of the wharf and had a good view of the sea. I ordered a Caucasian waiter's recommendation, a Lunch Seafood Ling (a pasta) with a cup of coffee. At a first glance, it was an ordinary seafood pasta because of its not great looks. But that was actually the common misunderstanding in epicurian dishes.
Pushing fork into the pasta covered with decent herb vegis, then mussels, shrimps, next to next got appeared, and I was fascinated with its taste at a first bite. What a thing! What a harmony of the variety of seafood and herbs with the pasta which was just adjusted hardness. My tongue danced in mouth and I couldn't help appreciating devouring without looking upon scenic spot over windows. Especially, the sweetness of the small shrimps was out of description! That was happy itself; I could never ever remember such a shrimps so far.
"Was the shrimp caught around here?" "Sure," a young cute waitress replied. Thinking this is Italian taste from my experience in Japan, I asked, "Do you call the dish I had a Canadian or an Italian?" She said bashfully, "A Canadian, I guess." Well, I wanted to confirm the face of this cook then; when checking out, over the counter of the kitchen I saw a White extra over-weighted chef moving busily. That figure made me somewhat relived.
# by tetsu95jp | 2007-11-18 09:03 | 5.Till Port Hardy
Meeting nicest people in BC with GREYHOUND (6)

# by tetsu95jp | 2007-11-17 10:13 | 4.Till Flores Island
Meeting nicest people in BC with GREYHOUND (5)

I decided to go to the main village of Ahousat on the last staying day. Across the narrow cove going further on Ota's tiny boat, a larger wharf than in front of the hostel appeared. Despite a light rain, it was the jewel of the island. Going up the wooden steps which followed by a wooden walkway to the village, it began to dawn on me where I had seen this landscape before. It was the rural area in Japan as I was brought up. It was not certain if I saw in my mother's arms or standing myself.
Right hand side stood a withered church for which a missionary finally abandoned Christianity sympathising with the way of thinking of native people, which Ota told me beforehand. I searched for figures taking pictures, then not understandable words was thrown at me from a house. After that, the silence was back.
Unknown dogs were here and there; finding me, some barked and another approached. They reminded me of "Norainu" (wild dogs in towns in Japanese) that became extinct during the high economic growth. The narrow roads were unpaved and so complicated that I was worried about losing my way. Taking back to the harbour, at the very entrance of the village two guys were speaking with each other drinking maybe coffee at the veranda of a small upstairs house, where was written, "Welcome to Ahousat!"
With hesitation, I approached, "Hello," "Hello, good morning! How are you?" One was an Indian but the other looked like a White, "Good! Good! But I want to ask you something. Can I?" "Sure! What's that?" "I'm taking pictures of Canadian life. Please let me know about the life of this village." "Okay, okay, why don't you come on up here? Drink a coffee?"
Going up, there are a lot of kids behind them among whom a young Indian mother was cooking lunch or brunch in the small room which seemed the only room for the house. After introducing his wife in short, he brought me downstairs' workshop which was huge and unseen from outside. Inside was wooden long and slender canoes half made and engraved but they didn't look like great. He said he was engaging in this process and making such boats was their tradition.
When I asked for taking a picture of him, he began to say he would introduce another person and bring me to him with them. He said he was the teacher of him. We walked across the village, and then he rang a doorbell among new houses flocked into an area. Then, another Indian guy appeared. Although we shook hands, I didn't want to take such a well coordinated photo.
As I expected, the sculpture he showed were not so well, either. As I left, the teacher gave me several yellow cedar tips that was said to invite good fortunes traditionally. The yellow cedar were less than the red cedar actually.


I treated a cup of coffee at the only restaurant on this island nearby for the first guys favour. The Indian didn't show a happy smile. From the beginning to the end, the seemingly White guy were always enjoying chatting with the other. I wondered and couldn't understand who it was to the last.
Later, Ota explained that the first Indian guy moved to this island recently to get married his wife, who was however already divorced from another one. "They are repeating getting marry and divorced moving about among First Nations, since they tend to have family so young maybe in teens," he said. "As for the teacher, his proficiency should be average so you can easily find another around here," in short, they seemed to be killing time by engraving on woods. What a life!
It was really a small community, even so surprisingly they used cars and were enjoying drives as if they had nothing to do except it. Other people came by walk by twos and threes after appearing at distance to the shop district. Greeting them, "Hi," they replied in the same way with a bit embarrassed smile. I am becoming fond of this village. If only I could have a job I want, such as advertising and photographing, I would love to settle here, I thought.


