Victoria still hasn’t seen a single snowflake. Last night, while Yann and I were outside for our evening toke, feathers snowed on us. Right before that happened, Yann heard a noise and spotted an owl that had perched on the power lines. What about owls’ reputation for being silent predators of the night? The sounds were coming from its latest meal, which was still alive.
A bug flew down my jersey while Ed, Yann, and I were making our way back to the Langdale ferry terminal by bike. I didn’t know what kind of bug it was until I tried to assist its exit by tugging on the front of my jersey.
I was able to track Ed’s every move through WhatsApp upon his arrival in Vancouver. His first bite of Canadian food came from Tim Horton’s which is a chain fast food/coffee shop that many Canadians are somehow proud of. Their donuts are mediocre, and their employees are always poorly trained and often are entirely befuddled when it comes to serving deaf customers.
But, a donut is still a donut. When Yann and I find ourselves at Tim Hortons, he already knows my order. When I order myself, though, the cashier usually passes out from the complexity of having to read an order off the screen of a smartphone and requires medical attention. It’s a lot to tolerate just for a glazed chocolate donut.
I have the Accuweather (short for “accursed weather”) widget on my phone, with Victoria set as the default location. When I tap on the temperature display, I can swipe left to view the current conditions in my old home city of Montréal. Around this time of the year, this action is supposed to validate my decision to run away from the frozen wasteland that surrounds the Saint Lawrence River.
Instead, it was Montréal that got to enjoy a month of balminess while I found myself sealed inside my waterproof breathable jacket for the entirety of September, all while on vacation!
On the 14th, Yann and I welcomed a Briton to British Columbia. Before his arrival, I told our guest, Ed, that Victoria was a lot like London. Victoria has double-decker buses, English pubs, fish n’ chips, and the Union Jack waving everywhere. You can’t walk 50 metres without seeing the Queen’s portrait somewhere.
“You’ve never been to London, how would you know?” Ed asked.
I grew up watching Mr. Bean, which obviously makes me an expert of all things London! But, let’s not focus on my misconceptions of London: Ed was about to have his preconceived ideas of Victoria ripped apart.
I don’t like using my voice in public. The deaf accent is mocked globally. Imagine not getting to experience a part of yourself that the public gets to experience? Then the result of your efforts to accommodate others not only goes by unappreciated but gets ridiculed!
But it wasn’t the time to be insecure about my voice. I was near the top of Mount Albert Edward, alone, and without water. I had seen Yann just a few minutes earlier: he was busy massaging a water purification tablet into a Nalgene bottle filled with snow. He had also run out of water, and our solution was to thaw last season’s snow.
Very little is required to present myself as a cyclist. First, I need to decide which of my two bikes I want to ride. Secondly, I need to take the chosen bike outside. Next, I straddle the bike. Finally, I go nowhere in particular and then return!
So much more is involved in climbing. I’ve pulled on plastic for ten years, climbing only indoors because getting to the crags requires a car. To go to the climbing gym, though, I still need to find someone to accompany me. Preferably somebody who likes me, but most importantly, somebody who I can trust to not drop me. Then, this special somebody needs to have a work schedule that does not conflict with mine. I need to know only one type of knot, the figure eight.
To climb outdoors is an even bigger challenge. Other than a car, I would need at least one climbing partner who knows how to build and clean anchors, as well as lead climb and belay. I would have to get used to reassuring my friends and family that, yes, I will be careful. There’s a surprising amount of knot tying knowledge needed.