According to a recent article, Vancouver may be a beautiful place to live, but it aint exactly the friendliest of cities.  Apparently, it’s not easy to make friends here because Vancouverites tend to be aloof, cliquey, and not all that inclined to welcome newcomers into their established social circles.  Truth be told, this isn’t the first time I’ve heard this complaint so the article wasn’t all that surprising.  However, I can’t complain.  I found it fairly easy to make friends when I first moved to Vancouver and, even today, have no problem striking up conversations with complete strangers.  My advice to those looking to make new social connections?  Get a dog.

In my first few months in the city, I made a number of friends at the local dog park I used to frequent with Jelly.  Many of those friendships have faded but a few remain strong to this day.  Take my buddies Errol and Janice for instance.  Despite the fact that they moved to Toronto, and then moved back to Vancouver when I moved to Toronto, we’ve still remained good friends.  The dogs may have brought us together but nowadays it’s food that keeps us connected.

Today, it was my turn to trek on over to their turf – lovely Coquitlam – for top-notch Filipino cuisine at Kulinarya…

Lunch is ready. Come on in!
Errol is the expert, so we let him call the shots.
Akemi and Janice ready to chow down.
Iniha na Pusit: Grilled, stuffed squid. Delightfully tender. And tasty. This was one of Akemi’s faves.
Prawns and veggies in tamarind soup. The tamarind lent it a nice, subtle sourness.
The Crispy Pata: Deep fried pork leg served with special sauce. This one was my favorite.
Sizzling Sissing. Another one of my all-time favorites. It’s comprised of crispy minced pork, ear, and liver, served sizzling and, occasionally, topped with an egg.
And a bowl of crispy pork-studded Bagoong Rice with a little kick of shrimp paste.
Special mention should be made of this sour/peppery sauce that Akemi was eating by the spoonful.
And the Halo Halo for dessert: shaved ice, evaporated milk, beans, sugar palm, coconut, jackfruti, tapioca, sweet potato, leche flan, and purple yam ice cream. More or less.

It was a great meal.  Akemi and I were absolutely stuffed.  So we worked off lunch by heading back home, picking up Lulu, and taking her for a walk through Greek Fest:

Quite the crowd.
Akemi runs into some friends.
Lulu was, as usual, all sorts of popular. Whenever someone would so much as “Oooh”, she would dart over, park herself in front of them and stare up until they pet her. But being an attention hog is hard work, especially on sunny days. Thirty minutes in and she was exhausted.

Tomorrow, I begin the rewrite of the horror script!

Finish up The Phantom.  Cookie Monster will have his review tomorrow.  And then, on Tuesday, we continue our trip down SGA memory lane as we begin our reminiscences of Stargate: Atlantis’s second season!

13 thoughts on “June 24, 2012: Unfriendly Vancouverites, Kulinarya and Greek Fest!

  1. Food looks delish, but now I don’t want my dinner. Thanks! It’s been pouring rain since early this morning and apparently, we’re in for some rough weather for the next couple of days. I was so sure this tropical storm wasn’t coming this far inland, but I was wrong. We’re under all kinds of warnings for the night, but I’m just hoping the electricity stays on. No a/c in this heat? No thanks. Meanwhile, Riley had finally gotten the hang of the peeing outside thing, and that was toast today, too. The other dogs are seasoned pros when it comes to weather, so they run out, pee/poop and run back in to a warm, dry towel. Not Riley! She figured the living room floor was a good place to poop today… Good thing the big rug has been cleaned and is put away for our move!

    Have a good night, everybody! 🙂

  2. Speaking of pugs, I saw someone taking 2 really small(Assuming they wern’t that old) pugs for a walk recently. They were so small and tiny, such cute animals they are.

    Although I’m not a fan of dogs, I can see how people love them. A while back I saw one which looked so playful waiting for it’s owner to throw a ball, the way it kept looking back, running back slightly, running forward like it was really excited and smiling lol. Granted I didn’t look back it was more the dog running past me a bunch whilst walking through a park.

    Just made me laugh how full of energy and happy the dog looked. It was kinda big though.

    I guess it depends on the dogs personality, some are just really really happy and playful, emphasis on really.

  3. I found it fairly easy to make friends when I first moved to Vancouver and, even today, have no problem striking up conversations with complete strangers.

