A few months ago my wife and I tossed the idea around of going to V-Con or Cos & Effect, two conventions held in Vancouver, BC. As we live in Victoria, on a island, and have no vehicle or drivers licence, transportation was an issue for either.
We have been to Tsukino Con, a Victoria anime convention for the last few years. Her as a vendor of costumes and corsets, me as a Cosplay Photographer and staff member, media relations. Something different and away from home seemed to be in order. Costs were weighed and time considered. It was felt that the late September date of V-Con 37 gave better preparation time, and a venue that may react better to the clothing she creates.
The dealers room was set to open at noon on Friday and all estimates had us arriving at the hotel no earlier than 2pm, so we departed on Thursday. Up at 5am, breakfast, final check of items and out the door at 6am. Standing waiting, we had a lovely view of Venus before sunrise then transit zipped us downtown to catch the Pacific Coach Lines bus. On the ferry I spotted a couple of Harbour Seals in the water, and there was a P.A. call of a Humpback Whale on the Starboard side. Everyone hurried over to see, one girl even commented that the ship was likely to tip over with everyone rushing to one side. After five minutes of pering at the ocean and scanning the waters for no signs of the elusive whale, we returned to our seats.
Early morning fog/smog greeted us in the Salish Sea, but dissipated before we docked. The ride into Vancouver was pleasant, but met with a bit of aggravation for the driver as we were detoured around construction near the Vancouver Hotel, only to have the detour lifted as we approached from a different direction. Arrived at the Pacific Central Building, the terminus for the bus, and headed across the street to the Main St. Skytrain Station.
Its been a few years since I’ve been to Vancouver and I thought all the stations had escalators for some reason. As I couldn’t see one at ground level I thought I’d have to carry two large and heavy bags up a pile of stairs to the platform. As I hoisted them up a pleasant elderly chinese woman pointed out that there was an elevator in the corner, problem solved. Once on the skytrain we found a place to stand, as most of the seats were taken, but after a few stops a two seat bench opened up and we moved over.
Our luggage took up the aisle and blocked a few people in, so I was quite prepared to move things as people needed. I held the handles of both bags, just to prevent them from tipping. Everyone and and everything was good until three guys looking like construction day labourers got on. Right away they were talking loud at each other and yelling. The older of the three, looking hispanic and in his mid-fifties with droopy-drunk eyes moved into a seat my bag were blocking, and kept trying to get me to agree with his side of the argument. I just made non-committal nods and tried to ignore him. At a few points one of the younger two would tell the older one to sit down and shut up, “I you get me kicked off the Skytrain again, I’m gonna pound you so hard!”
Truth to tell I was less worried about their argument and the potential for a fight, than I was that this was part of a distraction to steal luggage from some wealthy tourists. Not that I’m by any means wealthy, but the luggage was brand new. I had a death grip on both bags for the remainder of the trip. The youngest of the group got off and things calmed down, a bit, and the other two started talking about what stop to get off at and they agreed the Surrey Central was the one they needed, so did we.
A quick whisper to my wife and we agreed to go a stop further, to distance ourselves. Once off the Skytrain at King George Station we found a Taxi and headed for the Hotel. We had budgeted $20 for the ride from the closer station, but now knew it may cost more. Along the ride I asked the driver if he could recommend any places to eat near the Sheraton Guilford Hotel. He rambled off a good dozen places in his thick East Indian accent, but I caught the gist of it all, 152nd was where all the restaurants were, all within a seven minute walk. Arriving at the Hotel the meter in the cab said $12.79, but seeing as he was so helpful and the meter lower than we expected, I agreed with my wife and made the total $20.