February 14, 2004

Vancouverites Watch Tourists Like Reality Show

A Skytrain-load of Vancouverites delighted in the confusion of a pair of tourists today, and I found myself caught up in the conspiracy of silence at their expense.

I got on the train at Stadium station and grabbed a seat. Not long after the train pulled out from Main Street station, I heard a woman standing somewhere behind me say, "Honey, I wonder if we already passed Chinatown."

I nearly blurted out, "Yes, we just left the closest station," however I felt awkward, as they were behind me, and I figured someone with closer contact would say something.


The woman asked someone standing behind me, "Do you know which station we should get off at for Chinatown?"

"Dunno," came a new voice, "I'm from Saskatchewan."

A conversation ensued about the cold prairies, while I squirmed in my seat as the train rolled further away from Chinatown. I scanned the people around me. Lips twitched, eyes shone, and eyebrows danced to the background music of soft whispering.

"Honey, it says Chinatown is No. 3 here on the map. Do you think we're there yet? Maybe it's the next stop."

It was too late. My silence had implicated me in the conspiracy. Several more stations and increasingly loud debate over the map passed before they finally figured out they were nowhere near Chinatown.

They got off at Joyce to catch a train going the other way, the doors closed, and seatmates chuckled. At least we didn't all roar with laughter, though I have to admit that when I got home and told my wife the story, we were both rolling around on the kitchen floor.

Shame! Why do we enjoy watching others blunder?

"Honey, do you think...?"


Posted by Paul at February 14, 2004 08:41 PM