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Himeji Castle

In Vancouver

Well, we finally made it to Vancouver, and it's a beautiful city. We're staying in a cheap hostel in Gastown, a pretty tourist spot just ten minutes walk from the beggar and drug dealer district. We've been all over the city so far, in search of cheap pizza and possible places to live. The suburb of Kitsilano is at the top of our list at the moment, across the water to the south from Stanley Park. It's a quiet, leafy area near the University of British Columbia, but it's pretty bloody cold in the evenings if you're looking around for houses.

After a procession of either crappy or expensive net cafes, I've finally got my laptop online through my shiny new Linksys wireless network card. I now get online for as long as I want in a friendly cafe in the city for the price of a bagel. Plus, I get to eat the bagel. It's blazingly fast too, so I may just come in and work from here in the next few weeks, but only if the garlic panini tastes as good as it smells.

The Canadians we've met so far have been overwhelmingly friendly and helpful. Unfortunately, a good percentage of them have also been insane. Insanity as a personality trait isn't that much of a problem when combined with solitude and surliness, but when crazy people try to be friendly and helpful, it can get messy. They offer ridiculous things, like free food and board, trips to their church, jobs in Korea, pet care and advice about where to find celebrities. Perhaps the CIA is putting something in the water.