Getting into a small cabin of the passenger liner to Tofino to return, a crew called me, "Oh! Good morning, fisherman." He must watch me fishing everyday. I met an old lady with whom I talked a lot on a street of the village. At this time, however, she never wanted to speak to me. Even though we caught eyes each other, she kept reading book sometimes speaking with her small company beside. The people in the village seemed to frequently go out the island. The atmosphere of the cabin known each other was very special. Without getting into it, I made me watch outside through small watered windows.
A young girl, I saw in the cabin, who rather hung down her head without expressions looked obviously mix-blooded between Indian and White, immediately getting off at Tofino walked away. I had to get a Greyhound there this time. Since there was no route both on the land and sea to go up for north along the Pacific, I decided to go north along Strait of Georgia after returning to Parksville.
There were no figures of Japanese descendants in Tofino. Someone said that before World War Two there resided Japanese immigrants but they didn't return after sent to an "Alien" concentration camp, because the neighbours knew they were to be deprived of all of their properties by the government well before but they didn't tell the Japanese and took the goods for their own sake with the government; whereas in Uclulet, a nearest community to Tofino, knowing the government's intention the people notified the Japanese so they had time to order things. It was said that is why Japanese descendants never returned to Tofino after World War Two and instead went to Uclulet and other places.
# by tetsu95jp | 2007-11-16 09:30 | 4.Till Flores Island
Meeting nicest people in BC with GREYHOUND (4)

# by tetsu95jp | 2007-11-15 12:50 | 4.Till Flores Island
Meeting nicest people in BC with GREYHOUND (3)
From Tofino, I needed to take a boat to Flores Island. But before down for the pier I had to purchase fishing tools and license. In a variety store with seemingly everything, there was a fishing gear corner. Almost all of them were unfamiliar to me, though I wanted to try Japanese way of fishing with a long-casting rod with live bates. I was at a loss without knowing what to choose.
The only shop person available was a huge over-weighted something wooden young guy. He looked like a half between White and Indian, and spoke English in an awkward way but helpful. He didn't have knowledge of fishing there either; however, somewhat knew the fishing license to be and I managed to get three days one for $20.33.
Going down a long slope to the pier, the air here was crystal and the lights of Sun gave the landscape a different appearance. If here is same Canada? It was so deep and beautiful that I couldn't help feeling sad such an extent as wondering why I was living at that moment. The blue was blue, green was green and the red was definitely red reflected in my eyes. Nothing was unclear in front of me; that was Tofino and that was the other side of Pacific Ocean from Japan.
Following the people by twos and threes on the wooden wharf to its end, I found a number of people like I followed are sitting and standing apparently without having nothing to do. There was a huge mass of disposed drink cans and plastic bottles. Beside it, the flocking people tanned significantly with black hairs appeared unapproachable. I hesitated to ask a boat for Flores Island among them, or I couldn't tell who the boats' persons.
With fear I accosted some of them, "Excuse me, I heard I can have a boat for Flores Island here. I want to go to the Humming Bird Hostel." Then unbelievable as it was, they actually welcomed me. "Humming Bird Hostel? OK, I will bring you in my boat," said a full beard man with thick muscularity arms seemingly was fisherman. There was no one like me asking a boat, and they didn't look like waiting for tourists for boats at all.
I didn't know what they were doing there, but the man and his company man immediately began preparing for sailing with a small boat. After that, the company somewhat got a same ride with me. Sitting beside the driver, the beard man, I felt again he was wild or tough. When I said I was taking pictures of Canadians life with my camera hung, he offered an trip for me to a good shooting spot on the way saying, "You have to pay extra fee! Ha, ha, ha!" "Oh no," said me, "No, it's a joke. It's on the way to Ahousat (Flores Island), so I'll bring you anyway, OK?"
Approaching a shore reefs several minutes later, he stopped and pointed at a tree on a reef, "Can you see it? There is a nest of eagles on the tree." "Where? I can't see it," in spite of wearing glasses on him (that might be a sunglasses though) he had very good eye-sights since the distance was a little far from the tree.
I was not interested in wild life in Canada so much, because my curiosity was attracted by people on nature. Finding my lens focused in a different direction, he became aware that and re-started engine to close to the reef and pointed at once more. I first realised it without figures of the birds. The absence seemed to have me feel the clear-cut atmosphere there, but it was impossible to capture it with camera.
The awful vibration and engine noise of the small boat making its way in full speed on the surface of rippled off-shore by complex ocean current deprived me of thought. Then, all of a sudden the boat stopped in the midst, and two of us except the driver slid front-side so hit our bodies. He smiled a naughty smile as if he had known the result before it.
Turning around several times, the landscape of full of cedar trees beside the sea seemed to be endless, when a small strip of pier appeared ahead. Dropping the speed off, the driver spoke to a radio, "Yuki! Yuki! I brought your customer!" Mr Yukio Ota, a Japanese, was the manager of the Humming Bird Hostel. Just behind the pier was the hostel.


