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April 4, 2012 | by  |  Entertainment

While I’m looking for an adventure besides of my gloomy and well-ordered life in Boring- Darmstadt- City, Hessen, Germany it brings me to Vancouver, Canada.

15 hours and a couple of drinks later, I sit in a small hostel on the main street, which in this kind can be all over the world, like Amsterdam, Rekjavik, Barcelona, Berlin, London and all the other places where we beached and forward-looking people like to be. Of course, there a lot of strange and sometimes bizarre-seeming people, like the German dude, whose grandpa was a Teamster and drove with a truck around the old (smaller) Germany, with the wall in the middle, and so he knows everything about the older part of Germany, why he lives in a hostel? He want to move but that not worked well. Maybe typical for VanCity? There are a lot of people and a less of room. And Hektor, Boss of the Hostel, which I guess, comes in the kitchen every time I try to cook, he tried to clean. Between of all some normal stereotype guys with full beard and/or Irishman. Somehow we are all Irish – don’t we like beer and rain, fish and chips and sorta of this, we seekers and chased people?

Image Credit: Jesse Donaldson

To waste time you got two different rooms, both full with chairs, to be uneasy, in one room a table, deep enough so you can’t write on it, in some kind it remembers me on one scene in Men In Black, in the other room a TV. There sits a lot of Netherlanders, stoned (oh how I love stereotypes). Watch out of the window, there is the main street, beautiful and disgusting, subversive. Vancouver a town of precise conditions. You see how young she is, silky and beautiful. If there weren’t the blur, the ”eastsiders” it would be perfect, those failed, unsuccessfulled people from all over the country. It’s some kind of a clean cut, loser and winner more obviously, as in good old Germany. So what I have to think about these city: well on the first glance there is no counterculture, no graffiti, no lifestyle of young artists, no musicians on the street. If you live on the street, you are on the street, grounded. In some way it’s western culture in perfection: everything is beautiful, but there is no fight, no tension. There are a Chinese and homosexual neighbourhood, but where is their influence? But the coffee and the restaurants are fair-trade, yeah. And the employees of Blenz and the other big coffee company are happy or at least wish you to Have a Nice Day (by the way, it’s easier to get something to eat on the run, than cook by yourself but that’s another theme).

So conclusion:

There are winner and losers, everything is clean and fair. There is room for busy. Curious, where is the esprit? The cultivated human is the dead human; no men speech on the street, no drinking also, but you can smoke weed. A many of tolerance, but no pressure- no heat. Without friction it’s a little bit colder. Everything separated, there are clubs for hipster and youngster, is space for tourists and business. Nightlife is fit for clientele but the doorman can’t tell us a nightclub, where our music is played. So like in TV, first time in line, to get in a pub just for a pint, 20 minutes later succeed, beer and a place to sit, talk and get drunk.

Going home. Hmm what a weird evening. I’m not sure how I feel about Vancouver; for me it’s a little bit too silky. Last thoughts before going to bed. Again, from where is the subculture, inspiration and nuances here, stand up again, going down back to enter the fray and fight my European prejudice: Dragqueenshow. Once again tripped over my own bias. There a lots of difference I didn’t expect. For me Canada was in stories much more European. It’s not, not the baddest thing I guess, just different.

Benjamin Winsel was born in Halle at the Saale, March 21, 1985. He was raised, with the exception of a short interlude in Hesse after the fall of the Berlin Wall, in the Free State of Thuringia, where he founded Saturday Night of the Living Dead am Dienstag - a local late-night talk show. Today Benjamin travels the world.



  1. Love this article. It kind of sounds like weird poetry.

    And Benjamin – Vancouver IS boring. You need to go to the mountains, to the island, or go out east. But don’t stay in Vancouver if you don’t like it.

  2. Where in Vancouver could you be that you don’t see any graffiti? In Vancouver, as in almost any city, the downtown core isn’t exactly the best place to go if you want to find counterculture. I will agree that downtown Vancouver is a bit of a sleepy city, but I think in the whole of Vancouver there is a lot of fun to be had.

  3. Vancouver seen through fresh eyes! Liked the unique writing style.

  4. Vancouver is boring, if you have been to New York,San Francisco, Toronto, Montreal, you know what I am talking about. After a while you are done with the scenery overkill, i..e Mountains, beach etc it becomes so normal, whats left ? For Big city excitement leave for better pastures! The world is way too big for anyone to just get stuck in Vancouver!


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