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Global Bloggers Meet in Vancouver

(September 24-29, 2012)
Photograph by Preeti Verma Lal

In less than 12 hours, I’ll fly across oceans into Vancouver. For a Global Bloggers Meet. Bloggers? Yes. But, first, I want to see Gassy Jack. Yes, Gassy. Find the name funny? Then, you ain’t heard nothing about the man. First, hear about the city. Then, about the man. That man called Gassy Jack. Vancouver is world’s most livable city. So, they say. Vancouver is Canada ’s most walkable city. So, they believe. Vancouver is one of the world’s top 10 ultimate sports cities. Whoa! I believe that bit! That’s too many epaulettes for a city that borrows its name from a Dutch captain called George Vancouver? I do not care about the epaulette count. Gassy is on my mind. After all, Gassy made Vancouver what it is. Kinda. That gregarious, pudgy guy nicknamed Gassy Jack built a brick and batten saloon (yes, saloon) in a maple grove in 1867 and lo! an entire neighbourhood sprang around it overnight. Almost. Gassy was one helluva entrepreneur. He paid his workers wages in beer. They drank to the gill, worked to the last breath and loved Gassy to death. I am flying across oceans to see Gassy.

Wait. He’s not the only one I love. There’s another man. The man who propped wah-wah pedal and famously said, “Excuse me, while I kiss the sky”. Don’t know him? Jimi Hendrix. I’d mosey up to 796 Main St , where Hendrix’s grandmother Nora donned an apron and cooked in what was then Vie’s Chicken Inn. Much before he crooned purple haze in my eyes, don’t know if it’s day or night, it was here that Hendrix busked and strummed on the sidewalk. Now, the Inn is a Hendrix shrine. I'll leave a flower for him.

In Vancouver, I’ll pig. Eat, silly. And eat more. It is the Global Bloggers Culinary Tour. In Granville, I’ll look for inventive dogs. No, these are not robotic pugs; it is the humdrum hot dog with a spin - dogs dressed with seaweed and okonomiyaki sauce. Japanese-style hot dogs (not real dogs, stupid) are insanely delicious. If hot dogs come with a spin, coffee in Vancouver is a highly regarded art form. Ask a Vancouverite and he’d tell you that “to drink is human, to drink coffee is divine”. Like the one you get in Cafe Artigiano, where lattes and cappuccinos come with such exquisite designs on the froth that you would not know whether to stir them or borrow the art auctioneer’s gavel and bid for the frothy art pieces. And then, there’s moose droppings. (Now, stop being scat-tily imaginative!) I’ll tell you what they are once I pop one.

I am on my way to Vancouver for the Global Bloggers Culinary Tour. On return, if I tip dangerously on the weighing scale. Blame the Press trip. Or, the inventive dogs. Spare Jimi Hendrix. He is kissing the sky. I'll do that too. Just that I do not know whether it is day or night!

Sunday, September 23, 2012. Noon.

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