Not because of my heavy baggage but because of the pure scenery for taking pictures, I couldn't leave the tiny wharf soon. Aged storages under the sunshine shouldn't be uncommon but the air there was so clear that even such things looked something in another space. I kept looking in my finder with never being bored.
Stepping up forward and I entered a half declined withered house that was the hostel. I wondered if Mr Ota was not a Japanese at first sight, but he was definitely a Japanese. I was the first and the only guest after winter-close and the whole hostel was as if reserved for me.
That place was called Ahousat, a First Nations. However, other than the premise there were another Ahousat places and across the cove seemed like the main village. Even though I met several Indians until then, it was the first time to visit so-called a "Reserve." Since every area of the First Nations was distinguished from Canadian soil with rights they used to have, some people called it "Reserve."
The next to the hostel was a historical general store - literally everything was available - and it was the only neighbour. People in the main village made it a rule to shop coming here by their boats. Mr Ota said the shop owner held the position of the mayor and the post office chief as well. Most importantly for Mr Ota, however, he also was Mr Ota's boss; in other words, he was the owner of the hostel. Actually, Ota was calling him "Ojisan" (an uncle in Japanese).
Every evening, he helped out Ojisan and his family to unload variety of goods from the liners. To my surprise he looked like White, but Ota said he was born and brought up here with former generations. "He does everything any professionals do himself so capably that anyone else shouldn't replace him for his management," Ota excitingly told me, "You know, this place has been sustained by him, and of course I myself owe to him a lot; without him I wouldn't exist here now."


Having found live bates fishing tools next door, I tried to dig out worm when low tide. At evening, at the very end of the wharf I casted a short rod. Soon the tip of the rod trembled; a Ling cod, over 20 cm, came. And then, just like the same one again. What a thing! This totally the same as at Lake Hamama in Japan. Bigger one, bigger one! I spoke to myself, however, the next one was also similar size of Red Cod. Since there were bites frequently during that time, the worm mightn't work on adult fish there. Passing by the store, the Ojisan accosted me and gave a look at my bucket. "Oh, small. But maybe good size for supper," he comforted me.


