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Thursday, May 27, 2004

Blame Canada

Sitting in the Horseshoe Cafe in Bellingham, Washington. Plans went a bit awry last night when we got to the campground we'd planned to stay at and found that there was no method for late check-in. We took a look at some maps and figured out that maybe we'd be better off going to Bellingham to catch the passenger ferry to Victoria anyway. That didn't quite work out either. So, we're back in the states a bit prematurely, but figure that gives us more time in Seattle, which is fine by me. I like Seattle a lot.

We left Portland after visiting the World's Smallest Municipal Park, and heading back to the van via light rail. Spent the night in an RV park in Olympia, Washington, then headed out in the morning towards Vancouver. Got through the border checkpoint with no fuss, and toddled around downtown Vancouver for a couple of hours before Quidam - long enough for some gelato and some quick take-out Indian food. It's a nice enough city, but didn't instantly befriend me the way Seattle did years ago.

Quidam was fantastic. The guy they had playing John was fine, but he was no John Gilkey. That man is the master of physical acting. All in all, the rest of the show was as brilliant as I remembered. It's like a complicated poem where you're never quite certain what is being symbolized and have to make your own meaning. Throughout, red balloons represent hopes and disappointments. Figures in white clean room outfits anonymously pass through the character's lives. The father is too engrossed in his paper to notice anything around him, while his wife notices at first, then lets herself fade back into apathy, only to reawaken later. Meanwhile, their daughter is experiencing a much more fantastic world than either of them ever see.

The woman doing contortion in the red sashes was as good as before. She seems to represent the mother's naked self, struggling to move beyond the confines of her proscribed role. The little Chinese yo-yo girls were amazing. All 10-11 years old, they're probably seeing a world much broader than China. When their own country doesn't really value them, these girls are receiving applause around the world. The jump rope act was a perfect expression on synchrony. The acrobats catching and throwing, all in sort of surrealist workman's clothes, with four odd white clad figures moving through, the two women in white being thrown around like ragdolls without expression, were poetry in motion. Dissecting the symbolism of that act alone could be worth a thesis. Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if someone hadn't already done one. Anyway, it was well worth the journey.

So, now we're off to Seattle. I figured barring seeing Craigderoch castle, seeing more of Seattle would be fun. So far we've handed out about 5 Random Pixel cameras, though clearly Kevin has some 'splaining to do on that front. Off we go!

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