Tuesday 29 October 2013

Crystal Palace 0-2 Arsenal [Par's house, Vancouver, Canada]

I'm back in Canada eh! Another quite brilliant city in North America, Vancouver is a haven for outdoor lovers. It's one of the only places in the world where you can ski, sail, bike and run all within the city limits, and all on the same day. Of course I spent the majority of my time eating and drinking and not partaking in any of those activities. But, if I had more time, I certainly would.

Vancouver skyline viewed from Stanley Park
The photo opportunities in Vancouver and the surrounding area are unbelievable, with the mountains providing an un-rivalled backdrop to the glass and concrete mecca of the downtown skyline. It's a city like no other. It's also extremely expensive, with the exception of Sushi, believe it or not, where you can get some of the best the world has to offer for very little outlay. It was a welcomed alternative to the usual deep-fried gastronomic delights I have subjected myself to in the United States over the past few months.

The Vancouver Gunners (known locally as VancouverArse) follow the team passionately and usually watch matches at Phat Bar, located in one of the city's many upscale districts, Yale Town (sounds expensive doesn't it?).

However, I was thrown into the deep-end in terms of adjusting to life as a Gunner on the West-Coast. The first match on this side of the continent was of course Crystal Palace, a 12:45pm kickoff. When you consider that Vancouver is 8 hours behind, well...you can do the math; it's a 4:45am start, understandably too early for Phat Bar to open. And as the challenge is 'to watch every Arsenal game with another Gooner' I had no choice but to get up at stupid O'clock with my host, Par, and watch the game from home. And I might also add, once we had watched us beat Palace 2-0, we immediately headed over to the bar to watch it again, 'as live', both of us trying our damnedest to act like we didn't know what the outcome of the game was. We deserve Oscars.

So, the GOTR unbeaten run continues. Next stop is Seattle, back in the United States. Keep an eye out for the 'Meet The Gooner Family' feature on my Vancouver hosts.



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