Coming Home July 15, 2010

I started on my return trip from Vancouver, BC (shown in these photos from near my son’s apartment) by Greyhound to Bellingham, Wa, where Allegiant Airlines flies “cheaply” to Mesa, Az, only on Sunday, Tuesday, or Thursday, as low as $58.88.   (Wow, I just checked on flight prices to see if there were any lower, and in July and August they range from $99.99 to $339.99!) 

That starting price, of course, does not include taxes or fees.  One is charged for the seat (the cheapest, over a wing, was $11.88), and a convenience fee of $14.99 for booking online.  (The same for booking by phone.  The only way of beating that cost is buying the ticket at the airport.)  So after segment fees (?!), PFC (?), and 911 security (?!), the cost was still under $100 for me, but not by much.

I returned home to rest.  The last three days of my visit to Vancouver my son and I painted a few rooms of his apartment.  (At his request I bought him paint for his birthday, but after I encouraged him to ask his landlady for reimbursement, and she saw what a good job we’d done, she reimbursed him and he bought an electric guitar.)  Masking and cutting at ceiling level is hard on the shoulder and neck muscles, particularly if you’re short, there is no ladder, and you’re standing on a dining room chair.

The first day white in the bath and entry.  The second day light green over a bright yellow in the living/ dining room, plus another coat of semi-gloss white, which hadn’t covered the light blue bathroom and tan hall very well.  The third day tan over maroon on two of the living room walls, and a bit more white touch up.  The most fun was taking off the masking tape.

My visit had consisted of three days of World Cup Soccer parties, three days of sightseeing (Botanical Gardens, Museum of Anthropology, Aquarium), and three days of painting.  Then I plotzed (Slang:  to collapse or faint, as from … exhaustion).

It seems a bit belated to be discussing World Cup Soccer, but the parties were fun.  My son is very into soccer, on two teams, and coaching a woman’s team.  During all of the games he could name most of the players on both teams by their positions.  He even knew some ages, and other details.

The first party for the Netherlands v. Uruguay was hosted by a woman on his soccer team and her husband, who is Dutch.   We all had to wear orange.  (I borrowed an orange shirt).  Couldn’t wear blue.  (I wore chinos instead of bluejeans.)    Everyone in orange shirts.  An orange felt peaked hat on one guy, an orange felt king’s crown on another, on a six-year-old boy a lion hat with an orange mane.  (Should have taken my camera!)  Most of the party-goers were taking long lunch breaks from work.  BBQ’ed hot dogs and salads during half time, in the small back yard. 

Cape Town’s Greenpoint Stadium was impressive.

Amazing game.  The Dutch beat Uruguay 3-2.

It was all about Arjen Robben.  When the Dutch got a goal there would be yelling and screaming and one of the guys had a horn which was a plastic, somewhat smaller vuvuzela, but still incredibly loud.

Traditionally made and inspired from a kudu horn, the vuvuzela was used to summon distant villagers to attend community gatherings.  The vuvuzela is most used at soccer matches in South Africa, and it has become a symbol of South African soccer as the stadiums are filled with its loud and raucous sound that reflects the exhilaration of supporters.

They were picking on the hair of the Uruguayans, probably because most of the Dutch were prematurely bald.  But I did get a kick out of the BBC announcer talking about Diego Forlan’s “sexy stare”.

The second game we watched was Germany v. Spain, but my son and his friends were sorry that Spain won, as Germany v. Netherlands in the final would have been a “grudge match”.  

 Durban, South Africa’s  Moses Mabeda Stadium was also architecturally marvelous.   The vuvuzelas were ever present, as if the stadium were full of giant bees.

The last World Cup party was Spain v. the Netherlands at the house of another soccer friend, and was attended by a few on the team (one Dutch), with girlfriends or spouses.  We all wore orange shirts again.  The Dutch guy also had on an orange hat, his wife wore anorange dress, and their one-year-old was attired totally in orange (an outfit that his mother had whipped up for him).  Pancakes and bacon for breakfast during halftime, as it was Sunday and everyone had been sleeping off last night’s drunk.

 The stadium in Johannesburg was also interesting.  But the game ended in overtime with Spain’s Andres Iniesta kicking in the only goal. 

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;

The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,

And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;

But there was no joy in Kitstown, mighty Robben had kicked it out.

(Apology to Ernest Lawrence Thayer, Casey at the Bat)

(Kitsilano, or Kitstown, is the area of Vancouver where my son and many of his friends live.  We walked to the parties, what seemed like two miles to the first, only two blocks to the last.)

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4 Responses to “Coming Home July 15, 2010”

  1. LYN KAGEY Says:

    Not ignoring you. Just enjoying your posts. Keep em coming!

  2. Lynn Shore Says:

    Sorry I havn’t written any comments, but have so enjoyed reading about your travels and adventures. I had total left hip replacement surgery on June 2. So I have not been doing much emailing and so forth, just a lot of exercising, and otherwise rehabing.

    • notesfromthewest Says:

      Lynn- So sorry to hear of your surgery. A friend here in Tucson had a hip done when I was in SC, and she’ll now walking (fast) and swimming. I am about to leave for a foot doc appt. About 8 years ago I had surgery on my rt bunion and swore I’d never have the left done bcause of the pain. But… the left has gotten bad enough to have it done. So I’ll be in bed for (I don’t remember how long) maybe a week, but on cruches for about 2 months. Q – When I answer a comment of your from Notes from the West, do you get an email telling you that I answered it? (‘Cause I get an email whenever somebody comments.) I did post the marshmallow recipe. Tell me how it works… Lynne

  3. Jim Says:

    I hope your wildlife got along fine while you were gone.

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