Road Trip II Day 3

One good thing about visiting Dave’s friends in Kamloops is that they gave us some ideas about what to do in Vancouver. I’m pretty glad we asked them because we otherwise would not have done what we did. Anyway, Tuesday morning we left for Vancouver.

We did have to turn back, as we had inadvertantly left behind some fairly important documents. Actually, we had left it on the car as we left, so it had flown off. Fortunately, we found everything in the parking lot of the hotel so no damage. If you’re keeping score, on both road trips we were stopped by police and left something important somewhere. But last time was much worse – we actually got a ticket, and never found what we lost. So, we’re making progress.

Before we left the second time, we stopped by McDonald’s. As you may or may not know, I’m all about experiencing things in other places that you can’t do at home. I inquired at many places in East Asia about the availability of dog (it was out of season). Anyway, at this McDonald’s I saw a breakfast item I had never seen in the States: a BLT Bagel. So I got it. It was quite good, actually. It just didn’t feel like breakfast food.

On the way back we listened to more Os Guinness. We also found this great thing: a praise radio station. Is there something like this in the Bay Area? I think they have something in L.A. Anyway, that’s awesome. Bob Fitts was on once, Paul Baloche, the Passion band, and others. I dunno, that’s what I’d listen to all the time if they had that here.

When we got back to Vancouver we went to some world famous suspension bridge. I dunno if others noticed, but there were a lot of “world famous” things on our trip. What the heck does that mean? That someone in the world knows about it? I dunno, it’s way too overused, and a lot of the time it’s used for things that kind of have a complex about not being too famous. I just think if something is really world famous, you don’t need to say it. Like, you don’t need to talk about the World Famous Great Wall Of China.

I don’t think I fully understand tourism. Like, what makes something a tourist attraction. Certain things I understand. Like nature type places like Mt. Rainier. Or impressive places like the Space Needle. Or entertaining places like the Experience Music Project. But other things I don’t understand. Like, if you look in the hotel guides, they always mention places to shop. I don’t get that. It’s like if you build a bunch of shopping centers, it becomes a tourist attraction. But you can do that at home. So it just seems random to me. Anyway.

The suspension bridge was pretty cool, but still a little random to me. Why is this such a huge tourist draw? There were tons of people there on a Tuesday afternoon. I was pretty shocked. It’s just like, someone decided this is a tourist attraction, so they printed it in all the guide books, and now all these random Asians come across the world to see it. I dunno, a little random.

But it was pretty nice, especially getting to be outdoors. We did a lot of outdoor stuff on this trip and I was glad for that. Like the next place we went to, Grouse Mountain (sp?). It’s this mountain I think north of the city. You go up on a gondola. It has great views of the city and was just a nice place to walk around and stuff.

That night I think was the highlight of the trip for me. I had fun at literally every single thing we did, but this night I really enjoyed. Anyway, we went to Richmond, this city near Vancouver where our hotel was. Richmond is this super super Asian place. I don’t know how to describe it. But it’s insanely Asian. It was interesting – the hotel we stayed at didn’t have a 13th floor, like a lot of hotels. But it also didn’t number any floor that contained the number 4, presumably because 4 is an unlucky number in Chinese. So there was no 4th or 14th floor. I dunno, I thought that was interesting.

So we checked in and went out to cruise Richmond. The greatest thing about Richmond was that everything was open really really late. We left the hotel pretty late, I think it was 9 or something, but finding a place that was still open for dinner wasn’t a problem at all. We ended up going to a random sushi restaurant. This restaurant was awesome. First of all, the sushi was pretty good. Very good, actually – I was pretty impressed. Second, it was relatively cheap, especially with the exchange rate. Third, they had this thing that was cool – they had the floating boats like sushi bars in the U.S., but they floated past booths, not a bar, so you could sit in a booth but still pick and choose. Also, each dish on the boat had a plastic cover. That’s a great thing.

The greatest thing was, this place was open until 2 AM. Incredible. Seriously, I would have been happy if we ate every other meal in Richmond at this place, including a late night snack. How can a sushi place this good be open until 2 AM? That was Richmond.

Everything was open late. Maybe it’s just because I’m a night person, but I loved that. I’m talking insane hours. Like, one bubble tea place we went to was open until 3 AM. On weekdays. On weekends, it was open until 4 AM. What kind of town is this, where you need that extra hour until 4 AM on weekends? It’s crazy. But everything was like that. Open forever. Except, strangely enough, the Safeway. Which closed at like 10? 7? Something early. Explain that to me.

But yeah, I absolutely loved how everything was open late. To me that’s a dream come true.

