Yesterday we hit the town with Colin and Alison. I have known Colin since grade school, and Alison his wife for 10 years. They took us through a $2 Million Neighbourhood here in Vancouver. It didn’t look like a $2M neighbourhood to me – in fact, I would think perhaps $600-700K, but apparently my real estate knowledge is definitely wired for Ontario. The homes – although well kept from the looks of things – appeared modest to me, something that you would have after your starter home when you needed more space for the kids or hobbies or whatever, but not sprawling mansions with huge yards and waterfront views.
I am not going to rail and rail on about real estate in Vancouver, but wow.
Anyways, we went out to dinner somewhere south of downtown. I am not sure where, I can’t even remember the name of the place, and couldn’t find it again if I wanted to, but it was a sushi place. I cannot in good conscience bring Emile to Vancouver without making sure he has some west coast sushi. I turned my nose up at all of this raw fish, and instead ordered some really good teriyaki tofu which Colin turned his nose up at. I suppose this is fair – although I can’t understand how you can like uncooked fish, but not beans. Alison and Emile are much more easy going and enjoyed the sushi AND the tofu and just rolled their eyes at me and Colin: the picky eaters. But then Colin regaled us with stories about eating pickled herring (which he was disappointed to find that his wife and kids will not eat), nor sardines. But when he told us that he often lingers in the meat section coveting chicken hearts so he can make chicken heart soup, the rest of us quickly reclassified him from picky eater to just strange. But he did assure us that Beef Tongue is not something he likes much. Emile told the Balkenbrij food story – according to Emile it is Dutch meatloaf-ish dish made strictly from the animal leftover parts like brains, kidneys, hearts, etc – and how he would fake the flu to get out of eating it as a child. Alison and I were properly repulsed, but Colin looked thoughtful.
After dinner, we headed us to a landmark ice cream shop that has 218 flavours. They quickly run from the mundane and have more interesting flavours like Basil & Pernod, Spicy Mango, Garlic, Maple Bacon and make other strange and bizarre flavours. And they will let you sample as many as you like. And we are lucky enough that we are heading back there tomorrow evening with my aunt and grandma – only 216 flavours left.
Emile summed it up best today, at lunch. He said to me, “Did you hear what Colin said to me yesterday?”, when I indicated I had not, he said incredulously “He told Alison where the keys to his new motorcycle is in case I wanted to come over today to drive it around. It speaks to how generous they are. I didn’t let anyone ride my bike when I had it!”
And he is right, Colin and Alison are not just generous with their possessions, but in spirit as well. There is never a trip to Vancouver that Colin hasn’t offered rides, or usually his extra car. Alison always offers food and drink, and if I asked pretty much anything. Alison doesn’t get upset when someone is late, she gets concerned that perhaps something has happened to them. Colin twists his own schedule to co-ordinate with yours. They are both the kind of people you want to have in your life – that make you feel good being with.
February 26th Extra-Ordinary Event: Having Tofu and Balsamic Vinegar Ice Cream with the people you aspire to be more like.