Rainy Day Funny Story
April 11, 2011
Sunday was a day of rain and a funny story. As I said before about twenty-five years ago Donna and I almost immigrated our family to Canada. I mean we just fell in love the Vancouver area and tried to buy a place but when that didn’t workout, human nature can be fickle. I mean not a week later we had bought a place in Del Mar, California without another thought to moving to Canada. I bagged up what little Canadian money I had, about ten bucks, and packed it away. Out of sight out of mind for 25 years, but with the thought of this trip, I got it out. I had a couple of Canadian dollar bills, a couple of Canadian two-dollar bills and handful of Canadian coins, mostly pennies. I thought this would be a good time to get rid of that old money. I grabbed the money as we headed for the supermarket and put it in my pocket. As we approached the supermarket, I noticed a strange sight I had almost forgotten. Shopping carts chained together. Back when we were here 25 years ago they had introduced the concept of return your shopping cart or pay. The way it worked was that all the carts were chained together with a quarter operated lock. Put in a quarter and the lock opened, bring the cart back, plug in the chain and the quarter was released but today instead of a quarter it takes a dollar coin, which I did not have.
We went inside and I walked over to one of the cashiers and handed her one of the paper Canadian dollars from my pocket and asked her for dollar coin. She looked at the paper dollar, like what is this, as she held it up to the light and examined the bill’s both front and back sides. Finally she handed me a dollar coin while still having that look of distrust on her face. With that Donna handed her one of the Canadian two-dollar bills, at that point the young lady decided to came clean, with “I have never seen these before, I am not sure I can take them,” and she hand the two-dollar bill back to Donna. It seems she was willing to take the risk of the one-dollar bill but the two-dollar bill was just to over the top. I thought for a moment she was going to ask me for the dollar coin back but she didn’t.
I then went outside with my dollar coin to get a shopping cart, but I was having trouble figuring out how the lock worked. I couldn’t get it to accept the dollar coin and release the cart. I must have really looked confused because a lady walked up, Canadian friendliness, and she showed me how it worked. You put in the coin, then push it in with a key that is dangling from a chain. That locks the dangling chain out of the way while releasing the chain from the cart in front of the one you want. It was one of those things that once you see how it works, it is really simple. As I thanked her, she smiled and gave me one of those looks, like any caveman should have been able to figure it out.
She unlocked her cart and we pushed our carts inside together as we approached where Donna was waiting she blurted out, “ I had to show him how to get the cart released.” Then she turned to me and said, “Sorry I had to rat you out, but it was just too funny.”
She continued to giggle and shake her head from left to right as she pushed her cart down the isle and out of sight.
We did our shopping and returned to the motor home where I turned on the all men’s Master’s Golf Tournament to help me forget that I was not as smart as the average housewife.
With a good nights sleep, I put yesterday’s embarrassment behind me. This morning we visited VanDusen’s Botanical Gardens. What is so magical about traveling this time of year is that every day when you get up, the trees, the bushes and the flowers have changed, totally changing the kaleidoscope of colors you saw yesterday. VanDusen’s Botanical Gardens is no exception, what we saw today will be different tomorrow and we plan to revisit the garden again before we leave. If not for the gardens, then for the food, that’s right the food, they have a wonderful restaurant. We had their chicken potpie that was made with a rich with cream sauce that enhanced the flavors of the free-range chicken and vegetables while not overpowering them. The pie was topped with a light golden brown pastry crust, a perfect match for the creamy sauce with just a hint of herbs leaving one’s taste buds wondering what they were.
The VanDusen Botanical Gardens are currently being reconstructed with a green building project like so much of Canada at this time. Everywhere we look construction is booming in Canada… bridges, buildings and roads. If you are looking for high-rise condo living in the Vancouver area you can expect to pay $250,000 to $2,000,000 according to the local newspaper. No, we have not looked at any. I just checked the paper for prices. We plan to return to San Marcos this time.