Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Random Thursday: My Hometown

Are you ready? It's that time of the week again! Lin, Sarah and I are bringing you yet another awesome and totally random topic - My Hometown!

Every city (or even part of a city) has its own personality. Things people do there that no one else would understand, certain things everyone seems to have and even words that everyone else says aren't real. Even though they totally are.

My hometown is Vancouver, on the We(s)t coast of Canada. We're a fashion-forward and yet outdoorsy lot (well, except for me), two seemingly irreconcilable characteristics that give our town a personality all its own. Here's some stuff you can expect to encounter if you visit, in no particular order:

1. Drinking hot coffee through a straw

Yes, it's weird.  I don't get it either. But I see it all the time. Not quite as often now as I did a few years back, but I still think of it as something we do here.

2. Yoga wear (particularly Lululemon) worn by... well, everyone

Yoga wear is pervasive in Vancouver. I've even seen people wearing yoga pants with dress shoes and shirts to work. Also people doing yoga classes on their lunch break. That's a thing here.

3. Quinoa and hemp hearts

Do YOU know what those are? We do. We even eat them. Click on the image above for a recipe that uses both if you're curious (and brave).

4. Not a single person saying "eh"

Whenever someone hears "Canada," they think "eh." Except Canadians. Because no one here actually says that.

5. Squirrels

They're like rats or cockroaches in other cities... they're all over the place here. Anywhere there's trees, there are squirrels. And some places there aren't.

6. Clouds of pot smoke

Seriously, everywhere. Particularly on April 20th - don't even bother going downtown if you don't want a contact high. There's literally a haze for about two blocks around the Art Gallery, where people gather to celebrate "Cannabis Freedom." No, I'm not kidding. Gotta love the west coast!

7. People biking to work

We've got a pretty fantastic infrastructure for biking in Vancouver - and they're constantly improving it. We even have a "bike route" along 10th Avenue that people use to commute from one side of town to the other. It's actually pretty awesome!

8. People talking casually about how they climbed a mountain on the weekend

There's this mountain in North Vancouver called Grouse Mountain. There's a path that you can climb to the top called the Grouse Grind, where you can take a gondola back down to your car. People do this, believe it or not, for fun. It's also, apparently, a great way for active single people to meet. Cos what you want is someone sweaty to fall for you. No, I don't get it either.

9. Mountain Equipment Co-Op

Started here, MEC has great quality outdoor gear for affordable prices, and has grown over the years. Everyone here owns at least one or two things from MEC. 

10. Umbrellas

Like I said, it rains A LOT. No one is silly enough to leave the house without an umbrella between September and June. (If you know where I can get one of those umbrellas, let me know, because I'd love to flip off the world in general whenever it's rainy. And sometimes when it isn't.)

11. Canucks

Even if you don't like or follow hockey, you'll recognize the jersey, know if we won or lost our last game and be aware of game night - if only because 90% of people on public transit are wearing jersesy and heading to the Stadium! And if you try to insult the 'Nucks here, that picture up there is pretty much the reaction you'll get.

12. Douglas Coupland

Douglas Coupland is a Vancouver gem. He's a writer who was born and raised in North Vancouver and has written several novels set here. You might have heard of Microserfs or JPod (which was made into a tragically short-lived TV series and I'm still bitter they didn't finish it). He also wrote a movie called Everything's Gone Green which is one of my favourites. But the main reason I bring him up is that he wrote a book about Vancouver that covers exactly what this post does - but in much more detail - called City of Glass. For my full review of the book go here. If you want the more general Canada version of this book, he's got that covered too - Souvenir of Canada and Souvenir of Canada II that are basically scrapbooks of Canadian culture - there was stuff in there even I didn't know!

Hometown Bonus:

And also, because it's one of my favourite songs, here's Adele singing about her hometown. So you can have a soundtrack while you read and/or post.

Now it's your turn! Give us the insider scoop on the town you call home!

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