Monday, December 05, 2005

now in English; Vancouver; the usual randomness

1) As part of my struggle to improve my English, from now on I'll write in it here. Critics and suggestions are most welcome. I beg your pardon for the not-so-high quality of the texts, but hopefully it'll get better with time.

2) Answering the requests of lots of people, here are my impressions of the three cities I visited on my trip to Canada: Vancouver, Whistler and Victoria.

Vancouver is a large city, so it has lots of different regions and it's kind of hard to summarize. Downtown Vancouver is rich and beautiful, specially the modern, all glass buildings near the shore. High mountains over the horizon and the dark Pacific water compose an amazing view. The brightly lit stores and buildings add a contemporary feel to the city, and it is hard not to like it. However, there's a lot of problems that I wasn't expecting from the supposed third-best-place-to-live-in-the-whole-world. The traffic is a mess, the drivers are aggressive, there is trash over the streets and sidewalks (a way less than in Brazil, but enough to spoil the clean image that I had of it) and there are poor people (including many beggars) and poor zones in the city. I must admit that I was expecting more of the city.

Whistler is a small town at the bottom of two big mountains: Whistler and Blackcomb. Very nice place, everything is neat and well-kept. The mountains are great for skiing, although I didn't do it.

Finally, Victoria. It stays on the south of the Vancouver island, somewhat isolated of the continental Canada. The isolation isn't only geographical. The architecture and the overall feel of the city is totally European. There are some nice buildings and a great museum for local reference (the Royal British Columbia Museum).

3) Ironically enough, just after I decided writing in English here, while seating watching the rain I felt a very particular sensation. Those drops reminded me of the silence which remains on Sundays, when the anonymous crowd leaves the old city center of Sao Paulo quite empty, and you can sit and watch life passing by. For that particular feel, there is no word in any other language than Portuguese. As you all know, eu tive saudade.

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