What’s with the dangling shoes anyway?!

Dangling Shoes Alley
I don’t mind the dangling shoes, but having a family of running shoes as a neighbor, does seem a bit ridiculous, though. :s

My travel credentials are nothing to rave about yet, so I don’t know if it’s more common than I think, but in my limited experience, I don’t recall seeing this “phenomenon” as plainly as in Vancouver. What’s with the dangling shoes anyway?! Is it just immature silliness or is there some urban legend behind it?

Whatever it is, you can barely walk a couple of blocks without spotting these “decorations” hanging from the electric lines. Sometimes they give me a good laugh: the best one was when I was biking to work and spotted not the usual running shoes, but ski boots hanging from the electric lines at the corner of Union St. and Jackson Ave! lol  It’s a shame I didn’t have my camera with me to snap this most unusual sight, then.

Oh well, dangling shoes are part of the scenery here. Vancouver still manages to get rated among the most beautiful cities in the world even with them. So, no worries, really. They’re just odd enough in this author’s eyes to entice him to write an article about them. :)

MOTHER NATURE’S FIERY WORKS

(Hey, good to be back here… My life is just soooo busy — not much time left for blogging in the end, sorry)

It was South Africa’s turn to light up the Vancouver sky in this year’s edition of the Celebration of Light, but as dark clouds came rolling in and the rain started pouring, our group retreated indoors to one of my friends’ place. As we got there, the rain had stopped, but not without doing some damage: the power was out.

We couldn’t do much without electricity, but thankfully, Mother Nature was there to give us a treat we don’t get to see very often in the area: the “orangest” sunset I have ever seen and some thunder and lightning. My first lightning shoot was a hoot and I can’t wait for the next opportunity to come. :)

Unusual Sunset
What an amazing sunset!

Lightning #1
Lightning at sunset

Lightning #2
Lightning over Downtown Vancouver

Lightning #3
Lightning strikes

P.S.: The fireworks were apparently unhampered by the weather and South Africa still got the chance to show its stuff.

ADV’N’TURES IN PUBLIC TRANSIT

Coming back from an enjoyable evening with friends late last night, my wife and I managed to catch what probably was the last SkyTrain doing the VCC-Clark/Waterfront route.  We thought we were good to go for a one way ride to Downtown, but as we reached the Columbia station, the SkyTrain stopped (as planned, apparently) and we had to switch over to the N19 bus for what was to become an unexpectedly eventful one hour ride home.

1) Just 10 minutes or so into the drive, a man at the back of the bus was offended — no “outraged!” — by the new commuter whose pants were so loose that his briefs were showing.  “You’re a disgrace!”, the angry man yelled — among other things… — as the other sat down in the corner seat at the back of the bus.  Still not satisfied, the pissed off guy got up and continued shouting inches from the young man’s face.  It looked as though the angry man was intent on picking a fight, but the other guy asked “What did I ever do to you?”  The one-way shouting match continued and, not being used to this kind of scene myself, I started worrying about what might happen.  You know…  Those reports about violence around SkyTrain stations and so on seem to come up a little too often in the papers…  Am I going to witness such an event myself tonight?  Actually, looking at the other passengers, it didn’t appear this was going to be the case.  They looked unimpressed by the ordeal and everyone including the driver just asked everyone to calm down. The angry man finally left in a fury, yelling and swearing one last time to the unshaken “victim” as he walked out.  Now that the incident was over, most people seemed amused by the whole thing.

2) We’re about halfway through now and the man in front of me seems to be deep asleep. He’s tilting more and more towards the empty space in the center of the bus.  I figure he will eventually feel, somehow, that he’s on the verge of falling over.  Nope…  He slowly hit the floor headfirst as he fell sideways like a statue.  Flat on the floor now, his sleep seemed undisturbed…  A couple of guys checked on him to see if he had passed out and, barely opening his eyes, it looked like he was “ok” enough; other than that, he was not moving.  The bus driver got up and tried to wake him up for good.  As he finally got a good look at his face, he said: “Oh! It’s you!…  I know you!” and he even told me in a low tone that this guy was a “regular.” lol  Try as he might, the driver could not get the guy to go back to his seat.  He finally gave up and said “Fine!  Stay there!”  and kept on driving.  Every now and then people had to step over him to get to the back seats.  Some people took pictures of the scene, a girl even posing with him while he slept. lol  There was nothing threatening about this guy, but it sure was unusual.

3) Finally, just a few bus stops before the end of the ride, out of nowhere a woman started shouting repeatedly “What do I owe all of you?!!!  What do I owe all of you?!!!”  She left a moment later and things were back to “normal” — well, as normal as this bus ride ever was.  I have no idea what brought her reaction about…

Last stop — it’s about time!!! I’ve had enough entertainment for the evening, thank you very much…  Two transit police/security agents were waiting, all smiles, as their sleeping “friend” was ready for pick up.

Judging from the looks on most people’s faces, it seems like this was just another late night bus ride in Vancouver.  But for an “N” bus newbie, I thought this was quite a show (we’re boring… We don’t do the clubbing scene, party all night, get drunk and take the last transit home thing)!  When I lived in Montreal, I would often come back on the late late bus after checking live bands downtown and never did I witness anything like this!  It was like we hit the jackpot last night — or did we?!  

I’m curious/apprehensive as to what the next “N” bus experience will be like… :s