First Week at UBC, Vancouver

My first week in Vancouver has gone super smoothly and been so enjoyable that it barely feels like a week at all! I didn’t even suffer from jet lag much because the inflight entertainment system on my daytime flight failed, so I didn’t have much to do but sleep.

My new flat mate, Vancouverite Karen, let me stay in her family home the night before we could move into residence the next day. This is one thing that has really impressed me in my first week in Canada – everyone is friendly. I’ve been met with so much hospitality here that it has been easy to feel at home right away. That said, I was missing a few home comforts as Karen arrived with her two carloads and me trailing behind with one, albeit large suitcase.

The simplest things have become strange to me. For instance, bedding. In Canada, ‘twin’ means a single bed – whoops. Also they use ‘comforters’ which is essentially a duvet, but they sleep with a sheet underneath so that they don’t have to wash the duvet. The shop assistance had a job explaining all the different items I needed…

I’m staying in Fairview crescent, a small cluster of four-bed apartments, that houses mainly exchange students. Day One was glorious weather, so a bunch of us decided to check out the on-campus beach, Wreck beach. After a 200-step descent to the ocean, we were not quite prepared for what awaited us. We became slightly distracted from the magnificent views because of the hoards of nudists populating the beach… I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much bare flesh in one afternoon! It certainly felt quite surreal, as sunbathing was not the only activity on offer… Naked belly dancers, drummers, singers, weed smokers, food sellers and bat and ballers, of all ages – although it must be said that I don’t think many students were participating in their birthday suits…

One of the reasons I have come to study in UBC is to experience the nature that British Columbia has to offer. However, this was not quite the kind of being at ‘one’ with nature I was looking for! I therefore went for my first icy-cold pacific swim IN my bikini, thank you very much.

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