Biding Some Time

by Rachel Gertz

Brrr. It’s chilly here. Not ‘four centimetres of snow, like in Calgary’ chilly, but the wind is biting cold and it gnaws at your bones for hours after you’ve come inside. So we crank the heat and sit in the RV. The last couple of days have been a walk on a treadmill; finding our pace, getting adrenaline pumping about crossing the border, and exploring our tandem coordination on Isabella, our scooter. I wouldn’t say we’ve been holed up here, but man, when it’s pissing rain, it’s pretty tough to go enjoy a picnic by the ocean.

On Saturday we checked out a hacker event. For all those unfamiliar with the hacker culture, this is basically an event where a number of smart people get together and hack into things (security, programs, software, hardware) in an attempt to recreate something new and better, or sometimes just to have a bit of fun and pass the time. When we arrived, there were seven guys and one gal engaged in various activities such as eating Subway, listening to rap, and attempting to download Windows 7 (which is apparently quite a feat). Not exactly sure what was hacked that day, but we appreciate the invite.

We wandered through Gastown, named after a gassy seaman, Jack Deighton, opened his first saloon in 1867. What a quirky area: micro breweries filled with rare beers, (thank you, Dave Shea, for the Alibi experience), dusty book stores piled high with almanacs from 1914 (I purchased a copy of Where the Wild Things Are for $6), and a sewing/costume shop with literally hundreds of people lined up outside waiting to Halloween shop. I have never seen so many zippers in all my life.

We’ll be here till Wednesday and then its time to pull up our socks and head to the border. Gotta charm those border patrol officers so they let us in.

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