The Ling Cod fried by myself then and there tasted pretty good, but I felt little taste somewhat. Saying this to Ota, he said, "It was very good when a Japanese cook stayed and made me a cook in the authentic way, though." Offering the other Ling Cod I caught to him, he offered me a bin of Salmon which he fished and cooked last year. That was very tasty with adequate salt; I forgot to ask if he boiled or not in cooking, though it was such a huge King Salmon as over 1 m that he couldn't eat up by the winter close last year so kept in the frige.
As is usual in travel, I wanted beer with the supper. But I learned by Ota it was impossible to get beer in the Reserve area. "Instead," he said, "you can enjoy the full ecological environment; as a matter of fact, living here you don't need any money to live on as long as fishing!" Sure, the green of the cedar trees endlessly grown thick actually coloured more bright than ever seen. There was no Internet, no phones, but there was Nature and people.
The next day or another, an Indian fisherman friend of Ota radioed that he caught so much Herrings that he would give to him. "You can count on it for your meals," he assured. But I wanted to fish big ones by myself, and Ota repeated again and again anybody without knowledge of fishing can get big ones so easily with a lure without any bate which are used here, even in front of the hostel regardless of the season and tide.
Finally, I rented a lure with rod from Ota. Still I kept not trying on a boat, though. I have long been insisted on off-shore fishing because I think the boat fishing should be rather fishery (commercial fishing) naturally getting aimed fish easily with modern devices.
I have never tried the lure fishing so far, though I started fishing in my elementary school. What Ota told me how to use was just like "Bulakuri" fishing in Japan. Standing on a pier I should drop off the lure that is also the weight into the sea; when reached bottom wind the spinning reel a little to know the depth; then pull it up abruptly so that a lure makes action when drops.
That was not like fishing but like playing for kids. The problem was lures were easily caught by the bottom and never came out of it. Ota explained that when they prepared for starting the hostel two years ago or so, Ojisan's son, his previous business partner, threw away a lot of old stuff carried out of the hostel building. So, those stuff could always hook up fishing hooks.
Whenever I could not pull it out, after long trying I finally asked Ota for it; Ota had become aware how to pull it out with his special tool. This experience on top of no catch compelled me fatigue. "Funny thing no catches shouldn't happen," he said, "If you pay extra money, I or my Indian friend will guide you on a boat to the points you are sure to get big ones." "Okay, thank you. But is that good points for Halibut or Flat Fishes? You know, what I want to fish at least here is a larger Flat Fish than I fished at Lake Hamana in Japan. I got two of over 41 cm "Makogarei there, so I want 50 cm class!"
Since I had used up all of the lures Ota had, I called the general store to buy in the evening. The door was closed ,and having knocked loudly, nobody appeared. I remembered Ota had said the Ojisan family make it a rule to have supper around 5 pm for one hour or so and until finished they would never pay attention to visitors whoever. Probably those things never happen in Japan, thinking so I picked out a Canadian cigarette, du MAURIER Light, and lit it by a disposable lighter. Surrounded with the lingering sunlight in the evening sky, silence was falling over the place.
"As a matter of fact, I wanted to fish Halibut and in the Japanese way. See this is the biggest ones I caught in Japan," I showed the photos of my trophy size, around 42 cm, "Makogarei" to Ojisan. "Oh, is it? It's small, eh? I'll let you see my picture, come on, come on," said he and brought me to a next building to the store. Inside was several black and white pictures for him to show his trophy fish. In a picture, he stood with almost the same size of a Halibut. He said he fished this on a boat and the Indian guide know such good points. I asked if there was good points from shore, including the Pacific Ocean beach far backside of our place. When it comed to explaining the surf-long-cast fishing that is popular along the beach line in Japan, he admitted some possibility to catch reasonable sizes on the beach side. However, nobody had tried in such a way and actually I didn't have the long rod and large spinning reel with the tackle then and there.
Maybe it is true of fishermen to have to compromise to get results in unknown water. I had no choice than following Ota on his boat, which was less expensive than his friend Indian's. Fishing is a primitive pleasure, I was thinking, why do we have to pay a lot of money for it. "You should take a boat from the beginning," Ota sighed, "on the way to the offing point there is a raft place which they used to use for fish-farming, and that is a good spot for Halibut or Flat fish. You can try to there, too."
The distance as far as looked from the tiny boat of Ota was the best clear I had ever seen. The light Sun was giving us on this northern sea was far beyond description and I could do nothing other than watching at. I remembered Ota at the hostel said, "I felt here I really came to Canada for the first time."
He didn't anchored at the point seemingly an intersection for boats on the water bending widely ahead of a cape. The tide maybe quite fast here, I guessed. The way of fishing was just the same as at the pier, but it was far deep here. He advised, "Please take care not for being taken the lure by the roots of the bottom," but no need to say so. Before reaching the bottom, the fish sent us definite signal of hit: the rod soon became heavy swinging downwards. Next to next, it came; it was the Japanese saying "Iregui" (a continuous hits in English maybe).
Adult Ling Cod, one or two size bigger than the previous ones, adult Red Cod came up to the surface. Also, Rock Fish came; looks tasty! There were endless hits so we released smaller ones immediately. Red Cod or Rock Fish were not so much interesting because they were merely heavy in fighting not to be fished up and suddenly became light approaching the surface for their air bladder expanded for the difference of water-pressure.
Among those, Ota caught a beautiful blueish Ring Cod. "This is better taste than the ordinary Ling Cod," said he, "Is that a different kind?" I asked. Anyway, he kept it. It's so easy only dropping and winding a line that we shouldn't be able to call it a fishing, I thought. When Ota said it was about time to leave, my rod froze with absolute heavy weight. I thought it was taken by a root of bottom. "Wait, wait," I claimed, "hum, but I can wind the reel." The rod tried to stick into the rippled surface, but I continued. The appeared was a fairly big Rock Fish to my a little bit disappointment. Nevertheless, I was glad to have caught a minimum big size anyway.


