Friday, March 12, 2010

14 blocks

I went for a walk today, in the rain, 14 blocks North down to Granville Island.
I set out, grabbing the umbrella at the last minute and was glad for it.  What started as a few isolated drops of water, turned into a full on gray, rainy day.  At least for the morning.
Two blocks down and waiting for a traffic light, I share my umbrella with a girl, a total stranger.
I learn that she has just had a conversation with her sister about going out or over for a coffee.
She is without an umbrella and I can see the drops of rain hanging off her brow and her chin.
Once we reach the other side of the intersection she turns right and I continue on my way.
I am only two blocks away from getting my own coffee, at Tim Horton's.
Since living in Vancouver I have become a "coffee snob".  I confess to liking darker, stronger coffee and since it is my first coffee of the day, I need something to wake me up.
I also confess that I am only going to Tim Horton's because of the "roll up the rim to win".  Hey, who doesn't like to win something?  In this case, a chunk of money would be nice.  Heck, I would even settle for the Rave.  They have 40 to give away, so my coffee cup says.
And as luck would have it, I win....another coffee.

I reach the entrance to Granville Island.
Up on my left, sitting on a chair is Jack, the Bear.  No, not a real bear.
"Jack" sits there most days saying hello to passersby, handing out a piece of paper that states what Jack does.  What is it exactly that Jack does?  He collects pins.  And he is simple asking people to send him "pins" from where ever they live.
It is a rainy day and few people are walking along the sidewalk which makes me a prime suspect for Jack's friendly interrogation.
"What do you do?"
"I am a housewife",  I reply back.
I think I honestly blew him away.  In fact, he was now going to try to come up with some kind of acronym as a title for me.
Jack like to chat, after all there wasn't a whole lot of people to choose from and I am sure that it must of been getting a little lonely. At the entrance of Granville Island the pigeons and gulls don't talk to you, they just poop on ya.  I once saw that happen to a guy standing in almost the same spot I was now standing in.
I glanced up and around warily.
And, Jack continued to chat.
He told me he was Polish and he could speak Polish.  He claimed to be a social worker like his mother who was also a social worker.  I wasn't too sure what to believe but I can tell you that Jack was pretty social.
I accepted a few homemade gifts from Jack promising not to show them to my Engineer friend who happens to be my husband. In turn, I hand over my free Tim Horton's coffee token to Jack.
Soon enough, a lady with a pretty floral umbrella came alongside of us, appearing interested in what Jack had to say and I used this to make my get away.
Sunshine or rain, I know Jack will be in the same spot and I am pretty sure he won't remember I am a housewife and I will get the same piece of paper handed to me along with some more conversation.
Jack has become pretty much a part of Granville Island market.

And this is one of the things I love about Granville Island.
Once inside I walk around in circles and not always because I am lost.  I just simple go back and forth going to some of my favorite stores taking in the sights and sounds of the market.
One time, I even saw the hockey playing Sedin twins along with their parents, shopping in Granville Island.
You just never know who you will run into.
And the best part of walking 14 blocks down....when I stepped outdoors to make my way back home, the sun was shining and I didn't need that umbrella any more.
As I exit the market, just under the bridge and across from where Jack was still sitting, I could see that he had a captive audience, most likely tourists.
I bet they thought that Jack was a part of the market experience.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And I thought that I taught you not to talk to strangers! Well, you are all grown up and make your own decisions now.
My, what an interesting walk all the 14 blocks and very intertaining as well.
Just remember, keep safe my sweet daughter! xoxo