I thought I’d finally post an update from me as I’ve been a bit of a miserable bastard until about a week ago, meaning I didn’t really feel like writing about what we had been doing. Fortunately Natalie has been keeping the blog up to date so it’s not all bad. I’ve bored people to death with the story of me biting my tongue whilst eating steak in London before we came to Canada, but I do feel like that is where all my problems over the last month came from. I spent the first 2 weeks in Vancouver not being able to eat properly, and barely being able to speak properly (what’s new) because I’d almost bitten my tongue off. This, I’m sure, is what led to my throat infection. I think a combination of the stress of moving and not being able to eat anything, followed by the initial issues we had with the apartment, completely screwed my body up. After the first 2 weeks of mouth pain I then had another week and a half of the throat infection, headaches, generally feeling like crap, and apparently more ulcers on my bloody tonsils! I didn’t even know you could get them there! Anyway, the antibiotics I was prescribed by the doctor (costing over $200 for the visit and the prescription!) eventually kicked in and on Thursday 11th March I finally had my first day in the Canada not feeling ill; only 23 days after we arrived. I really was beginning to think I was allergic to Canada!

Enough of the moaning! The last week has actually been very good. As I started to feel better Natalie and I were actually able to go out and enjoy ourselves. I also started my new job on Monday and after the first week I’m really happy with how everything is going. The people at the company are amazing and have been extremely welcoming. I’ve been able to ask loads of questions about life in Canada, rules of hockey I wasn’t sure about, and all sorts of other things that I’ve been pondering. Having not worked for over a month I found myself very tired in the evenings after the first few days from all the information I’d taken on board, but I think my brain is finally switched on again so I’m looking forward to the weeks ahead. I’m working as an Account Manager for a web agency called Domain7; the great thing is that the Vancouver office is only a 5 minute walk from work! We’ll be moving offices in the next couple of months but I believe the plan is to stay fairly close by, either Yaletown, Downtown, Gastown, or Railtown.

My 5 minute walk to work. Also showing the proximity to BC Place, where the Vancouver Whitecaps and BC Lions play, and Rogers Arena on the right where the Canucks play.

My 5 minute walk to work. Also showing the proximity to BC Place, where the Vancouver Whitecaps and BC Lions play, and Rogers Arena on the right where the Canucks play.

On Thursday I took a trip with some colleagues down to one of the other offices in Abbotsford, which is about an hour drive south east of Vancouver. It was nice to get out of the city and see somewhere different, and it made me even more excited about some of the trips away from Vancouver that Natalie and I are planning (Seattle being top of our list at the moment). I was particularly excited when I saw a road sign which said ‘USA Border’ on it. I guess for people who have grown up here it’s a normal sight, but the idea that we were so close to the US border was pretty cool. Some of my colleagues even said that they would sometimes pop in the US to post mail or buy groceries, because it’s so much cheaper. I didn’t see much of Abbotsford itself but it seemed nice enough. I’m definitely hoping I can get to visit the other two offices at some point in the future as they’re in Seattle and Washington, DC.

The route from the Cambie Street office in Vancouver to the office in Abbotsford; showing the proximity to the USA.

The route from the Cambie Street office in Vancouver to the office in Abbotsford; showing the proximity to the USA.

With my clean bill of health Natalie and I have been able to finally spend some time out of the apartment over the weekend. On Saturday we went to our first Major League Soccer (MLS) game at BC Place to watch the Vancouver Whitecaps take on Real Salt Lake. From our balcony we can see into BC Place, which meant before we even left we could see some of the players warming up on the big screen. BC Place itself was pretty cool, and with an attendance of nearly 20,000 I was looking forward to seeing what the atmosphere was like. I really don’t know how to describe the experience, other than saying that Natalie and I felt it was all a bit ‘forced’. There was only singing coming from one corner of the stadium, where the supporters group known as the Southsiders sit, but even they had people in front of them orchestrating when and what to chant, at least that’s what it looked like. Everyone around where we were sitting were for the most part, silent, other than some bloke that kept shouting ‘Whoooooooooa, you fat bastard’ when their keeper took a goal kick, although it didn’t have quite the same impact as some pissed up Chelsea fan would if he was saying it (the kind that have the Chelsea lion tattooed on their legs). The only chanting that the whole stadium got involved with was a rather dull one, where one side sing “White” and then the other half sing “Caps”; although it just sounded like the whole stadium was saying “white cats” over and over. Other fans around us seemed more interested in trying to start a Mexican wave than watching the game itself.

BC Place in the sunshine, with Science World in the distance

BC Place in the sunshine, with Science World in the distance

The game itself was pretty uneventful, although Real Salt Lake did score an awesome goal, which I actually clapped because it was so good. You can hear the “white cats” chant in the video below.

 

The Whitecaps equalised late in the game from the penalty spot after a hilarious handball by some muppet in the Real Salt Lake defence. All in all it was great to go and see the game, and when you’re only paying about £15-20 a ticket it’s an awesome way to spend a few hours on a Saturday afternoon, especially as it’s a 5 minute walk (if that) from our apartment. I’ve got a ticket to go and watch them play FC Dallas at the end of the month as well. Front row with the Southsiders!!!

The other thing that I found funny was that the Whitecaps have stolen Chelsea’s “Blue is the Colour”; a song performed by the Chelsea squad in 1972. Only the words are changed from “Blue is the colour, football is the game” to “White is the colour (racist), soccer is the game”.

My new Whitecaps tattoo (it's not real)

My new Whitecaps tattoo (it’s not real)

After the football we met up with a big group of people for some drinks out on the town. We started in Library Square, where we seem to spend most nights recently, before heading to Steamworks Brewery in Gastown, where I thought the lager they brewed was very nice indeed, so we’ll be going back there.

I woke up early today (8am) so I could catch the 4pm UK time kick off of Chelsea v Man City in the FA Cup semi final. Chelsea lost 2-1, Sergio Aguero is a dirty bastard, Chelsea should have had a penalty, Chris Foy (the referee) is a dick, and I hope Wigan win the FA Cup. That’s all I have to say about it.

So in summary, I’m feeling better, work is good, and things are looking up for our future in Vancouver!