Well, the rafts Ota dropped me off was a Flat Fish point, and Ota testified he got many huge fish here so over 50 cm size should be possible. The offing 50〜100 m was the boats route to Ahousat. Okay, I tried the bate fishing in a different way in that I put the worm at the lure hook and after casting away I reeled up in as many ways as I could.
Since the place was occupied by me, changing points I shook the short rod countlessly. However, no bites were felt. Meanwhile, several Indian boats crossed by in front of me. Some people, such as on the passenger liner, gazed at me interestingly for my uncommon attempt. I was kind of embarrassed with no results.
I had no choice except following the method Ota taught; I merely dropped straight the lure without bate by a raft, and sometimes shook the rod vertically. I was so bored that I put the rod on with the lure near the bottom. Then the tip of the rod surly moved restlessly all of a sudden. Wow! But you know, you must wait for a while in Flat Fish fishing for it to eat properly. After seconds, I hooked it up firmly and winding the line soon an orange-colour-liked Flat Fish appeared, since the depth was no more than a tall man's height.
The fish showed me his resistance but not so much strong; pulling on the raft I found this is smaller than the one I caught in Japan. Well, this is definitely a Flat Fish and similar to Japan's Makogarei, but somewhat looks rough at its skin. I expected to have a lot more results after that once I found the point, because Flat Fish tend to flock together in living. However, by the time Ota pick me up, there were no hits at all not only that point but others.


When I prepared the fish for the dishes watering at the wharf, Ojisan spoke to me and observed interestingly, "What kind of ways do the Japanese cook fish?" "Well, that's a lot! In raw, bake, boil, fry, and everyway. How about you?" "We fry, fish and chips, you know." "What is this fish? Is this different from ordinary Ring Cod?" I pointed at the blueish one Ota caught. "Well, that fish used to be caught so much around here for canning so very common, but not now. It was over-fished. It is also Ring Cod," he replied.
# by tetsu95jp | 2007-11-14 10:40 | 4.Till Flores Island
Meeting nicest people in BC with GREYHOUND (2)

# by tetsu95jp | 2007-11-13 13:49 | 4.Till Flores Island
Meeting nicest people in BC with GREYHOUND (1)
Until entering UBC ELI I determined to travel around the province of British Columbia. With a huge backpack with wheels my trip started at Vancouver getting on a local bus to Tsawwassen, the ferry port to Swartz Bay, Vancouver Island. Although a bus service from Vancouver to Victoria, Vancouver Island via ferry was available, I wanted to avoid a kind of package tour and was thinking it should be a local line for Victoria after getting at Swartz Bay.
Actually, however, there seemed to be no such things looking for information on the ferry. A man seemingly in his 50s was selling bus tickets from Swartz Bay. Soon I realised the bus was the one I passed in Vancouver and costed rather expensive than the whole route rate, but I had no choice than buying it. The ferry personnel helped me with getting my luggage out of the very bottom hold. What flexible they are! These things should never occur in the systematic Japan. The tickets selling man was later known that he was the driver itself. I thought Canadian companies are very good at earning money.
The bus went Highway 17 south towards Victoria. There were a lot of green vacant lots along the road, which seemed pastures. When approaching the centre of Victoria, passengers were getting off by famous hotels by twos and threes. The town looked up-to-date, despite of described as old and very English since many English retired people have been residing.
The bus driver didn't know the place of the Hostels International of Victoria. After getting off the bus at the terminal, I walked about searching for the hostel lugging my heavy luggage. People in Vancouver said Victoria is very beautiful with its water front, but I didn't feel that much; instead, I was surprised with enormous cherry blossoms in nearly end of full bloom. It overwhelmed in not only numbers of the trees but also bunches that of Vancouver. It was middle March, and it proved Victoria is surely located in souther than Vancouver.
According to guide books, Victoria was said to keep the streets and houses which remind of London. At a visitor information centre in the centre district I asked a girl, "I heard there is an area much like London. Though I've never visited London, I couldn't figure it out so far. Tell me where it is." "Oh," she smiled a little bitterly, "just here it is. It used to be, but that description might be old." I turned her a mischievous smile, too.
The centre of Victoria was small and quiet. Even though I had heard the majority of the residents were retired people, there were considerable young people. Other than the government and some institutes, there seemed no significant industries despite the fact that Victoria was the capital of BC. The young chatting in cafes didn't look like active. I wondered what pleasure they live for in this time machine town.


One of my enthusiasms during this travel was to fish around, and in Vancouver Island I had already found an idealistic sea fishing place, Flores Island, on Pacific Ocean side. Around 8:00 am I got on a TOFINO BUS, a coach, in front of the hostel and it arrived in Tofino early afternoon. On the way at the ferry port of Nanaimo, a White young guy with a bike joined. I greeted him but he wearing sunglasses didn't reply, furthermore whenever I accosted him on the drive on curious things outside he ignored me, even though he was happy to talk with the other White girls on the car. Interesting enough, hearing him he had less knowledge of the nature than me.


