What you should know about Vancouver
This post was a separate page in my old blog, and I decided to make it a new entry for today.
1. As Vancouver is situated in a temperate rainforest, it rains fairly often. From March to May it rains almost every day, and less in other months; which is the reason for the beautiful nature. Summer starts in the middle of July, and goes until a couple of weeks into September. Also, there is almost no winter, and if it snows – it melts within 2-3 days.
2. Vancouver is an environmentally friendly city. Most places have separate recycling and trash bins, and some places either offer paper or degradable plastic bags, or no bags at all (for these stores you are expected to bring your own re-usable bag). Therefore, the vehicle expenses are really high: gas costs ($1.30 – $1.50 per liter), parking (depending on the area; but usually within $1 – $2 per hour, or substantially more in Downtown), insurance (for international students, may be $250+ per month). You are encouraged to use public transit, and the trip cost ranges from $1.75 up to $5.50, depending on how far you need to go.
3. Stay away from the First Nations reserves; there are not too many of them, and they are mostly in North Vancouver and are properly marked. Remember, the correct term is First Nations (and not what you white supremacy grandmother secretly taught you).
4. Just as the rest of Canada, Vancouverites love their hockey team, Vancouver Canucks. When the games are in session, it is all you hear people talk about. Hockey is fun, so get a 6-pack of beer, order a pizza and watch the game so you don’t feel left out.
5. Vancouver is a very ethnically diverse city. When you are in public, chances are that there is someone who speaks the same language as you do, so try to refrain from using profanity and discussing things you wouldn’t be discussing for everyone to understand. The diversity also means that there are a LOT of different cuisines, and a restaurant that serves food from nearly any country for you to enjoy.
6. Cigarettes are very expensive, and there are a lot of restrictions on smoking in public. The cost of the pack is $7 – $12; you are not allowed to smoke indoors (big no-no for clubs and restaurants) and within 5 or more meters away from doors, air intakes and bus stops. Cigarette shelves are required to be covered and hidden in the stores, and are tobacco products are only sold to adults (19+).
7. Vancouver is a city with the richest and the poorest regions in North America: the richest being British Properties in West Vancouver; and the poorest being Downtown Eastside (about 15 blocks on East Hastings street). It is a good idea to keep away from the Eastside area, especially at night.
8. Vancouverites are sporty. There are tons of cyclists, roller-skaters, skiers and snowboarders, and yoga clubs. People like to stay healthy, eat organic food and stay outdoors. The healthy lifestyle is one of the reasons Vancouver was pronounced by the MSN Travel and GQ to be 3rd worst dressed city. Yoga pants are immensely popular in the city, and women with fat deposits and wobbly bits are seems more than you want to.
If you like the article, or if I missed something, please let me know in the comments section!