I wanted to shake up my life and go sailing (or learn on the job, so-to-speak) so headed to Florida to crew on a catamaran. This is about how it went or, rather, didn't - and my life since. Hopefully it will lead to a catamaran on the clear aqua blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, watching the sunset, a coconut rum and coke in hand. You must START AT THE BEGINNING of the blog, April 2009, to get the whole story...

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Sliding Doors is one of my all-time favourite movies. One of the reasons being, I suppose, that I often think of how our lives can take a completely different tack than the one we are on by what will seem at the time to be a rather insignificant occurrence. Sometimes it is an event that is far from insignificant but then, I believe, we often have more of a say in the direction we are about to head. I can think of several of those times in my life, but the insignificant ones can go unrealized for a long time.

I had my own 'sliding doors' experience this past week.

I was heading to Yaletown from New Westminster, where I am housesitting for a week, to have my hair done. I had plans to meet a friend later in the afternoon, once my hair was restored to it's preferred state. My friend lives across False Creek in what was the Athletes Village from the 2010 Olympics and if she wanted me to meet her there, I would take my car downtown. If, however, she would meet me in town I could take the skytrain. I called her and she wanted to meet downtown. I still hesitated at taking the skytrain as I really don't like being without my own transportation but, after thinking about having to pay $15 to park for the day, I decided to do the smart thing.

When I got to the New West skytrain station the train was already there so I just walked on with another lady and the doors closed right behind us. Just made it. But then imagine our surprise when the train headed off in the other direction to Surrey instead of downtown! I thought, for a moment, that my infrequent use of the train meant that I had inadvertently walked onto the wrong side of the station and thus onto the wrong train. But I was sure I had seen the sign that said "TO WATERFRONT STATION". This was confirmed when the other woman exclaimed that we were headed the wrong way and was agitated about it. When we arrived at the first Surrey station, we disembarked to find a lot of skytrain employees standing about. We approached one and asked why the train headed the wrong way. He was rather rude and asked "There were employees at the station to tell you that only one line is working so the trains are alternating on that line. Didn't you listen?" I informed him that the train was there when we arrived and we walked on with about three seconds to spare so there was no time for anyone to tell us anything.

We caught the next train and headed off down to Vancouver. I figured the delay had cost me about fifteen minutes, but I had left with plenty of time to spare so I wasn't worried. When I got to the Waterfront station, I got off and boarded the Canada Line which would take me to Yaletown. At the next stop, a gorgeous tall black man boarded. It did not pass my noticing how good looking he was. He sat on the seat next to me and I said hello and he returned the greeting. I was dying to ask him if he was from the Caribbean but didn't like to so, instead, I toyed with my Tortola Caribbean Hook bracelet hoping that if he recognized it he might say something. He didn't. I got off a couple of stops later and as I climbed the stairs to the street level I thought, "Well that was a missed opportunity. I will never see him again."

When I got to the street, I walked around the corner from the exit and stopped to dig my phone out of my purse. I had not had anything to eat or drink yet and wanted to see if I had enough time to go to the Starbucks across the street. I did. I noticed that I had a few new emails so, for some inexplicable reason, decided to read them right there. I was almost done when I saw someone approach me and stop. I looked up. It was the man from the skytrain!

"Hello," he said, smiling, "I was sitting beside you on the skytrain."

"Yes, I know." I said.

"I hope you don't think I am crazy or stalking you but when you got off of the train I thought 'I need to know this lady' and got off right before the doors closed."

I was somewhat taken aback but replied, "That's interesting because I wanted to talk to you on the train but didn't. I wanted to ask if you are from the Caribbean."

"No I'm not but I get asked that a lot," he said. "I am from Nigeria." He had a lovely British/African accent.

"How long have you lived here?" I asked him.

"Eight months but I come from Toronto where I lived for several years."

I asked him what he did here and he told me that he worked for a downtown law firm. He was impeccably dressed for a Saturday so I wasn't surprised to hear he was a professional.

He asked me what I did and I told him. We chatted for a few more minutes and then he said that he would like to get to know me and would I be okay with him calling me sometime for a date. HA! Would I??? I handed him one of my cards and said I would like that.

He called last night. We are going to meet up next week.

So by my reckoning, here's all the things that happened from my side to line this up:

~ decided to take skytrain over the car
~ caught the right bus from the condo to the skytrain station (no small feat as I have no idea of the bus schedule)
~ caught the skytrain running in the wrong direction
~ sat down in the right car on the Canada Line
~ no one sat beside me before he boarded
~ I stopped to read my emails on the street instead of going straight into Starbucks where he would never have seen me and probably walked away thinking I was gone

Here's to Sliding Door moments in our lives!!!
All photographs are mine and not to be copied without express permission from me (click on them to see the large version).
Some names have been changed to protect my butt.

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