Last Friday while I was riding the bus to catch my ride to the swim meet, I had a great conversation with a fellow team mate which led me to a revelation.
Everyone asks me what I like about Vancouver, and why I moved here in the first place. The reason why I moved to Vancouver was because I couldn't get a long term permit to live in Switzerland and I knew I could adopt Vancouver as my new home permanently. P came into my life shortly after coming here and now that makes my stay even more permanent.
I like Vancouver because it's quite like Switzerland in many ways. But the main reason why I miss Switzerland I have finally discovered or been able to pinpoint it and admit it.
Vancouver lacks culture! The Proof is in the Vancouver Sun write up that organizers need to bring more of a Parisian culture to Vancouver before visitors get here for 2010. We lack outdoor patios and people watching scenarios.
I know I've said this many times and I probably say it every time I comment on Swiss posts. People in Europe are so lucky to have so many festivals, so many outdoor pubs when spring and summer and early fall are around. You enjoy the outdoors, the people and you are social. You get to enjoy many outdoor markets and fun activities on a Saturday morning which just don't exist here in Vancouver. But it's just not in the main city center of a large city. This culture exists in every small village around. I know it also exists in many areas in the Alsace region. But I can only speak from my experiences of where I lived.
For me, I guess it's a reverse culture shock. You don't know what you miss until it doesn't exist anymore. Instead here in Vancouver, we just try to re-adjust to doing all of the fun outdoor activities which make up for the lack of culture. As well, when there is a cultural event, it's usually so far away that it's not worth trying to go to it.
I'm sure the problem also stems from the age of Vancouver. Traditions aren't more than 150 years old or so. In fact, North Vancouver is just celebrating it's 100th birthday this year! We are looking forward to the celebrations on July 1st and well into August as that is when the North Shore lights up with culture. But I guess I just need to keep my eyes peeled for more of what the Vancouver area has to offer.