This is going to be a long one, I guess
Arrived safely in Canada on the 2nd of May. Hah! I cheated time for I left Manila on the same day. I had two May 2's. Unfortunately, I will lose a day when I get back. Oh well...
It was a bumpy plane ride in some parts. We got into some minor turbulances but nothing to worry about. But the stewardesses were nice (and beautiful, too) so I cannot complain. The plane left Manila on time. The only thing was that they were having problems with the entertainment. It's a good thing it was only about a two-hour ride. And besides, I had Neil Gaiman's Stardust with me. The transit in Hong Kong was a little confusing. I had to find gate 63. Whereas before, I only had to walk to the gate, I had to take two train rides! Well, the good part is that I did not have that long lay-over. An hour and a half and I was on my way to Canada.
When I got out of the plane, I immediately knew I was in Canada. There is that particular aroma of coffee, the chilly air and that quiet surroundings. Just a whiff of both and I know the plane had not been hi-jacked to another place. There was a long queue at the immigration but all went well. I was expecting there might be trouble checking out my luggage as neither of my tickets had a baggage claim receipt. To my amusement, I just ran past the guard and voila! I am out with my baggage in tact without any hassles. I could not find Arlene who was supposed to pick me up with Bob. I have not met Bob before. Just in pictures. So, I was kind of surprised when a man approached me and asked me if I was Rolly. It was Bob. He looked a lot younger than he does in pictures. He told me that Arlene was in the washroom. (I would have said comfort room). When Arlene arrived, she gave me a hug and we were on our way.
We had a lengthy discussion on politics, music, art, etc. After all, not only is Bob an engineer, he is a member of Mensa. At around dinner, Stephe, Arlene's son who came all the way from Edmonton, (he also flew in when I last came here in 2002, such a sweet guy!) arrived to join us for dinner. We went to a Greek restaurant that night. Then, Stephe and I shared some chords and jammed the night away.
The following day, right after breakfast, Stephe took me to Vancouver. We walked along the beach for a while then drove around looking for a mug of a certain artist he liked while Bob and Arlene prepared his pernil ham as we agreed. We did not seem to have understood one another. When he said we were going to share the meat, I did not know he was to put it a couple of hours inside the oven to cook before he carved it to give me my portion. I panicked as Arlene's daughter, Trudy and her son, Daniel were joining us for dinner. I have never cooked anything like this before. I had to make do with what there was. When Bob took out the pork, we feasted on the skin as it was sooo crunchy! I asked for the tender part of the meat with some fat in it. Put garlic, vinegar and soy sauce and cooked it with a lot of prayer it would turn into adobo. When it was cooked, Bob realized there was not enough sauce. What I did was add some garlic, vinegar, soy sauce and butter to the pan to make more sauce (now I am really trying to make some magic tricks!), while the rice I prepared cooked in the rice cooker. I added the sauce to the pork. Arlene blanched some asparagus. Trudy arrived with blueberry-apple and strawberry pies (which are to die for). Stephe came with vanilla ice cream. We ate dinner and to my surprise, they liked the adobo. The rice cooked well, too. I pulled it off!
The next day, we all went to Stanley Park, took a ferry going to Granville Island for lunch and watched some street performers. When we got back home, we sang songs. Bob is funny. He wouldn't sing a song without any lyrics. He would dash to the computer to find the lyrics asking us to hold the song until he got back. Inj the meantime, I tried to figure out the chords. We had a good range of repertoire. From the 50's all the way to the 80's. Beatles, Rolling Stones, artists from Woodstock, The Who, Simon and Garfunkel, Eagles, Led Zeppelin, Credence Clearwater Revival, etc. (Maybe the younger readers don't know these but I tell you, they were huge before). Any new genre introduced would be like opening a can of worms that we just had to remember songs from the same artist. Bob was really into it as he would even close his eyes just to reach the high notes. It was a blast, really.
Both Bob and Stephe have gone home today. I drove Arlene to the doctor and then we had brunch, did some grocery shopping. So, there. That was what the first days of this sojourn were like. Oh, interestingly, it has not been that cold as I expected. Maybe it is because I arrived in May when summer is about to set in. I usually come in April.