Vancouver via the 2 block perimeter of the embassy

Trip Start Jul 10, 2005
Trip End Jul 25, 2005

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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Monday, July 11, 2005

Hi, Sze here. I'm going to type out my day and Nadine will add hers since we spent most of today doing seperate things.

Anyway, I realized today that I did not pack the digital camera cable so I can't download any of the pictures we've taken so far. Time to hunt down an electronics store of sorts so that we can post the pictures up as we're traveling. Bummer.

It's actually Wednesday 7/12 as I'm writing this. Yesterday was a super stressful and tiring day so I did not have a chance to hammer out an entry before we went to bed. We woke up rather early around 7ish and got ready to head off to find the US embassy. My visa interview appointment was at 10am so we had plenty of time to get ready, have a bite to eat of breakfast and be on time for my interview. I thought that the whole visa process wouldn't take too long due to my appointment but boy was I wrong.

Nadine and I found the embassy in no time.. it was only 2 blocks away within walking distance from the Hyatt Vancouver (We got a great room rate on, where we're staying. We found an italian eatery called "Goodfellas" across the street from the embassy and had the nummiest breakfast there. We shared a fruit bowl and a vegetarian omellette. By the way, food in Vancouver has been absolutely fabulous so far.

After breakfast, I headed over to the embassy and found that a long, long line had already formed outside the door. Good thing I struck up a conversation with the guy behind me who turned out to be an engineer who works at Pixar. We hit it off and managed to squirrel away time chatting. After waiting for about an hour outside past my appointment time of 10am, I was led upstairs where I was given a number and waited in another room for another hour. Finally, I get my number called and I'm led up to another floor into a tinier room where I had to wait for another half hour or so. And then I was called for my interview, which peculiarly was held at a window infront of everyone that was waiting.. which was absolutely odd to me. The interview went smoothly and I was told to pay my fees and wait for further instructions. At this point, it was half past noon and lo and behold, the cashier went out to lunch and won't be back till 1:30pm. So, yet another hour of waiting, and I went off in search of a pay phone (We couldn't bring a single thing into the embassy except for our papers) so I could let Nadine know what was up.

The search for a payphone took forever, and I finally found one and called Nadine who was wondering where I was all day. Finally, at 1:30pm, I went back to the embassy, paid my fees, and was told to come back at 3pm where I could "possibly" pick up my passport.

I then went back to the hotel where I met up with Nadine. We stayed in our rooms for a little bit before heading back out at 2ish. Back to the 2 block perimeter of the embassy and we found another restaurant a block away. We had a quick light salad lunch and back ot the embassy I went... only to be told that there was a delay in my passport.

After another hour of waiting, I finally receive my visa and passport at approximately 4pm. Yep. A fun day at the embassy!

I'll write more later but we're heading off to Stanley Park now. More on an evening of Malaysian food, meeting new friends and two cupcakes.


Ok, back from a wonderful jam-packed Wednesday but first, to wrap up my re-cap of Tuesday. So after a long day at the embassy, we met up with a couple of online friends at the Banana Leaf Malaysian restaurant on the West End neighbourhood in downtown Vancouver. When we travel, I always research to see if there's a Malaysian restaurant in the city we're in and proceed to eat my heart out at said restaurant, and this time around it was no different. I ordered my usual Roti Canai appetizer, which is becoming a favourite of Nadine's... followed by Snapper wrapped in Banana Leaf, Curried Vegetables (Kari Sayor) and traditional malaysian fried flat rice noodles (Char Kuay Teow). The noodles were the best I've had outside of Malaysia. I ordered Tiger beer and Nadine had a yummy Dragon's Eye martini (Lychee and vodka mmm)
Yummy stuff! It was great to meet some new faces and just finally unwind after a long day.

After a great dinner and good company, we rolled our stuffed bodies out onto the street and walked down to the water which was a couple blocks away. On our way there, we stopped by the cutest cupcake store ever called Cupcakes. What a great idea! I love cupcakes! Even though we were so full, we could not resist and each got a cupcake to go. I ordered a chocolate cupcake with chocolcate frosting and Nadine got a Sweet 16, a vanilla cupcake with pink frosting. I ate my chocolate cupcake today and it was delicious. Cupcakes is a must-eat when in the West End of downtown Vancouver.

After procuring our two cupcakes, we hopped in a cab and headed back to our hotel.
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