Skip to content Skip to footer

The International Village

This is kind of an unusual post for us, as it focuses on the place where we live, as it happens. Every big city has its own unique characteristics. Whether it’s the climate, or the views or the language or the food. Some of these characteristics might blend from city to city and – in most ways – blur into a kind of sameness. Hey ho, that’s the way the world works.

We’re fortunate enough to live in Vancouver, Canada, which is kind of a double-blessing. It’s a lovely and diverse city, where the migrants have lived for dozens – and sometimes – hundreds of years. And, everyone is welcome here, when you’re kind, open-minded and positive thinking. Overall, there is a general buzz here that keeps it lively, but never threatening or to be avoided. People just get along, no matter where they’re from or what they looks like. It’s kind of an unspoken mandate that if you move here (and, frankly, pretty much all of Canada) you should be a liberal thinker, peace-oriented and open to it all. For example, religious makeup of Vancouver is: Christian(50.9%), No religion(36.3%), Muslim(5.8%), Sikh(2.0%), Buddhist(2.1%), Hindu(1.6%), Jewish(0.6%), Other(0.7%). The population of the city is expected to reach 2.47 million soon.

We were wandering downtown a couple of nights ago and walked past this generally forlorn cavernous building in Chinatown known as The International Village Mall. We’d wandered around there before, but only for a short while, as we always found that what we saw was sad and tired. But, we had some time to kill and, so, decided to explore a bit more. And, it actually proved to a genuine multi-cultural delight. Yes, a bit tired, a bit dark and a bit sparse, but as you wound your way up and around to the top, it was populated with one interesting shop after another. Family-run restaurants. Touch Of Africa featured genuine clothing, statues and trinkets, and more. Even better, it is owned by a delightful gentleman from Senegal. Worth a visit to see gifts, clothes and souvenirs that you’ll not see elsewhere.

Now, for even more fun. Hope you’re not allergic. Right toward the end of the mall is a place that most of us will have a hard time resisting. Catfé. And it’s exactly what it says it is. A place where you can spend time in a room full of rescued cats. This is perfect if you don’t have one. Or even if you do. Call ahead to book ahead your time or, if it’s not too busy, just stop by. The kids will love it, especially after a tiring day of wandering around Vancouver.

Click here to visit Catfé‘s website.

Here’s just one side of Vancouver. Click here for a Guided city highlights tour by bus.

We like the Executive Hotel Vintage Park. Super close walking to everything. The views! Click here.

Air Transat have some rather spectacular deals to Canada. Click here to book.

Leave a comment