They say Vancouver hasn’t had a white Christmas since 1964. In the past week it has snowed 2 feet, reached -15 degrees, and nearly destroyed all that the transit system has to offer. The SkyTrain has been running with ‘minor delays due to electrical problems,’ where we don’t see one go by for 30 minutes, then when it does, it’s full and frequently stops where it shouldn’t without warning. I’ve seen more busses pulled over to the side of the road empty and stuck in the snow, than snow plows. After 3 days, my leather boots were completely soaked through, and putting them in front of our heater stuffed with newspaper doesn’t really do anything.
It’s been a bit of a downer these last few days. For me, pre-Christmas is the most fun. Making gifts for friends, getting the time with friends that you didn’t have before due to semesters ending, feeling festive… Then, about a week before Christmas happens and everyone leaves to visit family, and you’re stuck in the city, working 2 jobs having no time for anything but keeping the eye on the prize. My prize is somehow making rent money for this month. Sad, I know.
The original plan for Christmas was that my parents were going to come down to Vancouver and we were going to get together with some other family that live in the city and have dinner. I figured, what a good idea! I’ll get two jobs so I can live then only take Christmas Day, since I won’t be needing travel time to get up to Pemberton. About a week before Christmas my parents say that they changed their minds and aren’t coming anymore, leaving me stranded in the city, awkwardly refusing the invites from awkward family members to go to their houses for dinner. Thanks guys, but I would rather not deal with your intense personalities and hope to be able to travel via SkyTrain to and from your houses in Surrey and New Westminster.
But, my Christmas wasn’t that bad. I guess. I hung out with a friend who was also not going home, smoked too much pot and ate too many sour keys. The next day her dad and I went to her house and she cooked up a storm while we awkwardly sat watching movies with her awkward roommates. My friend isn’t too great at hosting, I found. After dinner we walked back my direction, and I said my goodbyes (not without awkwardness) and went home.
However, my parents did manage to get down to the city yesterday, and my dad’s side of the family managed to get together again (surprisingly the second time in one month!) and go out for the tradition of Chinese food. The restaurant was somewhere we’d never been before and it was really great! My cousin, Trevor, that now lives in Bejing with his wife was there, and he ordered everything in Cantonese for us! The food was very impressive, nothing you would see at a tacky Western Chinese food joint. It was really nice to see everyone again, and afterwards my parents and I headed back to my house.
Major Turning Point/Storytime:
When my dad and Lorraine were driving here from Pemberton, the battery light in my dad’s truck wouldn’t turn off. Like anyone, he looked at it and said,’Hmm that’s interesting… I’ll have to get that checked out sometime soon,’ not thinking that he’d have to deal with it that day. When we got out of the restaurant, the truck wouldn’t start at all. Luckily, my uncle was around so we got a jump from him, and away we went, with worried faces. About 2 km down the road, we start losing power. The headlights are growing dim, the radio won’t play, the power windows won’t go down. Slowly we end up with no lights, and a flicker of hope that we’ll make it to some destination my dad has to pull over, me sitting in the middle freaking out because there are no windshield wipers, the windows are fogging up and it’s pissing rain outside.
We managed to pull off of the main highway just as the power steering gave out and the truck started slowing down, then dad yells,’ Everybody get out and start pushing!’ Just picture 3 people dressed up like they’re going out for dinner trying to push a 3/4 ton diesel truck with all of their might in the pouring rain. We called about 4 different tow truck companies, all busy with other calls because of the weather conditions, and Lorraine’s sister, Linda, on her way to pick us up. Linda showed before a tow truck did, so Dad stayed with the truck while Lorraine and I left with the dogs and a bunch of stuff they needed.
I ended up asking for a ride to the SkyTrain, rather than dealing with the commute during rush hour, and Linda’s craziness. I was soaked, tired and annoyed that the train wasn’t coming, then when it finally did, it took me almost an hour and a half to get to Commercial Drive (it usually takes 25 minutes or so).
My boss asked me to take the day off today on Friday because he overscheduled, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to accept, but I finally did this morning when I woke up around 8 and called them. Instead, I went shopping with the roommate for a coat, and succeeded! I’ve been looking for a coat for the past 2 years and finally found one!
I guess Christmas isn’t all that bad. I didn’t get exactly what I was hoping for, but my gift turned out to be great!