Every now and then I like to find a coffee shop where I can sit and do absolutely nothing for a couple of hours while sipping on my latte – it’s where most of my good stories come from! This little incident happened a while ago, but I didn’t get around to writing about it ’til now.
I sat down in a quiet spot with my Chai and started browsing through my phone, not looking for anything in particular, but it was obvious that I was killing time. An older woman sat down next to me and started working on her laptop. I noticed she was simultaneously watching an episode of The Big Bang Theory so I kept looking up and that eventually led to a polite conversation between us. We talked about the show, what we like about it, and then she told me about herself – an immigrant from Romania who moved to Vancouver 18 years ago, she works as a Financial Advisor, and lives here with her husband and daughter. I told her about my journalism career and we got into a healthy banter about the pros and cons.
Soon it was time for me to go; as I got up the lady stopped me and asked, “You’re not born and raised in Vancouver, are you?” I wondered what she meant – do I have an accent? Is it that obvious? Is she being racist? Before I could ask her she continued, “…because a true Vancouverite would never have been this pleasant, let alone held a conversation with a random stranger in a coffee shop.” I smiled, told her that she was right, I’m not born and raised here, and saying that I left with a million thoughts running through my head. What is a true Vancouverite?
Being in the hospitality industry I frequently meet tourists from all over the world that say that Vancouver is the nicest city they have been to. People are friendly, helpful, and polite. Yet those that live here seem to have a different vision. Vancity Buzz recently posted an infographic of Canada that had the word “snobs” for Vancouver. Others have called Vancouverites “stuck up and judgmental”.
I’ve lived in BC for nine years now and have yet to develop a solid opinion on the city. I wouldn’t live anywhere else – but there are certainly some things that could change.
What are your thoughts?