Sunday, February 21, 2010

Day 6

The day started out, a beautiful sunny day, with some wandering down GasTown, which was pretty neat!! It's been a lot of years since I was down there and to be honest, I do not really remember it at all. So it was neat to see all the different shops. Downtown was packed and Granville especially was shoulder-to-shoulder. We stood maybe 10 minutes behind the CTV tent to get on the news (in the background, behind the reporters speaking live) before moving on down to a Cream Puff shop (yum!) and then on down to GasTown before hitting up the Men's Curling.

I have to admit to never having seen curling in person before, and to never having really taken a vested interest in it, even on tv, before yesterday - but yesterday it was pretty easy to get into the Canada versus Great Britain game!! Pretty soon I was not only evaluating strategies, but I was successfully figuring out what the next move needed to be (or the options for the next move) and cheering our Canadian team on. It was a really close game, with GB even making a steal on one of our ends!! The Canadians had to throw away the 9th end to keep the hammer, but then scored 2 points in the 10th end for a one-point win over GB!!! It was pretty crazy in there! Another highlight of the game was seeing Gretzky (I felt bad, poor guy probably gets absolutely no quiet time!! haha), who was stationed in the same corner as us, just one section over (just on the other side of the stairs from us). We actually had fabulous seats, just three rows up from the ice on the CAN/GB side, directly across from the 'Vancouver 2010' line written on the ice and at the home/scoreboard end of the ice. Lucky us!! We quite enjoyed it :)

Apparently, rumour has it, that Vancouver originally considered gathering up all the homeless and bussing them out to the outer edges of Vancouver, to keep them away during the Olympics!!!!!!!!! Are you kidding??!! Just the thought makes me livid at whatever low-down politician thought of such a 'brilliant' idea. How low can one possibly stoop!?!

On a related note, we were walking downtown one day and I noticed Olympics-paid individuals (recognisable by their badges and blue jackets) picking bottles out of the garbage. Now, were they doing this because they are so concerned about recycling and would like to collect the $$ from any bottles thrown away? Or are they doing this to keep the homeless from picking bottles out of the garbages and thus keeping the homeless out of the downtown area due to the lack of bottles (thanks to VANOC)??!! I suspect the latter. I understand Vanoc's position to an extent, but the thought of some of the things they are doing and thinking are rather disgusting.

Though we ourselves have not seen any protesters, we of course have heard of them (as wall as the anarchists who were smashing business windows - not to be confused with the protesters themselves, extremist or not). The stories about the homeless and the huge sums of money being expended for this event have really got me thinking too that, as fabulous as the Olympics are, these protesters have got at least somewhat of a point. On one hand, the Olympics being here will bring a lot of (both short and long-term) business and tourism to a city that could use it and to a country heavily laden in debt and in a recession. So the Olympics being here could bringa lot of good. However the Olympics are also taking away from (at least short-term) this very city and its people (including some programs and areas of the budget that really required the funds the Olympics stole from). In addition, I heavily suspect that the $$ being generated through Vanoc is not being used as wise as it should be, that much of the money is lining someone's pockets and that the committee is not as transparent as it should be. I mean, everywhere you look, Vanoc is generating funds. Everywhere and through everything. You cannot even take 'the wrong photo' and post it on your blog (such as displaying the Olympic rings) without a copyright infringement. Vanoc is very tight and iron-clad in keeping and generating every last possible cent. Perhaps more of the money could be used to help - directly - boost this city and country, and to help provide programs for those who most need it (such as the homeless)? What about the athletes, how much of this money is going to help them?? Anyways, I'm just saying - maybe these protesters have some sort of point, and Vanoc does seem rather elusive and suspiciously quiet and sneaky about it all (at least at times). Keep in mind, I am saying this knowing too though that Vanoc does have its 'pros' and that it has helped some athletes and has done a lot of good. Just sayin'.

On a much happier note, the German house greatly under-estimated Canadian beer-drinking capabilities (hehehehe). I love that they had to fly in an extra 300 kegs of beer, only to find even that was not enough!!! Turns out, us Canadians can really drink our socks off!! Apparently we have already drank more beer than was consumed in both Torino and Salt Lake City combined (and that's just at the German house!!!). Pretty crazy, eh!! :P Sounds like we're giving those Germans a run for their (drinking) money!! Gotta love it ;)

Day 7 (today) will be spent walking through East Hastings and out to the Pacific Coliseum to watch some Figure Skating (pairs)! Unfortunately though it will mean missing the CAN/US game :S however I think it will still make for a good time. I am pretty worried about the CAN/US game (after that near loss to the Swiss) so am actually (secretly) a little relieved to not have to undergo the stress of actually watching it (I know, pathetic, hahaha). On the other hand though, a huge part of me really does not want to miss the game (and especially not if we win!) - I want to live every moment!! :P I'll be definitely keeping tabs on the game though (hellooo, mobile internet! yay! haha) and crossing my fingers for Canada. GO CANADA GO!!!

Tomorrow will be a nice lax-ish day spent touring the Aquarium at Stanley Park :)

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