December 4, 2009

49° 11' N 123° 10' W

We are in Vancouver now for the company Christmas party on Friday night. We are so lucky! It is not raining or snowing for a change; but still—it is really cold outside with a low of 32F this morning and not predicted to get much higher than 43F today; tomorrow the high is predicted to be 37F! Brrrrrrrrrrrr. It’s a good thing I bought a last-minute down coat before we got here. I seem to do a lot of rushed internet shopping with overnight shipping as we proceed on these little whirlwind tours. We had planned to be back in Santa Rosalia before coming here, so I didn’t have the warm rain/snow gear to bring along. I bought my coat at Lands End which I like for their reasonable prices and quality merchandise, but there were not many choices still left in my size so I had to settle for a white. Esperando tells me I look like the Pillsbury Dough Boy in my new coat—such kind words. Actually I had rather liked it but since he said Pillsbury Dough Boy I am now sure I must look like a blimp.

I had forgotten how expensive everything is in here in the frozen North, as my Mother refers to it! These people really get ripped off—at one time the Canadian dollar was about 75¢ to the US dollar, but now they are about even, which adds 25% to the price of everything (of course no one adjusts their prices downward) just for starters, and then that is also topped with a HST tax (sort of a VAT tax) which will be up to 12% by next July. This means real estate, restaurants, groceries and any shopping is just outrageous. I don’t know how these people afford to live here albeit it is a beautiful city.

This morning I went for a walk along Robson Street, the major trendy shopping district with stores like Gap, Banana Republic, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and so on. I could not resist wandering into Tiffany’s to admire the beautiful jewelry. Right before my very eyes two young blond things were buying a silver diamond-studded key with chain (apparently the new HOT jewelry item as seen in Vogue, etc.) They looked like teenagers to me, but I think they were probably in their early 20s. I am guessing they were buying this for their mother—in any event, with chain it came to a little over $1000, and they purchased it without blinking an eye. I was stunned. Maybe they were buying it for their dad to give her. Then, I looked at all the large carat diamond rings and drooled a little bit. The clerks assured that was fine as they had Windex to clean up the cases. They were all so kind and genuine, I really felt sorry not to increase their commissions by buying some nice bauble. Actually the store was quite busy. Guess its time to put some real effort into winning the lotto!

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