# by tetsu95jp | 2007-11-12 08:55 | 4.Till Flores Island
Journey from a room with large bay windows (10)

# by tetsu95jp | 2007-11-11 18:12 | 3.Vancouver area
Journey from a room with large bay windows (9)
One day, a moving dealer of Vancouver cooperating with a Japanese carrier I asked gave me a letter via Tony's place that my effects has arrived at Vancouver dock. I had to clear the Customs Office by myself. However, the Customs Office person said on the phone I should not be able to receive my stuff as long as I haven't completed my immigration yet.
My immigration consultant in Tokyo advised me it might be impossible to settle the problem. As for the Vancouver carrier, she first said it was my own problem not hers. When I insisted that the Japanese carrier didn't mention any possibilities of such a trouble before shipping, she suggested me to go to another Customs Office which is located in the next city of Vancouver saying she can negotiate it with an acquaintance officer there.
Visiting the office, I got the permission all too soon. I wondered what the Canadian justice was. Anyway, I made it moved and kept at Tony's house until I settle somewhere, as he promised to. In return, I concentrated in my room of YWCA on completing the blueprint of the web-site which focuses on healthy and beauty Canadian products for Japanese market.
My immigration consultant, Mr Saito, rushed me to acquire 7 all score in IELTS (International English Language Testing System), which was required to immigrate into Canada in the skilled worker category, to make it for the immigration interview supposed to occur in that summer. So I decided to enter an appropriate English school as well as French (French ability skills was said to be advantage for me). But before go further, I wanted to travel around the country because I didn't think I know Canada enough to immigrate.
I determined to go around BC (British Columbia) and then English and French schools. There were few days remained in staying at YWCA. Soon after finishing the draft of the web-site, Tony and I planned a photo-shooting for the products and a model. Even though I sent him a detailed schedule of shooting along with things I wanted him to prepare, he seemed not serious not seeing what I sent well. I wondered if that was the Bangladesh style, and at the same time I began feeling every Canadian jobs seem not professional but much like amateur.
I have been involved in advertising industry of Japan over 15 years as copywriter and later creative director. Upon immigration, I intended to further develop my career in not only in Canada but also in the USA with ambition, since Immigrants of Canada are allowed to work also in the US. Vancouver area's advertisements appeared to me a little bit behind the time, but among them I found a quite interesting one, Richmond Centre's, in a well-organised free travellers' magazine, Visitor's Choice. That ad has quite a unique idea regardless of the consumers' background.
I called Visitor's Choice and visited the editor and art director. He said he didn't know who made the Richmond Centre's ad. Searching for on the Internet, I found it was made by an ad agency, DDB Canada. As everybody knew maybe, it was a member of world-famous DDB Group; I hesitated to contact them. My English ability should not be good enough to clear the criteria at work; therefore, I would make a presentation after finishing the English course I am taking.


Back then, actually I was in a plateau studying English in Japan and eager to break through it in an English speaking environment. When choosing a school among uncountable ones within a stone thrown in Vancouver, I had no idea. Many Downtown's were cheap but appeared like an extension of NOVA, a largest English conversation chain school in Japan, with the disgusting number of young international students from Asia.
I wanted an English course targeting on the new immigrants to use in daily life or at work. That seemed the only way to one up in English proficiency for an over 40-year-old man. At the same time, Mr Saito, the immigration consultant, recommended me to have a preparation course for English interviews as well as a French conversation course in order that my immigration interview may take place in that summer. Seemingly on the Internet such institute belong to universities.
At first, I visited Capilano College because it had both English and French course and appeared more like vocational. However, an office lady advised me its English curriculum was rather academic to enter universities and French course was not available soon. What she recommended instead was UBC (University of British Columbia), one of the best rated ones in Canada. Still, I was wondering Simon Fraser University's might be better because the English curriculum clearly explained on its web-site was for unexperienced young but for my area. However, its French course seemed not available then, either.
Other than universities' institutes, I also gave it a thought on Vancouver School Boards which offer so-called night schools. Finally, I decided on UBC with a night school course. With reputation as No,1 English school in Vancouver, the UBC English Language Institute had accommodations service by which I could home-stay with cheaper price than ever. It was $26 per day with 3 meals. Besides, in the same campus of UBC I could commute a French conversation course every Saturday. As for the night school, I was also able to commute every Monday and Wednesday night.
What I was concerned about UBC English Language Institute was despite of its expensive fee ($4,160 for April 5, 2004-June 24, 2004) there were few explanations on the curriculum of the program on its web-site. Having visited in person, I got no specific information. Maybe that's the style of UBC which has best reputation in English education around Vancouver, I thought.
# by tetsu95jp | 2007-11-10 16:20 | 3.Vancouver area
Journey from a room with large bay windows (8)

