Feb 17th, 2010 Olympics, Cultural Olympiad

Usually this website is about dyslexia and hyperlexia.  This is a diversion – report on my 2010 Olympic trip – to Vancouver.  Day eight, Feb 17th, last day.

I am sitting at the airport, gone through security – more thorough these days – had to open my computer and turn it on.  That hasn’t happened for a cat’s age. And I have gone through customs. No line. Now I have my Starbucks cup of chai tea and a muffin from Mum’s on Denman and am sitting at a long counter with huge windows in front of me giving me a spectacular view of the Coast Range Mountain.  Tucked behind them is snow-capped Whistler. It’s a beautiful twilight. Word has it that this coming week there will be sunny weather.  I am so glad for all the visitors – they need a break from rain. 

Guess what, I lost my umbrella yesterday!   

Riding on the subway to the airport I sat next to a woman coming to meet her brother coming for the Olympics.  One thing led to another and we ended up on the topic of security. She commented: I worked at Expo 67 in Montreal – we had none of this intense security.   Well, said I. So did I work there and we were off and running on many topics.  She worked in the office at Ile de Cite – sp?  And of course, had a great time.  This caused me to share with her an ah ha I had yesterday.  One of the reasons these Olympics seem so much fun for me comes in part from the fact that I was never a “tourist” at Expo 67 or 86.  I was too busy working and occasionally dashing to see a Pavilion when I could squeeze it in.  Now, I have the privilege of seeing the results of so many other people’s hard labor.  They have done a fabulous job. 

By the way, I meant to tell you about Jap a Dog.  The other day on the bus I passed a hot dog stand with a line that was a block long.  Four people were feverously selling hot dogs.  The bus moved on.  A few blocks later I saw the same thing and it was then that I grabbed the name. Jap a Dog.  This street side concession is very popular in VCR.  And, not all the patrons were Asian.    Wonder if this is anywhere else?  

I did have one disappointment today. I wanted to buy a pair of the Olympic mittens – they are bright red and adorable.  It turns out that Vannoc gave the concession to two large retailers:  Zellers and Hudson’s Bay.  There’s no Zeller’s downtown so I high tailed it to the Bay.  Can you believe there was a line that would take me and hour and half to go through to buy a pair of mittens?   You are right, I didn’t do it.  Isn’t odd that Vannoc didn’t want their merchandize sold all over the City!!!!

I was on my way to have lunch with Rae Ackerman – a former Expo 67 colleague who now manages all the Civic Theatres.  I was early so I jumped into a bar to see what sport was happening and to be viewed on a big screen. Women’s down hill.  Oh my God, did you watch?   They go at a speed that’s terrifying.  But with the sun out and the blue and green mountains in the background juxtaposed again the white snow with those strange watery blue lines to give the skier a sense of where she is and then the skier in her outfit – the sheer beauty of it all took over. I sat with two guys who kept their eye on the stop watch –  Hey, one would say – she’s losing time or  look at that, she’s under.   And, then together the three of us would hoop and holler. 

Hey, Mam, won’t you have a beer. 

Sorry, no.  I am going to a meeting at noon.

Oh, Okay.

And, soon I left them.  They were good company.

 Rae bought me lunch – delicious ribs and stuffed potato.  I cleaned my plate.  There is something about the Olympics.  I eat and don’t seem to gain.  I like that.

I did go back to the Ontario Pavilion – had heard the film was worth seeing.  Well, it was okay – would give it a six.  It’s 4-D.  If you haven’t seen a 4-D film yes, go. Otherwise, it’s a pass.  There is a half- hour line.  I was glad, however, to go back by GM Place area– for the crowds were energized – half of them were exiting after a hockey game (Finland versus Belarus).  You probably know Finland won.  And, then half the crowd was just about to enter for the next hockey game.  It’s that kind of energy that is fun to be around.

 And, then it was time to get back to Katherine’s, grab my luggage and head for the airport. 

My plane is now loading.  So, let me say, thanks for listening – you’ve been a great audience.  It’s enriching to record my experience and share it

PS.  Those of you in Vancouver or coming:  don’t forget the short train ride from the Athletes Village to Granville Island.  It’s fun.

1 Comment

  1. Marilyn Mercur on February 20, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Brava, Ann! As usual, your enthusiasm and unbounded energy come through in SPADES in your Olympic posts! And I WOULD like to get together to see your photos one of these days. Maybe after I’m back from my Danube cruise and have photos of my own to share! Cheers!!!

Leave a Comment