Vancouver’s go-with-the-flow approach to nearly everything

It’s cool in Canada…

Rumour has it that in the interior of Canada people can ice skate and ski to school along frozen rivers and down snowy hills. Unfortunately here in Vancouver the water routes remain liquid and very well replenished, as the snow is replaced instead by 166 days of rain a year. However, Vancouverites not being ones to be outdone on outdoor activities, the locals replace ice-skates and skis with longboards and roller-skates to cruise around campus on. I was sat in one lecture when a guy burst through the door on roller-skates, apparently unaware how to stop or slow down he zoomed through the middle of the lecture hall until he fell into a chair, where he casually took out his notebook and started to scribble down what was on the board, completely un-phased.

These sporty endeavours and go-with-the-flow attitude have landed Vancouver as one of the World’s Most Liveable Cities, yet it is equally responsible for the city’s less desirable ranking as the third Worst Dressed City in the world. Both of these rankings become apparent on the rare sunny days in Vancouver; as the rain subsides and the cloud cover rises you become entranced by the striking snow-capped mountains that appear from behind the grey veil. Unfortunately the change in weather not only reveals the lies of the land but also draws attention to the lumps and bumps of the locals themselves, as every woman in the city takes the sunshine as a cue to squeeze into a pair of tight yoga leggings, irrespective of any wobbly bits and regardless of whether they are partaking in any form of yoga or exercise whatsoever. On the plus side, this change in the weather does therefore warrant a slight deviation away from the locals’ usual uniform of NorthFace jackets and Hunter wellies.

There are few other things that will make a Vancouverite deviate from this practical, outdoorsy uniform; a university presentation is one of them. Having just finished a group presentation, my friend Adam stood out from the crowd of anoraks in his dapper suit jacket as he headed straight from lecture to try his luck at sneaking in to the Davis Cup tennis tournament that was taking place around the corner. As he arrived, another man in a suit amongst the crowd yelled across to him, ‘hey you must also be late for the press conference? You look a bit lost; I think it’s this way…’ So quickly taking on this new role of journalist/photographer Adam hurriedly followed the man, whilst pulling his pen and notebook out of his pocket in an attempt to look the part. The two of them were quickly ushered through security to the press conference. Once amidst the press-conference a very flustered organiser spotted that Adam did not have a press pass, however, rather than calling security she unquestioningly apologised for the hassle of his from not having received his pass yet and then hurriedly ran off to get him a press pass for the rest of the week. So for the next week Adam donned his new suit uniform, grabbed a note book and a friend’s SLR camera and longboarded to the tennis. Un-phased by the huge microphones and comparably enormous cameras that surrounded him, Adam sat and watched the tennis from one of the best seats in the arena, conducted interviews with all the present world- class tennis players and even got a chance to play tennis with a few of them.

It seems that Vancouver’s go with the flow attitude can really get you places, except when it comes to conforming to the cities notion of ‘fashion’. Surely it can’t be much longer before Vancouver realises that yoga leggings will never be the new black.

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