# by tetsu95jp | 2007-11-09 15:34 | 3.Vancouver area
Journey from a room with large bay windows (7)

# by tetsu95jp | 2007-11-08 18:38 | 3.Vancouver area
Journey from a room with large bay windows (6)

# by tetsu95jp | 2007-11-07 08:13 | 3.Vancouver area
Journey from a room with large bay windows (5)
After the dinner, Tony showed his new car, SUZUKI GRAND VITARA, with his Taiwanese wife, and they appeared very happy. However, soon after they divorced actually. According to Tony, they became to know each other in Japan. Although he had family with Japanese wife then, he came to Canada tempted by Mei, the wife back then, leaving the former wife and his child in Nagoya.
He was interested in establishing a virtual shop on the Internet. When I said I have been involved in advertising industry as copywriter and director so am happy to make the blueprints writing copies and taking pictures, he was so glad that he promised if I did he would do anything he could for me. So, I asked that he keep my moving effects I had shipped from Japan.
The problem was I couldn't use the Internet with my computer in my room to write the copies in Japanese. Even though the cheap rate, Can$25 per night, was attractive, I came to need another place. Since my interest of taking pictures was moving onto downtown area of Vancouver where it is too far from Steveston, I began looking for the next accommodations capable of hooking up my laptop to the Internet around Downtown.


One evening waiting for my bus at a transferring stop from Downtown to Steveston, I came across a strange event. A Caucasian school boy got on another bus registering his prepaid card valid for 90 minutes crossing the driver. Then moving inside to rear he pounded on the door nob to automatically open. In front of him was another boy, to whom he threw the card rapidly. Picking it up and following the queue, he also got on the same bus.
But, this was not the end of this event; the recipient giving the card back, the bad boy required money with glittering gesture! The weaker handed some small coin unwillingly; that must be smaller than Can$2 that is the prepaid fee. No one saw the incident but me. I glared at his flickering eyes to have him ashamed. Of all things, however, he didn't change his expression at all without stirring an inch and gave a look at me back as if nothing has happened.
Having spoken my surprise to Vincent, "Why he wasn't ashamed by you is because of his culture, cultural difference. He was a White, right? You see, here, Canada, is West. Their culture doesn't realise our common notion. They don't mind other people's eyes at all; instead, they follow their own ways." Funny thing I thought, "But I don't think here is West. Rather it should be between West and Orient. Canada has declared Multi-cultural Policy, hasn't it?" "I know just what you mean, still here is West today we have to say...," Vincent replied.
Vincent was helpful enough than driving me to search for cheap hotels with the Internet facility. Although Tony also told me that he would be able to introduce me to an appropriate place, that opportunity never came. Every now and then, he gave me a call at the B&B to visit, and five minutes after canceled without any reasons.
After staying the B&B, specifically there were no breakfasts though, for 1 month, I finally moved to YWCA in Downtown for 1 month rent at late February. Sure, for one reason or another, I was always moving - an easy matter when all my possessions lay in a huge backpack. Vancouver area was warmer than I expected. Rather almost rainy days in winter time bothered me, since I hate rain despite the fact that whenever I go out far it always begins raining.


I remember an awful experience when staying at the YWCA. I made it a rule to seek for cheap but delicious restaurants in Downtown. China town was so near that I strolled around nearly everyday, and found an extraordinary good one. Other than the taste, the potion was unbelievably huge; even seemingly big eaters in the crowded seats, I saw, left dishes unfinished with huge sighs. Canadian potions are far larger than Japanese all right, but this Chinese cheap restaurant was beyond it. However, it was so nice that I couldn't resist to eat out in every lunch successively. Meanwhile, suddenly a stabbing pain came in my anus and soon couldn't walk about for the pain.
At first, I thought my piles recurred since I had been having diarrhea and constipation in turn for unfamiliar foods, which is a cause of piles. Seeing a doctor with great effort taking a taxi, he easily concluded that that was merely for constipation. I couldn't believe it because I couldn't stand the acute pain, and thought he might be a quack. Unknowing another doctors in a foreign country, however, I had no choice except following his prescription.
My bed of YWCA was somewhat cold and I wasn't able to sleep at all with cold sweat. Late at nights, early in the mornings and of course in the daytimes, I tried to move my bowls again and again. But it seemed never to come. I cursed the heavily oily cooking at the restaurant. I would never forget the moment a piece of hard feces dropped out; with an unbearable tearing anus a mass as large as a small milk bottle gave me released.
There were a lot of Japanese restaurants not only in Downtown but also around Vancouver, but many of them were imitations run and cooked by Chinese, Korean and Nikkei. It was better taste where Japanese employees were hired. Nevertheless, I was sometimes disappointed even with them.
In a popular Japanese restaurant, I ordered a Katsudon. Then, they gave me a miso-soup and I was drinking it. Waiting the main not came, I drank up. So, I asked another miso-soup for having for a Katsudon, because it is a common notion in Japan. However, an ugly Japanese waitress demanded extra bill for it.
Somewhat, they, the Japanese employees, didn't keep authentic Japanese restaurants' manner here. They offered, a miso-soup for instance, before serving dishes in the Western style instead of offering at the same in the Japanese style. The miso-soup should go with and be with rice dishes at their best taste though. I thought adjusting Japanese good things into Canadian style in a bad result looks very funny and ridiculous, when Canadians mimic Japanese.
Walking around Downtown, quite a few homeless were begging money on the streets. What just different from Japan's situation was almost all of them were young enough to engage in certain jobs. There appeared little seriousness on their faces and they rather looked like philosophers. Later I noticed that the tender payment for jobless with little opportunities to earn better money deprived many people of eagerness to get jobs in this country.
Even considerable men once in a while spoke to me saying he wants me to lend money to get a taxi home where his family is waiting for him since his car was broken. Declined the proposal, they seemed to repeat it day after day to different passers-by. When you get on a bus, you may be asked some coins by a decent lady, and that was Canada.


