Road Trip II Day 4

The reason we talked about calling so much was, well, mostly because of John. But I think it was something deeper than that. I don’t know, to me the road trip was a wee bit sad because it marked the end of me, John and Henry’s time together. I dunno, it’s sad.

Maybe it’s just me, but I had a sense that we were all headed toward something which is why this calling thing came up. Dunno if we have a calling or whatever. But each of us is definitely headed towards some new direction. Henry towards marriage, home, and a new job, Andrew towards New York and tax law, John towards Texas and medicine, Dave to home and then to wherever new he wants to go. I dunno, maybe that’s why John was so concerned with calling. Because our lives are all being directed to new things.

Anyway, we got to pray for each other which was cool. I also interviewed everyone on Andrew’s camcorder. I thought it was pretty interesting. Hopefully I can watch it someday.

Wednesday we went to Victoria. Victoria is I guess an island near Vancouver that you have to take a ferry to get to. For some odd reason, everyone says you have to go to this place. Like, Dave’s friends said that, which is why we went. John’s coworker said the same thing. It’s a pretty big deal or something.

So we drove out and took the ferry there. Anyway, I was shocked, because it cost like $100 (U.S.?) to get there and back. That is freaking a lot of money. But there were a lot of people there. I guess Victoria is pretty cool.

Dunno if you’ve ever been on a ferry before. I have once, in Texas, can’t remember where or why, but this ferry was pretty different. It’s huge, and you park your car in it and then go up deck. You can hang out outside or inside. Inside they have different small shops, food, an arcade, and other random things.

Anyway, on the way there we did random things to amuse ourselves like play movie games. Like Kevin Bacon. Or, just trying to name e.g. 15 movies Samuel L. Jackson appears in. And other actors. Like I’ve written before, a big reason I enjoy that company is because we’re so easily amused, for hours on end. Another thing we did was sing random songs, kind of barber shop quartet style. Uh, random.

Honestly, I didn’t like Victoria that much because you had to pay to do anything. First paying an exorbitant amount just to get there (there are no bridges). And then everything there costs money. And, honestly, I didn’t see what the big deal was about the place. Why the heck is it such a big tourist draw? I honestly have no clue. This gets into the whole thing about tourism I don’t understand. They had shops and whatever. So all one has to do is build shops and that makes it a tourist place? I don’t know, I just don’t get it.

The boldest thing was I think some guidebook we had that said something to the effect that Victoria was the 2nd best tourist attraction in North America. That’s pretty much the boldest thing I’ve ever read, including the Book of Mormon. But it was tantalizing because they didn’t say what was first. Anyway.

Not to disparage Victoria too much. It was a really nice place, and I had a good time there. It’s just, I couldn’t get over how much we had to pay to get there, and how we would have had to pay to do anything, had we done anything.

At any rate, Victoria’s apparently this super English place. So, there are various places to have tea and stuff like that, and other English influences. So, we went to some pub that served English food. I had bangers. Several people had fish and chips, and Dave had shepherd’s pie. He also had a Guinness.

Have you tried Guinness before? I don’t know, it’s a different taste. I read somewhere that Guinness uses Nitrogen instead of or in addition to CO2. I also read that if served correctly, it looks like the bubbles in Guinness are flowing down instead of up. Something like that. But anyway.

Lunch was actually very nice. We sat outside and it was great weather and the atmosphere was just altogether pleasant. Not big streets, people walking around, it just felt like Europe. At least, that’s what I assume, since I’ve never been to Europe proper. But yeah, it was a very nice lunch.

After that quite honestly, I have no idea what we did. We walked around, I can’t remember what we saw or where we went. But we did something or other, I think. We saw some hotel that was supposedly famous or something.

One thing we did do was play Biaxin football. So Andrew brought this little foam football, about 5 inches in length, with Biaxin printed on it. You know, one of those drug company giveaways that they give to doctors. I have no idea why Andrew brought it but we were all glad that he did. If you ask who was the most loved member of the road trip, it was the Biaxin football. He was one of us. Dependable, always fun to be with – a faithful friend.

Anyway, we brought it everywhere and threw it around everywhere we went. It was surprisingly fun. We had wanted to play a game at Grouse mountain but for some reason or other never got around to it so we ended up playing in Victoria.

So, maybe they’d disagree but I’d say I was the best at throwing the Biaxin football. It’s not easy to throw the right distance because it’s so small and so light, but my throws in general looked the best. Like I said, maybe the others will disagree. Anyway, I can’t remember who started this, it was probably me, but I started calling myself the Joe Montana of Biaxin football.

Henry was having a little trouble with his spirals, so he asked who like a terrible quarterback was. So I told him, “Jim McMahon,” mostly to annoy Dave. So on occasion, when he made a bad throw, he’d be the Jim McMahon of Biaxin football. I dunno, I thought that was funny.

Anyway, we decided to play a game. We played on the lawn of the British Columbia Parliament building. We started in the front, and thought it was OK, since there were people there already making out and doing other sketchy Canadian things. But some security people came and told us to go to the back, so that’s where we played.

