Trailhead goes Canada
A new blogpost. Long overdue, we know, but it’s from Vancouver this time. We have been here for almost two weeks now, so it’s a good time to share what’s going on here. The coming blog posts are going to be a bit different from our previous ones since they are not going to go in-depth on our projects. They are meant to give you an impression of how we live in Canada.
Best to start at the beginning. We, Isaak, Sinne and Kuno, were invited to do our internship at Zeros 2 Heroes Media Inc. (Z2H from here on out). Minor detail: they are located in Vancouver, Canada. That’s for us pretty much the other side of the world. Of course, that did not stop us, nor Z2H for that matter. They wanted to make this work. So thanks to them and with support from our school we are now in here.
On 16th of April 13:00 we stepped into a plane at Schiphol airport. Since we had a direct flight, we guessed that we’d be flying mostly over the ocean during our 9 hour flight. It couldnt’ve been farther from the truth wrong. Most of the flight was across land. At first we flew over Iceland. Unfortunately it was very cloudy so we couldn’t tell whether the land was actually made out of ice. http://www.efunmania.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/greenland-iceland.jpg. After seeing some more ocean and some more clouds we thought it would stay cloudy the entire flight. So when we opened our window blinds and saw another big, bright white mass we figured we were still in the clouds. We were not. It turned out to be Greenland, which is all white and a bit of blue ice. It’s hard to describe what these snow planes look like. There were also these small, snowy mountains. Well, they looked small, but at a height of ten kilometers everything looked tiny. So anything that was visible had to be very big. After Greenland we saw a lot of the uninhabitable parts of Canada. So I guess we can say we saw the North pole, or at least, a part of it. And it is quite an amazing sight to see.
Getting out of the plane it was still the same time we left: One o’clock in the afternoon. The first thing we noticed were mountains on the horizon. They pretty much look like the mountains you always see in travel guides and picture books. And there they were, just a few kilometers away.
Arriving at YVR Vancouver was an entirely different experience. The airport, which was renovated recently, is beautiful. There’s a big Indian wood carving with a waterfall behind it in the main hall. Everything has wooden carvings. It’s a wonderful sight.
Standing in line for three hours to get our work permits turned out to be less than pleasant. We had to wait in line at the Visa printing office, since Tuesday is normally a slow day. This particular Tuesday was quite busy. So the two customs officials that were working could not handle the workload. And it took them a long time to figure out that they could call in some colleagues to do part of the work as well. So after two hours help arrived and that sped up the process. Luckily we were sleep deprived already, so waiting in line was actually very funny and entertaining. I think we ended up being the only ones who were laughing most of the time, there is a lifelog of it, though making that is going to take some time, we need to sort the images since the date kept resetting. It turned out to be only three minutes of work to print the visa for us. That also meant we could go have a look at Vancouver for the first time.
We took a skytrain – a metro that has its tracks above ground most of the way – to Downtown Vancouver. Downtown Vancouver is the city’s center. And it shows. It’s all high rise. Enormous glass giants all around us. What surprised us was how normal the city felt. It was kind of nice walking along these huge buildings. We thought it would be more of a shock. But I guess being awake for twenty two hours might dull the senses a bit. After a short walk through downtown , Gastown to be precise, we stumbled in to Z2H. We were surprised at how big the office actually is. We had no idea of size whatsoever.
So seeing there were around forty workplaces was quite something else. After a quick look Ryan and Amy – our contacts for the last few months – brought us to the hostel around the corner where we have been staying for the last two weeks. Unfortunately our brains were too tired to actually make conversation, though I think they understood that.
After a short look around the Cambie hostel – and switching rooms since there were bird eggs on one of the beds (sorry, no pics) – we decided to go for a walk through town and get a cup a coffee, because we figured it would be best to stay awake, easiest way to adjust to a different time zone, and get some bearing of the city. The city center is a wonderful place. The coffee place turned out to be great choice – always trust the advise of an Irish hostel clerk (they know where the good stuff is). We found out we could walk around there for hours on end.
Till Isaak’s stomach ran out of things to digest and grew hungry (it tends to do that). Unfortunately it was late and the only thing still open was a subway. Not long after that we wandered back to the Cambie and went to sleep, after being awake for 26/27 hours. Even with the noise from the bar below (we moved a floor down for the night to evade the dove eggs) we slept quite deeply.
More on our
jetlagged adventures in Vancouver later.