Posts Tagged 'Vancouver 2010'

Enjoy Your Stay

Peace Arch US - Canada Border Crossing
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The US – Canada “Peace Arch” border crossing, south of Vancouver, has always been a slightly Kafkaesque experience. In fact, until I got a second, “clean” passport (in which I don’t allow visa stamps from the Islamic Republic of Anywhere) and the new passport card, I used to be routinely “orange carded” upon entering the States, requiring interviews with various INS morons about my activities in countries they couldn’t pronounce or find on a well-labeled map.

My favorite television commercial from the Olympics nicely parodies the experience of crossing into the US from Canada.

My experience going the other way has always been different. Sure, Canadian Border agents are probably no smarter than their American counterparts, wear essentially the same uniforms, ask the same questions, and have the same concerns and jurisdiction. But there is a marked contrast in tone. The same questions asked accusingly by the American officers are asked politely and without any sense of prejudice by the Canadian officers. Going south, one is essentially told, “Okay, we’ll let you enter the US.” Going north, the tenor of the message is, “Welcome to Canada.”

This is a story of a northward crossing.

Continue reading ‘Enjoy Your Stay’

Golden Olympics

Logo of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games

A week before the start to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, I had the temerity to wonder whether the experience would be fun for the city and its visitors. At the time, there were few tell-tales to be seen on the city streets. Now the games are concluded and I have absolutely no difficulty declaring them a resounding success.

VANOC put on a superb show, not only for the world’s best winter athletes but for Vancouver as well. The experience was inclusive, inspirational, and delightful. Much has been made, and will continue to be made, of the economic costs and benefits that go into hosting an Olympic Games. That accounting will play-out in the years to come and the ultimate judgment cannot be predicted with any certainty, one way or the other. But only the most Grinch-like observer, pushing an ulterior agenda, could say that these games were anything but marvelous.

Continue reading ‘Golden Olympics’

No Fun Olympics?

Rain-Soaked Olympic Rings in Vancouver

Last summer, in the face of the fabulously successful Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, I raised the question: Could India host an impressive Olympics? With the Winter Games now a scant two weeks away, that same question must be asked of Vancouver. Though I write this from my Vancouver home, I cannot say that I have a clue what the answer might be.

I assume than the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee (VANOC) has the infrastructure and logistical matters well taken care of. I’m sure the events will go-off in decent venues, visitors will find themselves well accommodated and transported, and that they’ll even overcome the snow shortage occasioned by the rotten luck of an Olympic year El Niño in the Pacific. But will it be any fun?

Continue reading ‘No Fun Olympics?’


Blasts from the Past

Man Up!
Man up you pussy!

... because the Miami Dolphins NFL bullying episode brings the evergreen topic of the idiocy of manliness back into focus.

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Talking Turkey
how to cook a perfect turkey in half the time

... because Canada and the US will celebrate their Thanksgiving holidays and, regrettably and preventably, not 1-cook-in-10 will serve a decent turkey.

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Filial Piety Awareness Day
Kaki Tusler, Mother's Day Celebrant

... because everyday is Mother's Day.

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America Dreaming Small
American Dream

... because the re-election of President Barak Obama has done nothing to turn America away from its recent ethos of small-mindedness.

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Serenity and Gratitude to Bring in the New Year
New Year's Eve at Tibetan Pavillion

... to remind us that not every mix of Tibetans and Western spiritual seekers has to be nauseating.

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Incredible Vision
Infinite Vision

... to celebrate the new edition of Infinite Vision published in India.

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Expelliarmus! Harry Potter and the Path to Gandhian Nonviolence
Expelliarmus, Potter, Gandhi, Nonviolence

... reprinted in frustration that a dumbass nonevent brought down David Petraeus, the most brilliant, influential, deeply flawed military strategist since Harry Potter.

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India Going Nowhere Fast
Nano in Flames

... because cars are ruining Pondicherry, where I live. How badly are they fucking up your Indian town?

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Understanding the Gift Economy
Gift Economy Explained

... reprinted because more-and-more people seem want to understand the gift economy. (Yeah!)

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