# by tetsu95jp | 2007-11-06 09:54 | 3.Vancouver area
Journey from a room with large bay windows (4)

# by tetsu95jp | 2007-11-05 10:18 | 2.Richmond
Journey from a room with large bay windows (3)
Knowing I was taking pictures related with Japanese footsteps in Richmond, Vincent drove me to the Britannia Heritage Shipyard where the old buildings of Japanese fishermen was preserved. Surprisingly enough, almost all of the facilities in the yard were the Japanese related things and a young white lady sitting in front of computer in an old Japanese cottage couldn't answer to my questions about it.
At the end of the yard, there stood a weathered but huge workshop. Over the wire fence doors before the entrance, a white plump bearded guy was talking with the other white guy. Finding me, he said, "What can I help you?" "I am taking pictures. Visitors are not allowed to enter here?" "Well, come on in," saying he unlocked it.
"I'm searching for the footsteps of the Japanese fishermen. I'm from Japan." "Great! Come on, come on," he stepped forward putting off his tobacco abruptly. "Say, can you see a boat over there?," pointing at a farthest pier on Fraser River beside, "We restored that boat originally made by the Japanese. How cute!" Among aged wooden boats, it was sitting calmly with good old days' atmosphere.
Inside of the workshop was another old boat, several white people being absorbed in restoring it. "This is another Japanese boat. Do you want to see the engine?" He was so excited that I couldn't decline his offer. "Well, I'm impressed with your enthusiasm, but what is the aim of your preserving Japanese boats?" "Because we love it, we love old boats! That's all. You know, we are not working here, we're volunteering for our pleasure having our own jobs in different places."
I wondered if they knew the Japanese had been deprived of these boats by BC government. The Britannia Heritage Shipyard was consisted by the Japanese properties which were deprived by BC government; yes, they didn't return them to the owners after World War Two. Consequently, despite the fact that it is the Japanese Heritage Shipyard it has been being called the Britannia Heritage Shipyard and run by presumably British descendants; I've never seen Japanese descendants among them for several visits. Just out side of the yard, I only found a Japanese fisherman's statue, which praises the Japanese' contribution for BC, constructed not by BC government but by the descendants of the Japanese themselves!


I wanted to search for what a Canadian identity is. Having called an Irish pub nearby, apparently an Irish descendant head said "this is a Canadian pub." However, I couldn't find anything original of Canada but Fish & Chips. At a so-called sport bar, I found people were so enthusiastic at a hockey game on huge TV screens. There were Curry restaurants, Greece, Korean, Chinese and kind of Japanese, and so on. As far as food was concerned, I could find no Canadian.
People say "We eat to live, not to live to eat." But this may not be true of Chinese people; you can easily tell they are living to eat when you accompanied them for eating out and watched the portion of the dishes used every ingredients available. Each Chinese in Richmond has each favourite restaurant and food shop, and Vincent once brought me a dim sum for breakfast. I thought there's no one enjoys good food more than he does. And then, when Tony's mother visited from Bangladesh he invited me to dinner at another Vincent's favourite restaurant. The scene of Indian people eating Chinese dishes with Chinese looked something symbolic of Richmond.


# by tetsu95jp | 2007-11-04 10:00 | 2.Richmond