Finally sorted out a new laptop, so here is my first blog post from Canada!
It has been a very hectic week, as you can imagine. The flight wasn't as gruelling as I originally thought it would be, and the other BUNAC travellers were very friendly, but the in-flight entertainment was a bit rubbish. The movies themselves weren't that bad (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and Sneakers), but the problem was that the screens were shared, and I was quite far away from mine. Anyway, after 10 hours, and a few questionable airline meals later, we arrived in Vancouver.
From the airport we made our way to the hostel in Downtown Vancouver, and got settled. Seeing as it was only early afternoon a group of us went out into Vancouver and wandered down to the waterfront. All the way down the street, and then more clearly when we reached the end could be seen the mountains to the north. A very strange sight when you are used to the London backdrop. We stopped at a bar and had a drink (had to be done), where we came upon a very nice dog who just wanted to play frisbee, and it really didn't care who threw it, anybody who came near was fair game. That evening we all went out for a meal, but it took forever to find a place that everyone wanted to eat at (there were 11 of us).
Sleeping over the week has been a bit off, the jet lag has almost gone now, but I'm still finding that I'm waking up way too early. On the first night I woke up at 3 (understandable I guess seeing as we went to bed at a little after 8).
Day 2 was orientation, which involved going to a presentation at the SWAP offices (SWAP being Canada's equivalent to BUNAC). Here they told us about how things work in Canada (like their culture of tipping for everything), and applying for a social security number etc. After the presentation I tried to use their computers, but they are either ancient or dying, so I couldn't do much more than check for jobs and accommodation. A smaller group of us went out for steak meal that evening at a place called "The Keg". The service was excellent, and it's the first time I've had a steak where I didn't have to eat around huge amounts of fat and bone.
Since then it has been a lot of wandering around Vancouver, handing out my résumé to various places and sorting out somewhere to live. I could have stayed at the hostel for longer, but it wasn't fun sharing a room with 3 complete strangers, especially when one snored like a freight train, and threw up on my bag one night. So I was glad to move out, and into a shared rented house in West Vancouver. The place is in a particularly pleasant area, and for the price is very reasonable.
So far Vancouver has been great. The people are friendly and the views are amazing. Now back to sorting out some money to check out the rest of this beautiful country!