A Nice Foreign Invasion

FEBRUARY 5, 2010
I went downtown today to have a lunch with Simon & his brother. His brother backed out at the last minute, so Sim and I decided to try out Nuba, a lebanese restaurant I have been hearing about on Twitter. Oh my my my, it was so good. The baclava finale at the end of lunch wasn't exactly fitting with my new diet, but I am sure I burned most of those extra calories off.

After that, Sim and I parted ways as he had to get back to work. But I came downtown to go do some shopping. See, it's February 5 and I still haven't finished my Christmas shopping. Awful, yes I know. Everything was originally backed up because I made calendars and they took forever to be delivered. And then when I got the calendars, I got sick (I'll blog about that another time) and it kept me from doing much til recently. Today it was a gloriously beautiful day, and I was determined to finish it finally, damnit. 

So I got a bunch of Olympics swag for the family. Spent way too much money with my proud Olympic sponsored VISA card. But I think I finished the shopping. Tomorrow I get to pull out the wrapping paper and wrap everything. And perhaps I'll watch Rudolph while I do that.

After I fumbled out of the respective stores with large bags, I decided it would be a good time to take a few photos around Granville Street, which is currently shut down to road traffic and used as a pedestrian street. Lo and behold, I encountered some special tourists.

The Russian Olympiads

Oooooooooo! Actual Russian Olympiads! I zoomed way in on their badges after I got back home, and found out that they are Galina Likhacheva and Yekaterina Abramova, two of the women speed skaters for Team Russia!

Spotted some Russian Olympiads walking down Granville doing a bit of sightseeing

Immediately upon being spotted in their notable (and, might I say gorgeous) sports costumes, they were immediately thrust upon the Canadian masses, who treated them like superstars. I'm proud to say I was one of them. But I'm the photographer! And it's not like I stood between them and said cheese. This guy didn't hesitate, however. ;)

The poor girls were being bombarded with photo ops.

I'm sure it's pretty surreal for them. I stayed on the sidelines, though, because I can imagine it can be a bit much for them... especially as they seemed to speak only a little English. Oh, and the Coca-Cola (proud official sponsor!) people whisked them into their little circle for their own photo ops. Corporate whores... ;)

I know the popular thing to do these days is to crap all over the Olympics. Boo the commercialism of it all, boo the heightened security, boo the pricetag attached to hosting such an event. And I concur whole-heartedly. But when it comes down to it, it's all about the athletes. They've been training hard their whole lives for the chance to compete against the world's best in the Olympics. I'm sure it's a whole worldwind dream for them. And for them, I'm excited. And I'm pleased to also be a part of it. And I hope these next weeks will yield a couple gold medals for Team Canada, particularly in hockey.  (Sorry, Mom, but I must cheer on Canada in this case. They want it so bad.)  I hope these next weeks will be peaceful and not riotous, because although it's everyone's right and ability to protest, it's the right of everyone else to not be exposed to riots and oppressive police force using tear gas. And I hope these next weeks will yield me with some great photos, of which I plan to make a book from to remember.

You can view my whole pre-Olympics set here.

filed in Current Events | by Christine at 12:52 AM on 2010-02-05