A dozen fishing boats dotted the calm between the ferry dock and Roberts Bank container terminal, their neon yellow and orange markers bobbing in the grey sea further out in the strait. We walk-ons waited in the forward lounge as the massive ferry eased gently into the dock. I took note that the men in the group were trying hard not to be noticed as they took furtive glances at a pretty young woman in a snug yellow t-shirt.
“She could be your daughter,” I reminded myself, “treat her like she is…”.
The 620 to Bridgeport was waiting, already full of passengers who had arrived 10 minutes ahead of us on the Swartz Bay ferry. I paid $ 4.00, the driver apologizing for not being able to make change on the $ 3.75 fare.
The only seat left was the fold-down in the wheelchair space, which I gladly unlatched. The girl in the t-shirt joined me on the double-wide perch. I consciously twisted the wedding band on my finger and contemplated the cross on my necklace. I don’t like traveling alone.
Vancouver’s airport, YVR, is one of the nicest you will ever experience. Bedded streams flow through the terminal, planted on either side with greenery and dotted with aboriginal works of art. And…there’s free wifi!
The first thing I notice about traveling with an iPod is how it slows to a crawl the whole process of getting anything online. It takes forever to type on the tiny screen and the auto-spell function is alternately a joy and a pain. (Whoever programmed it believes that “thong” is a far more common word in English than “thing”.). Furthermore, my generation of computer users grew up with a mouse, not a trackpad, and it takes me forever to manipulate my fingers into the right combinations of pinches, spreads, drags and taps required to do any editing.
Back to the free wifi. Getting online was no problem: just “agree” to the never-read conditions and abracadabra I was reading the BBC homepage. But when I tried to send a couple of short emails from the Mail app they wouldn’t send. After digging around in the iPod Settings I discovered the problem: the outgoing mail server was set for my old Dutch service provider, Ziggo. Worse, there was no way to delete it. I finally added a second server to the list and then was able to switch the first one to “off”. Now I was cookin’: internet AND a mail app.
Would I be able to copy my entry from the iPod Notes app and paste it online in my WordPress blog? Frustrating! It took me three tries before I decided to google the procedure, and then it was a breeze (to paste, just hold your finger lightly on the screen until the paste menu appears…duh!).
But OH SO MUCH TIME to do what would take no time at all on a desktop.
Last problem at YVR: juice. By which I mean electriciy (aha! a word not yet in the auto-spell). This little iPod races through its battery life. But it also tanks up quickly, so 10 minutes sitting on the floor in a side corridor, usb adapter in the wall, was enough time for an almost full charge.
Then it was time to board, and the flight map now shows me to be about 30000 feet above Lake Athabasca. Gatwick awaits, undoubtedly with pay-per-use wifi and goofy British electrical sockets.
Who knows when you’ll hear from me again…