    Even with…ya know…tramps and teamsters? 😉


  4. hey. dogs. makes sense. I guess some cities are more unfriendly than others, but part of the equation is the person. I am not the most social of creatures, but usually get along well when I travel. A little self depricating humor, honest interst in the person and/or their town, and basic manners go a long ways to making travelling pleasure rather than chore. Not a foolproof formula, but if it doesnt work I can then blame the locals. With your outgoing personality, it’s pretty much a given that it would be the locals who are at fault..
    Looking forward to the review, and even more to the season two memories. Best of luck on the rewrite

  5. Huh. In my admittedly limited experience, I’ve found Vancouver to be very friendly, at least to me as a visitor. Compared to Montreal and Vancouver, it’s practically like down home here in the Maritimes! It’s actually one of the things I like so much about the city.

    That food looks great, especially the prawn soup and the dessert. *searches Google maps to see how close Coquitlam is to Vancouver*

    Poor Lulu. Being awesome is hard work!

  6. @Deni Stay safe. Looks like Texas might not be in the forecast for TS Debby, but I saw pictures of Fort Myers where the hubs is supposedly vacationing with his brother & their family and there was a trampoline on electricity wires (which brings me to my point of why in hurricane-prone areas are the wires still not buried underground). I talked to him this morning, but he has not called back since I saw that. So I hope he and the rest of the Bowen clan are okay.

    As far as what you had today, I would try the Halo Halo. But nothing else. Looks lovely and I enjoy reading about it, but let’s see, I had an Atkins shake today, some Cheez-It crackers, I tried these spinach & red peppers noncrusted mini-quiches that were horrible, some broccoli. Oh yes, and a couple chunks of fresh pineapple. I tried giving Patrick a Teddy Bears soft apple cinnamon cookie, which he raked off his tongue and threw it across the room at the dog. So I just finished up the rest of that. And I just finished up the night with a lovely cup of hot cocoa in 101 degree heat outside. Mint Hot Cocoa. It was lovely. Not I’m not freezing anymore. 🙂

  7. Filipino food! Love Filipino food! 🙂 I am half Filipina my mom came from The Philippines! I remember Halo Halo! Yummm! 🙂 I love Lechon (roasted pig)! I love Pancit! But…my favorite are Lumpia (kinda like spring rolls stuffed with meat)….delish! 😀

  8. Folks in Florida, stay safe.

    Wow, nearly all the food you photographed for today I would happily eat. 🙂

    I find people are about as friendly as you expect them to be. I never, even before 9-11 , had issues in NYC (except the police who were very unhelpful). We heard how much people in France hate Americans and yet they could not possibly have been nicer, more helpful or wonderful to us (though my friend was there and HATE THEM and they hated her.. hmmmm).

    I suspect that, like me, you could and would talk to a stump. 🙂

  9. Everyone keeps saying the best way to meet new people is to go to dog parks. I suspect when I move after I graduate and get my first real job (I hope), I’m going to have to get a dog. Or better yet, a cat that doesn’t mind walks.

  10. So Pajo’s touts “Stellar, just-like-family, customer service ” on their website. They must have taken you for that cousin that no one in the family likes…

  11. Mmmm, stuffed squid. But what, no lumpia?

    I have little tubs of tamarind paste, which finds its way into all sorts of dishes, especially soups. Good stuff to have in the fridge, that, and pomegranate molasses.

  12. Joe, I was watching SGA’s Duet last night. That is the funniest damn thing! (see, it’s even got me cursing!) I was thinking you should do another contest for the funniest episode ever in Stargate history. This would be right up there. Gero would win again!

  13. Tamarind Soooouupp! And crispy Pata… man, you’re making me hungry Mallozzi!
    I agree, the absolute BEST way to break the ice with just about anybody in any (western culture) city in the world is to equip yourself with a dog. I have a rescue greyhound called Kez and she is a magnet on the streets – people spot her and slow down, they want to pet her, talk about their dog, their granny’s dog, Kez’s racing history, you name it. Kez stands for all the fuss with great dignity. If I want to meet a LOT of people, and have plenty of time for the scores of conversations I’ll end up in, I put her in her jazzy Pringle-diamond-pattern pink and blue winter fleece.
    Irresistible human-bait? We has it.

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