In conclusion: my last month or so in Vancouver was spent out of school. My mom took me out of school for whatever reason. I didn’t mind, I don’t think I even noticed. I was doing some home schooling, but it seemed like it was all the same to me. I can’t remember exact dates, but when my family moved back to Louisiana it had been about a year since we had left. Looking back on it I think the time I spent in Vancouver helped shape who I was and what I thought about the world.
Seeing where I am and what the future holds. It does seem like history repeats its self. when my family got back to Shreveport we moved into my Grandmother’s house. I fit right back in at school, and it was like I never left. Now here I am living in my grandmother’s house getting ready to move back to Vancouver where my Dad is. Someone I didn’t talk about much during my retelling of my northwestern experience. I’m ready to go back to Vancouver now, and fit back in like I never left.
As the seasons changed in Vancouver, it became more of what I expected from Canada. That is, it turned chilly. It was consistently more cold than it was in Shreveport. Which I was fine with, I do prefer the cold weather to warm. My first time seeing snow was in Vancouver. In Vancouver, however, since the town is right on the water. There isn’t a chance for there to be a legitimate snow. That didn’t bother me though. My mom and I were able to have some fun out in the snow on one day when it did. We built a snow man, despite there only being about an inch of snow with which to work.
Winter time is definitely my favorite time of year. I remember going to a holiday festival in Lost Lagoon. Which was a lake adjacent to Stanley Park. I believe they were connected by a path, even. Also, for new years there was a fireworks display in English Bay. The bay, of course, was surrounded by the city. It was especially special for my family since the owners of the apartments we lived in would let us onto the roof to see the fireworks.
I didn’t mention this in my last post. In the summer there is an annual fireworks event that last about a week or two called Symphony of Fire. I believe it is a competition between different groups or ‘teams’ I guess. What makes this unique, though, is that each team has their fireworks displays choreographed to music. It’s quite a spectacle.
Editor’s note: Looks like there wasn’t much story progression in this installment! I think my next post will be the last for this North Western Experience though. So, that should be exciting.
During the summer I spent most of my time near Stanely Park. There was a driver safety course for kids in a small concrete parking lot right before you entered the park. A police person would be there to make sure everything was in order. Some days they would have miniature stop lights hooked up to make it feel really authentic. I remember there were days I couldn’t take the course because my mom didn’t have enough money. I didn’t think too much about it at the time, but that really was the story of my time in Vancouver.
Early in our stint there in Vancouver, we lost our car. So, naturally we would walk wherever it was that we needed to go. I was young and wasn’t used to having to walk everywhere. Looking back I think I did complain quite a bit about having to walk to wherever. A few times, though, I convinced my parents to call a cab. That was fun, for me.
When it came time for school to start again, I think I was ready for it. My peers were unlike the ones I had in Shreveport. In that they were from many diverse cultural backgrounds. There were two brothers from korea, another two were from Yugoslavia(I think). There was at least one from China, as well. Of course, there were a few natives, excluding me, as I was from the U.S. After school all the kids would make their way out to the playground in the back of the school. That’s where everyone’s parent would come to pick them up after school. Though, typically, the grown ups would talk at the picnic tables as the kids played on the playground.
On the way home from school in the afternoon, I would often ask my mom if we could get a Popsicle. Most days I believe we did just that, too. It was about a dollar for a Popsicle, and whatever change we got back I would like to give it to a homeless man outside the door of the shop there on Denman.
And so Summer turned into Autumn, the leaves began to change, and the weather turned from warm, to brisk and often raining.
Denman Street was home to a couple food destinations frequented often by my mom, and myself. Along with a small convenient store owned by an old oriental man. When it came to restaurants I believe Vancouver had some some of the best. (Of course I can only compare with what I’ve experienced here in Louisiana)
I had a fairly limited idea of how large Vancouver was. As far as I was concerned it was a giant park with some urban area tacked on to the side of it. As most of my time was spent on Denman Street and the immediate surrounding area. My school was just another block down the street past Denman. a brisk 5-10 minute scooter ride was all it took to get there. Depending upon the weather and how quickly it took me to race down to the crosswalk and press the button to make the red ‘stop’ hand change into a white ‘you can walk’ person.
My first experience at school was pretty harmless from what I can remember. I liked my teacher, and I made a couple friends. I needed to finish out my last couple months in kindergarten since I was unable to finish them in Louisiana. So, I had a quick few weeks to get myself acquainted with what this school had to offer. Then, I was free to have fun during the summer.
So, I didn’t know what to expect from Canada before we got there. I was just taking in the sights as we meandered along. We traveled North West across the United States for 5 days. There’s a place I’ll never forget that we stopped in at, while we were traveling. On the last day we arrived at a place called Leavenworth, Washington. A quaint town that looked like it was out of a book. Really a cool little place.
Along we went. We rolled up to the U.S./Canada border in what seemed like the afternoon. I was starting to get excited. I would be living in another country. albeit English was still the predominant language, so it wasn’t too foreign. Our new abode was small one. A one bedroom apartment for a family of three. My parents had their bed in the living room. Mine was in the one bedroom. The apartment was all white: the carpet, the walls, The tile in the kitchen. It was our home, on the sixth floor, right by the ocean.
We lived right next to the ocean. One apartment complex over from Stanley Park. A 1000 acre peninsula dedicated to nature walks and sea walks. There was a food kiosk there, and a playground right by the beach. You could really lose track of time if you weren’t careful. They even had a pool there. Right next to the ocean! Hm, I thought that was pretty funny.
So, that was to the left down our street. if you turned the other way you would need to walk a few blocks down a street paralleled by towering apartment complexes. You would come to an intersection. Denman and Nelson.
Ah yes. I was born on a chilly morning in a Vancouver hospital.On December 18, 1993. I was born in beautiful Vancouver B.C, Canada. I don’t remember my time there. I just know that my parents and I lived there for about 6 months after I was born. Then, took off for Shreveport Louisiana. Where my mother is from, and my parents met. So, I went to preschool. The next year I switched schools to First Baptist Church School. In this school there were three years of Kindergarten: K3, K4, K5. Then you would graduate right on in to 1st grade.
So, I started in K4 I made some friends, that I still know to this day. I generally got along with my fellow kiddies. Now, by this time I had moved to two different houses. We lived in an apartment while I was in K4, then in K5 I lived in a different house.
In the spring of ‘99 I was informed that we would be moving again. However; this time it wouldn’t just be to a different house or apartment. We were moving to a different place. Beautiful Vancouver B.C, Canada. I wasn’t able to finish out my school year in Shreveport. I did have a nice going away party though. I said goodbye to my friends, and before I knew it I was in a car, on a ride to Canada.
(Now, of course there were things that my parents couldn’t tell me at the time. I’ve decided to keep the details of the story congruent with the details I had at the time.)
'Till next time,
Hello, my name is Zach.
I’m a 17 year old dude from Shreveport, Louisiana. I’m not in highschool, and I live with my Grandmother, my mother and her boyfriend. Of course, there’s a story behind this, and that’s really why I’m here. To share a story or two with you, dear reader. Hopefully you’ll find some humor, or just general entertainment in what I have to say. That’s really what I’m here to do. That is; I want to tell this crazy ass story!
I think I’ll leave it at that for now. I still need to figure out where I want to begin. One might think the beginning of my days would be ideal. However; I’ll need to do a bit of editing to make it less tedious. I believe.
'Till next time,