China – what can I say except I am here

Cars, buses, skytrains, airlines, taxis, skooters, and my own two feet – I have used them all  – find out why…

It all started with a car ride to the local bus depot so I could catch a bus to Vancouver, British Columbia from my hometown in the beautiful city of Kelowna.  Wineries, orchards, tourism and outdoor recreation all claim to be an important part of the largest city in the South Okanagan and each is doing their best to get their far share of the market in order to survive in today’s economy.  It is difficult to tell whether they are succeeding or not because of the large numbers of people all scurrying around town in their cars and sometimes creating a traffic nightmare.  I will save  Kelowna for another day since this post is supposed to be about the modes of transportation I have taken to get where I am today.

A car ride to the bus  depot – not difficult to imagine – we all get in our cars most days and drive to where we need to go whether it is to work, the grocery store, the doctor or for any other reason that makes our lives go around.  The bus depot – a place I used to work at many years ago.  There is a trailer in the back of the building that is similar to the one I worked in when I was employed here. They have since replaced it with a newer version but it is still a trailer – no getting around it.

I waited in the terminal with the rest of the passengers and held my place firmly in the line-up since I knew where I wanted to sit in the bus and the only way I would be able to claim it was by being near the front of the line.  Did it.  I handed my ticket to the driver who towered over me at the gate, gave my husband a quick kiss good bye and jumped onto the bus.  “Can you get a good seat?” I heard from behind me.  Looking over my shoulder I smiled down at his face and reassured him with a smile and a wave “Yes.”

I am an experienced bus passenger and know that by sitting 3 or 4 rows behind the driver you stand a fairly good chance of not having anyone sit with you.  For some reason most people head to the back of the bus and by the time they get back there and realize there arent many seats they start to panic a bit and grab the first empty seat they find and it’s not beside me.  I am happy.  Knowing I am going to be riding this bus all night to get to Vancover I will appreciate not having to share the seat with some talkative person who wants to share their life story.  I just want to sleep because I know I have a long day ahead of me and the more rest I get the better it will be.  The better I will be too since I tend to get a “bit” grumpy when I am sleep deprived.  Notice I said a “bit” ~ I am sure there are people who will disagree with me but for now I will only admit to being a little grumpy when i haven’t had enough sleep.

Wandering around downtown Vancouver at 5:00 am is not the smartest thing to be doing and especially on Main and Terminal where the Bus Terminal is located.  I used to work here also but it doesn’t even enter my mind as I find the washroom and look at my tired face in the mirror.  Even sleeping most of the way did not do anything to help erase the fatigue I was starting to feel.

Walking quickly across the park towards the skytrain I glanced around to make sure I wouldn’t have any nasty surprises jump out at me but all was clear, except the gates to the stairway of the trains were closed and I still had half an hour before they would be opened for passengers to be able to get on the skytrain to head down to Water Front Station where I will catch the next train to the Vancouver International Airport.

With a half hour before the gates would open I was really happy to see that a Tim Hortons was just across the street and open for business.  Not like the Starbucks on the corner which was closed up and even though the staff were inside stocking the shelves, they weren’t yet open. Not feeling comfortable hanging around the street corner I hitched my day bag onto my shoulder and pulled my little suitcase down the street to Tim Hortons where I happily grabbed a coffee and my favorite bagel.  There was no reason to hurry, since I knew it wouldn’t take me long to get to the airport and my flight was leaving for over six hours.  Relax, enjoy the coffee and read the paper left on the table by the person before me.

Nothing exciting about the ride out to the airport on the new Canada Line except I sat in a seat that had me facing backwards as we traveled over the rails at a high speed.   This is sure a much better way of getting there than trying to get a shuttle bus or ride the city bus with my luggage and fighting for room with the commuters who are only trying to get to work and don’t appreciate the fact I am on a journey of importance and my suitcase is actually just an annoyance to them.

All was good until I got a scare at the airport …. stay tuned for my update later.  Better yet sign up for updates to my blog and be the first to find out what happens next.

Happy travels,

Carol Ann Quibell


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About Carol Ann 114 Articles
Writer, traveler, RVer sharing her travel logs and information.