This weekend I did some things I’ve never done before. Usually, I don’t like to do things by myself. I mean I’ll go run errands or sit and read at Starbucks, but I don’t intentionally go hang out somewhere by myself. On Saturday, Brian had a game downtown, and, being the responsible player that he is, arrived an hour early. That meant that I had at least an hour to kill by myself before the action began. So, I set out and explored a bit on my own. 🙂
I rarely venture far from wherever Brian’s games are because there isn’t quite enough time to do something and be back in time for kick-off. But on Saturday I found myself wandering through Chinatown, trying to find a bite to eat that wasn’t won ton, sushi, duck, or some other Asian dish. (No, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Asian food, I just wanted a light meal like a sandwich.) As I wandered, I realized I was being stared at as much as I was staring at everything else. I even wore a hat to cover my bleach-blond hair, but still, I stood out. But I didn’t mind. After about 20 minutes of meandering, I pulled out my trusty new HTC Desire and Google mapped my location to find an appropriate restaurant. Not far from the field (but still in Chinatown) I found everything cafe. I figured my chances were 50/50 of it serving ‘white people food’ but wouldn’t have been surprised if it was another Asian eatery. As I fell in stride behind another white couple, I realized they were headed there as well and as soon as I stepped in I was transported into hipster-town. It was great. 🙂 A lively French couple were having a loud debate at the table by the door about something to do with an art sculpture and it’s location (apparently it was not where they wanted it). A hipster family and their small girl were occupying the far booth. The proprietor was friendly and called me sweetie, offering me the biggest turkey sandwich. It was then that I decided to do something else I’d never done before, I asked for the sandwich ‘for here’ and ate at a table by myself. I didn’t rush through it, but rather I pulled out my Kindle and read a bit while also doing a fair bit of people-watching. I wish you could have seen all the corduroy, plaid, ironic facial hair, tight jeans, vintage bags, and cigarettes. I also wish I could have gotten to know some of them. I feel like hipsters have interesting stories to tell. Like, when did they realize they were a hipster? Was it a slow dimming of a light? Or was there one event that they can point to on the time line of their life, such as a hipster-camp that they went to?
But then, everyone has a story. That is what Volker and I discussed. Volker was German gentleman I met while photographing Brian’s game. He noticed my camera and we got to talking. He had a tray around his neck (like the vendors with popcorn who walk through the baseball/football stadiums) with flipbooks of photographs that he had taken and bound. I was quite impressed. We discussed his art, traded business cards, discussed Fußball and the bundesliga (I only know that word because Brian plays Fifa 11 like it’s his job and to get me to participate with him asks me to pick a team for him to be. I like to say the word bundesliga so that’s usually my contribution to his video gaming. The bundesliga is a league, though, so to narrow it down to one specific team, I like to rely on colors.) By the end of the game, Volker and I had talked for about 40 minutes and I know I don’t really know him (this is one of those time’s English isn’t my language of choice; I would have chosen more specific words for “know”. For instance, in Spanish, I would have used saber and then conocer…) but I was proud of him. He was asked to come to Vancouver as part of PuSh, an international performing arts festival, to display and discuss his artwork. He’s missing his daughter’s 4th birthday to be here. But his English was impressive and his artwork was so creative and I know it took a lot of work. You can check out his website here: www.daumenkinographie.de/
I was also proud of myself. I had a good time! I’m pretty fun when I’m not being a scaredy cat. 😉