It was 4 a.m. and less than 24 hours before, I had booked a flight to Vancouver. I ate Daffy Duck raspberry jelly for breakfast, out of a star-shaped mould that once belonged to my grandmother. I then stumbled around my flat, gathering items to stuff into a large rucksack, unsure of what was needed. I packed Douglas Coupland's City of Glass
, print-outs with the addresses of goth clubs, my half-written NaNoWriMo
novel, not enough jumpers, and eventually, sushi at the airport.
In Amsterdam, between flights, I bought postcards of tulips and prostitutes and sent text messages to friends and relatives detailing my current location. My black jeans became sticky with someone else's chewing gum.
I watched My Gym Partner's A Monkey
and consumed more jelly on the plane. As it flew across Canada, towards Fort St John, I looked out the window and saw a landscape that looked entirely lunar. I wondered if I was flying to another planet and what was actually there on the ground beneath me. On the in-flight radio, space exploration was mentioned.
As the plane began to descend and Vancouver came into sight, the sun began to set and the snow-covered mountains, skyscrapers, sea and clouds looked dreamy, so dreamy, glowing with shades of pink and blue.
Before I was allowed to enter Canada, immigration officers asked me to name what Douglas Coupland books I had read, amongst so many other questions that made me feel scared about travelling alone.
Eventually, I found ellescriba
, Erin and Darlene, and we drank cocktails at Cloud 9, the rotating restaurant on the top of the Empire Landmark Hotel, where I felt giddy viewing the skyscrapers, that were lit up brightly in front of me.