I’m back from my trip to Seattle, Vancouver, Whistler, and beyond! Now that I’ve taken the Coast Starlight train to all its destinations I can’t wait to take some more long distance train journeys!!
Danny has often pointed out to me how I go down a social class for every bag I’m carrying and it was even more true for this trip. As I went from my friend Els’s house near the giant geodesic dome thing in downtown Vancouver, to the train station, at 4:30am, laden with giant backpack hanging off the back of my wheelchair, smaller backpack at my feet, and duffel bag balanced on my lap, a little group of maybe 30-somethings was heading away from the crosswalk I was approaching. One of them veered off towards me holding out a bag. “Would you … would you like breakfast?”
Now…. what a question since I was just looking around wondering if anything was open so I could get a muffin or whatever before getting on a 3 hour bus to Seattle where I’d get back on the train. Perhaps this young man had been at some sort of … early meeting rife with donuts, or was a baker carrying home some fresh pastry and a MAGICAL CROISSANT was going to appear for me.
Thus I paused a bit, consideringly, and said “Um… what is it?”
“It’s my leftover McDonald’s pancakes. Please, take it, go on!” (Earnest eye contact, look of deep and pained concern.)
Maybe I should have taken it so he could feel good about himself but I did not and I may have giggled inappropriately without explaining but I did smile and was as nice as possible at 4:30 am on the street. Then I passed through a sort of encampment in the park and at the train station a cab driver was screaming at a definitely homeless dude who was asking for change and so I gave the homeless dude my leftover Canadian money mentally attributing it to the nice man with the free bag of (gross!) Mcdonalds pancakes.
Completing my downwards journey to squalor I then just flat out laid down and fell asleep on the (relatively clean) floor of the bus.
p.s. I did get breakfast from a nice man in the train station who opened a tiny cafe at 5am and sold me a slice of lemon cake!!!
p.p.s. Wait staff in Vancouver AND Whistler sensitively offered me a straw, multiple times! They lean over and say it with soulful discretion, while making eye contact and touching my arm a little! “Would you like a STRAW, ma’am?” (They have HEARD that disabled people have this whole straw thing so…….)
More about the amazing adventures on my trip later !!! A little at a time!!!