I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Saturday, July 6, 2019

The Victoria news

I made it to Vancouver without any mechanical breakdowns or conflagrations, and my hotel was only three blocks from where the ferry bus dropped us off, so getting here was blessedly painless.

The Canadian Rockies tour I'm taking doesn't begin until Monday, and we leave Vancouver early Tuesday morning, so I wanted to have a few nights here first to see the city. It's gray and drizzly and all I've seen so far are some typical big city streets of stores and office buildings, with some cloudy mountains glowering in the distance. It's supposed to rain all day tomorrow, so I may not see much more then, but if I'm forced to spend an afternoon in my hotel room going through pictures from Victoria, I probably won't mind that much.

I've been lucky enough to stay at some very nice hotels, but I have never seen anything quite like the bathtub taking up an entire corner of my hotel room here. I also have a balcony. And a bar. Not a minibar, but an actual bar, complete with barstools. And while I was typing this, someone knocked at my door and delivered bottled water and warm cookies. Which I haven't eaten yet, because I'm full from the box of chocolates that was waiting for me.

Before I fall into a chocolate coma I do want to write a little bit more about Victoria. One of the great pleasures of being there was the local newspaper (the Victoria Times Colonist) which I read over breakfast every morning. I haven't quite managed to ignore the U.S. news entirely, but having the Times Colonist there made it much easier.

For example, the two headlines on the front page this morning were Orcas return after 8-week no-show and Intruders found living in Saanich RVs; two arrested.
Police responding to a call from the family arrived and found the camper door shut. When they tried to open it, it was being held closed. Police said the man inside eventually opened the door, likely persuaded by the barking of police dog Hitch.
Well done, Hitch! I realize that this incident was probably very scary for the family involved, but after years of non-stop crimes and catastrophes in the American media, a story where everything ends peaceably and the dog involved actually gets credit seems downright charming, and a reminder that there are still sane places in this world.

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