The last few days of Vancouver downtime have been really enjoyable. It is impossible to disentangle the extent to which the enjoyment is the product of broader and deeper networks of friends here, and the extent to which it arises from characteristics essential to the city.
Tristan is on his way back to Ontario via train. While it seems to be a significantly more carbon-intensive way to travel, it is undeniably infinitely more interesting looking than the bus. He has already provided good photographic evidence of that. In my experience, the bus trip offers virtually nothing worth photographing during short winter days. Perhaps one day we will have low-carbon trains, and thus a way of going cross-country that is both environmentally responsible and tolerably pleasant and interesting.
I have been reading an excellent book and play: Tom Stoppard’s wonderful Arcadia (combining amusing talk of sex and science) and Bill Streever’s Cold: Adventures in the World’s Frozen Places. The latter offers an astonishing contrast between stories of success and failure in extreme cold: caterpillars that freeze every winter and take ten years to achieve metamorphosis, versus the final journal entries of doomed expeditions, documenting how the men died one at a time.
Less than four more days, and I will be back on the bus.