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Stranded in East Van at 2am (gud Canadian part)

Former Champ

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A little less about soccer, but from my trip to Van for the Whitecaps season opener.

I've started writing almost full time... Here's part 18 or something...

On Saturday night I was heading home from Krammerhead's place in North Van after enjoying some superb SS hospitality. I was pretty loaded, and mostly operating on a couple cat naps over the past 2 days.

Krammerhead said "You understand the concept of 'DOWN' right? The Skybus station is DOWN the hill. "

"Ya ya... I got it." (bump into the wall)

I left his apartment and headed down the hill. I didn't consider how 'down' is kind of relative. I'm from Alberta. It's flat. It took me a while but I discovered I was headed for the bridge, not the Skybus station. I took a 90 degree turn and started in the right direction. I have a pretty good sense of direction, but in a new town I tend to follow my nose a lot. Once you get lost a couple of times you learn your way.

Unfortunatelly I wandered into a couple of dead ends while trying to make time. By the time I got to the station I missed the last seabus by 5 minutes...

It was an hour before the bus came and I was falling asleep big time. I even fell asleep at the station and on the bus and woke up on Granville Street. Something had just happened. I'm not sure what, but there were cops and concerned and upset people and Transit supervisors everywhere.

One of them got on the bus and said "Everyone off the bus, this is no longer the number 3 it is now the number (whatever)." I was too tired to be enraged.

'SO now what?" I said.

"There'll be another #3 along in an hour. Catch it over there." pointing to a station a half block away. It was 2:00am.

I stumbled to the stop and tried to wake up a bit. The cute tiny girl (college age)standing next to me asked me what was going on. She was visiting from Thailand and only knew what station to get off at by the stores that are there. I didn't know what was going on either, but I told her what I knew mentioning I was also from outta town. There was another girl standing there. It was actually just the three of us. Whoa... A stunningly gorgeous girl also of Asian heritage. She added her 2 cents and I was instantly intrigued. Very smart, very well spoken and poised. They started chatting as she was trying to help the Thailand girl figure out where she was staying.

"What country are you from?" said the Thailand girl.

Here is the Gud CANADIAN Part

With exactly perfect measures of pride, arrogance and off-handedness the girl said "I'm Canadian." (with a little shrug of her shoulders)

(Gasp)!!! I immediatelly fell in deeeply love... o- ma- gaw...

She even appologized for not knowing any languages other than English. "I know I should keep in touch with my heritage... but..."

"Yay Canada!!!", I thought. "Wow!!!!"

It was about that time I realized we were standing on Hastings Street in East Van.

"Holy ****!" I hope I didn't say out loud. I scanned the streets around me and it looked pretty bad. Lotsa unsavoury types around. Well it's 2am in East Van. We were at the homeless mall, where all manner of junk (and probable some really inexpensive stolen goods) are layed out on the sidewalk by the crackheads to try to sell. Well, it only take $5 for another hit .

I had been to this place before on my East Van tour before the Guatemala World Cup Qualifier, but in the daytime. I didn't **** around then. I can't tell you the closest junction, but we were definetally standing on one of the Top 5 (or bottom) worst street corners in all of Canada.

"Where are you staying?" She asked me interupting my train of thought.

"ummmm.... what?" (my best pick up line, I guess because I always use it).

She flipped her hair and blinked inquisitivelly. Yikes!

"uhhh... bah.. uhhh... I'm staying near the, uhhh greyhound bus station." A good answer because that area is becoming yuppiefied. I didn't tell her I was staying at the 'ho.

"Oh that's just a 15 minute walk that way." she said. "You'll be home way before the bus comes."

I looked at her and at the other girl. I was already on full alert mode and there was no way these two girls combined weighed as much as me. The street was dark, and nasty. From my scan of the area I was well aware of the shadiness of the situation. I've never been afraid to walk down any street in any city in any country I've visited. But I already had a mental picture of these girls waiting here all alone for another 45 minutes. It was 2:15am in East Van

"uhh no..." I said. "I'm too tired."

The Thailand girl immediatelly started a conversation about travel. Smart girl hadn't done much travelling so I opened big...

"I got to knock down some of the Berlin Wall (really true)."

"Wow," said both girls. Yes!!!

The next 45 minutes was very pleasant as we all chatted. I continued to be impressed by the Canadian girl and they liked my travel stories, but I had the big guns out. I kept on alert and shot a few evil glares at the undead that were wandering about. Running out of 'A' material I was just about to go back to being uninteresting again when the bus finally came.

It really was only 3 stops to the 'ho. But oh well. As the bus left I saw the Canadian girl looking at me. She smiled and gave a cute wave. I almost feignted. I waved back

It was 3:30 am.

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Guest HamiltonSteelers

Queue the voice over...

"Even when the chips are down, Current Champ always goes home a winner!"

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