It is February. I am in downtown Vancouver. And I am naked.

Not bare naked though it feels that way. No bags, snacks, sippy cups, stroller, change of kids clothes, baby bjorn or baby adorn me. No plotting potty breaks, minimizing tantrum potential or predicting snack time.

It is just me. Alone. For the first time in FOREVER.

I am me in my twenties. Gallivanting about the world, just me and one backpack. Wandering the streets observing, for hours. For fun.

Now here I am today. Me in my thirties, with a mortgage and a husband, a dog and kids. But today it is just me. Naked.

I wander aimlessly, joyfully. No plans besides watching the dress rehearsal for the Olympic Ceremony. Today it does not matter how I get there, or when.

I stop at an independent café for an Americano. Hadn’t planned on getting one but their cheeky sign board drew me in.

Welcome to Vancouver

Bring Your Own Snow!

Then, quality coffee in hand, I saunter. I pass bums with dreadlocks and dogs and recall the beggar who lived in my downtown Vancouver building years ago who would panhandle by day and come home every night with a case of beer. I pass lovers, complainers, disabled, racers, cheerers, workers, and lots and lots of volunteers. One volunteer wields power with his megaphone yelling directions to the oncoming masses. Only he has his left and right wrong.

There are many, many people getting on and off transit. People who have never actually stopped at a bus stop, never climbed steps to a skytrain. On my bus trip over, a woman stands before me. Her extensive diamond accessories attempt to blind me though I still glimpse her perfectly manicured nails and designer jeans. Her perfume screams RICH and her attitude too. She dramatically fans herself commenting that all this standing and sweating will at least drop her 5lbs (off her already too slight frame). I bet myself, knowing I will never know for certain but certain in my bet, that she will be catching a cab ride home.

I people watch the day away. It really does take all kinds to make the world go round. Whether I agree, disagree, love, hate, laugh at or laugh with. That is what makes life so fun. People. Naked. Raw. Real.


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