I don’t know what you’re childhood was like, but for me, playing Biaxin football brought back a lot of memories. Growing up, we played football all the time at both school and church. I don’t know if you played like this but the only positions we had on offense were quarterback and receiver. So, if you had 6 people on your team, that’s one quarterback and 4 receivers. On defense, we were either all cornerbacks or all cornerbacks with a single rusher, who typically had to count 5 one-thousand or 4 mississippi or 5 alligator.

Anyway, yeah, I used to play a lot, especially at church. But I haven’t played football in maybe 10 years. So yeah, it brought back some memories. For me at least, it was a lot of fun. A lot of fun. But anyway, Biaxin football was definitely one of the highlights of the trip.

As I mentioned, Victoria I think is the capital of British Columbia. So another thing we did was visit the Parliament building. This was another huge highlight of the trip. First of all, it was a free tour, and anything free in Victoria, I’ll take it. But the tour was great.

Like, there was this one stained glass window that had cracks in it and stuff and it had a hilarious history. You know the saying, “The sun never sets on the British Empire.” Anyway, this window has a picture of the sun setting on the British flag. Hilarious. Apparently the guy who made it didn’t know or something and it ending up offending the queen or something like that. Also, it got cracks in it somehow. Also, it was misplaced for like 60 years. Those wacky Canadians.

That didn’t compare to the meeting of the legislature, however. The legislature of the province was meeting at that very moment, and we found out we could sit in on the session, so we did. And it was awesome, for me, one of the big highlights of the trip.

I dunno how American politics is really but it was shocking how things ran there. First of all, the party balance was extreme. Apparently, the majority party had gotten swept out of office the last election, so that only 2 (or more than 50 I think) were left. Have you ever seen such a disbalance in politics before? It was pretty sad. Just, 2 people completely outnumbered, making speeches and presenting opposition which I guess is mostly symbolic. It was really sad.

But what was amazing to me was how out of control it was. Like, during peoples’ speeches, they regularly made personal attacks. They went way beyond the issues to just attacking each other personally. It was pretty shocking.

And it wasn’t like they were polite while listening. While someone was talking, other people would constantly make comments, sometimes snide, sometimes biting. I don’t know, it was really weird. It felt childish to me, to be honest. It was like a junior high class doing something with parliamentary procedure but not having any teacher there. So people are just yelling at each other while someone has the floor, snickering, stuff like that.

One thing we loved though was, this one guy, the new finance minister I think, was making attacks on the previous session, in which the opposition party had control, and making personal attacks on the previous finance minister, who I gathered was one of the two members left. Anyway, he’d make some point about something terrible the previous minister did and all these other people would chime in by yelling “shame” and literally pounding their fists on their desks. I am absolutely not making any of this up. It was shocking, I thought.

And it quickly became another theme of our trip. Whenever one of us did something shameful (which, as you can imagine, happened quite frequently), the rest of us would pound our fists and mutter, “shame, shame.” It’s one of those things that never gets old, no matter how many times you do it.

So yeah, I’m not quite sure why but I was absolutely fascinated by the Parliament meeting. Mostly I think because I was shocked at how sophomoric and immature everything was. But yeah, I absolutely loved it.

Anyway, we went back to Richmond for dinner. It was pretty late by the time we got back. We ended up going to this random Chinese restaurant.

Dave mentioned this thing about my banter with random people. I dunno why I do it. One of my favorite conversations was the last time I was in L.A. with Jieun. We visited Downtown Disney and it connects to the park entrance. There was an information desk there so I asked the woman there “Is this really the happiest place on earth?” We actually had an amusing conversation. Why I can talk to strangers fine but not at work I have no idea.

Anyway, Dave mentioned me doing something at this restaurant that I think he misinterpreted, at least on my end. So, they had different items like soup, or noodles. Anyway, they had this one item, I think it was “superior meat dumplings with noodles.” Come on, that’s absolutely intriguing. What makes these meat dumplings superior? I didn’t know but I sure as heck wanted to find out.

The thing is, there was another item, it was like “meat dumpling soup”. And I kind of wanted the soup more than the noodles. But I quite honestly didn’t know if they were the same dumplings. I’m not joking. I thought, maybe one has just meat dumplings, but the superior meat dumplings with noodles are special in some way. I mean, why else label one and not the other?

Anyway, so when I was asking the waitress about it, I wasn’t being sarcastic or anything. I quite honestly wanted to know whether there was a difference between the meat dumplings in the “superior meat dumplings with noodles” and the ones in the “meat dumpling soup” that warranted labeling one but not the other. So when she recommended the soup, I naturally had to ask whether the dumplings were superior. I don’t think she was offended, either. Honestly, I think it went over her head.

By the way, the secret to the “superior” meat dumplings: they were made of shrimp.

The food there was terrible, but we made up for it by going to yet another bubble tea place. It was pretty good. And that was our day.