I had done some research on DDR and related type games in the Vancouver area and found that some good ones were in Richmond, so after that late dinner we went to find a couple of the ones I had found info on. Like everything, they were open late.

The arcades in Richmond were awesome. They had a bunch of music games that I have never or rarely seen before, like Drum Mania, Keyboard Mania, Punch Mania, and this Korean game Dave likes called Ez2Dancer which involves both hands (like Para Para Paradise) and feet (like DDR). Just 2 hand sensors and 3 feet sensors, but still insane. As he mentioned, Dave has become one of those people I ridicule, the ones who actually do dance moves while playing. But whatever, he was having fun and that’s really all that matters.

One cool thing about the second arcade we went to was they had the drum, keyboard, and guitar games linked, so we could all play together. We played a few times with Henry on keyboard, me on drums, and Dave on guitar. Really really fun. Why they don’t have that here, I don’t know. But seriously, it was just a lot of fun.

I love the drum and keyboard games. I dunno, they’re just a lot of fun to me, hard to say why. I seriously had a great time. I just found out they got the drum game at Sunnyvale Golfland so I’ll probably visit once in a while – it’s really a lot of fun.

Here’s one other really cool thing that Dave mentioned: in addition to having these great games, both of the arcades we went to served bubble tea. That is the best idea ever. I know I’m sounding like a loser now, but whatever, I am a loser. But I was giddy like a kid in a candy store. I didn’t ever want to leave.

But we did. Andrew wanted to cruise more of the town so we joined him, where we found those late night bubble tea places. I’ve only been to Korea once 6 years ago so I don’t know if it’s changed, but they reminded me of Korean coffee shops – filled with sketchy Asians and lots of smoke. But yeah, I loved it.

So it’s pretty sad that I loved the arcades so much. But it wasn’t just that, it was the concept of Richmond. Arcades with great games open late, tons of restaurants open later, and tons of bubble tea shops open later than that. My kind of town. I dunno, I kind of want to live there.

If it weren’t for it being so Asian. Of course, this is a reason I like the town so much. I dunno. This whole Asian American thing is a big conundrum. Henry feels more strongly about this than I do, but I kind of want to raise my kids in an area where there are not too many Asians. I just think they turn out better that way in a lot of different ways.

Partly what it is is that they’re forced to learn to deal with white people and that’s good. And also, you might disagree with this, but I dunno, I just think that when there are fewer Asians, Asian kids tend to do better in terms of academic achievement. It’s just how I feel. Maybe it’s just particular to my experience, though, and not true in general.

The other thing is this, they just turn out nicer and better when there aren’t too many other Asians around. When you get too many Asians, what happens is they start to form their own little subculture. And they all dress the same, talk the same, are totally into superficial Asian things like music or whatever. And these subcultures are so sufficient that they have problems engaging the general culture. The worse thing is, they become a bunch of punks.

I’m obviously overgeneralizing, but I don’t know. I look at my generation, where there weren’t a lot of Asians around, and generally, we were just good kids. Dunno if that makes sense. But I look at a few years below me, which honesty is a completely different generation, and so many of them are punks. It just worries me, is all. And that happens when you get too many Asians. So yeah, I don’t want to raise my kids in too Asian a place. It worries me.

The problem is this. Everywhere is becoming more Asian. It’s inescapable. Just think of a place you might want to live, and it’s becoming more Asian, so by the time you’re raising kids, it will be Asian, especially in the good school districts, to which Asians flock. I’ve been reading all the 2000 census reports, and seriously any place you’d think might be a good place to raise kids, it’s becoming more Asian. I was most shocked when, as I’ve mentioned before, I found that Houston is 10% Asian. Houston. That’s insane. So yeah, if you would want to live there, and want to live an area that has schools, you can bet that it’s getting more Asian, so it’s unavoidable.

Anyway, yeah, it’s happening so you just have to deal with it. Asians are taking over. And they’re taking over the Christian world especially. Who was it that said this? I think it was Dave, but maybe not. But yeah, everyone knows that Asians have taken over Christian fellowships in American universities. I think Dave was saying how this is going to happen to churches in general also.

I agree. I think someone was saying how a lot of Asians go to Redeemer. Some friends of mine recently visited the Redeemer church plant that meets at Hyatt Rickey’s in Palo Alto, and they were shocked at how Asian the congregation there was. They had a list of people and there were lots of Lees, Kims, etc. It bothered them, because they kind of wanted to experience a non-Asian church. But I don’t know, I think that might get harder and harder to find as time progresses. Asians are just taking over.

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