Thursday, March 4, 2010


Post Olympic Depression

Sounds familiar to you? I'm sure from everybody who was in Vancouver to work for the Games are in on it. It's probably even worse living in Vancouver and feeling it. Even people across the country are probably feeling it.

I'm used to it - Everytime I finish one of my academic competitions, I have that post 'Jeux du Commerce' Depression that students across Québec feel as well - it's a competition that you prepare for almost a year beforehand and it's done, Poof!, within 4 days. And I've been going through that three times a year with Happening Marketing and HR Symposium throughout the year. Olympics, I've applied about 2 years ago, and after 3 weeks and a half, Poof!, it's gone. And it won't come back. As for JDC, I will be participating again next year, where they will be held in Ottawa. Heck, I even have Happening Marketing coming up at the end of March to look forward to - making this Post-Olympics depression easier on me, I believe.

I haven't been able to go back to work yet - Tomorrow is the big day. I'm seriously scared of going back, thinking I may have lost knowledge with my month of thinking only of which section the bathrooms are located, where the smoking section is (Gate 3 - Section 109), infobooth (Section 311 and 114), where the ATM is (Section 116), where the elevators are (you can't go to the north ones in Section 308, but you must go to the ones at 319), Which sections you can't access and have to do the loop (Sorry, sections 105 to 101, sucks to be you, you can proceed to bitch at me now), how to get to Beatie street, Georgia, Granville and where the Olympic superstore is, how to access the SkyTrain the fastest from the arena and lastly hear compliments about my eyes pretty much constantly - which was nice from all the repetitive questions. But, I unfortunately will not be getting anymore questions about the Sections, or any compliments, but more about ''Gen, can you do this T1 for me before the end of the day? Thanks'' and me calling the government ''Hi, I need information about a client of ours, I'm calling from BDO Canada and my name is Genevieve, and the client's SIN # is _ _ _  _ _ _  _ _ _''. Although, don't get me wrong, I do love my job and the people! : )

So yes, I would take knowing a few sections by heart over doing 1o personal tax returns in a day, or even a gigantic one within 4 days (Thanks, person who put all their year's receipt in a shoe-box, you really thought you were getting away with it!)

But that's the reality. I'm back in Ottawa. I'm on my couch. About to go downtown with my blue coat (Yeah, kind of excites me) but it's the harsh reality of not going out to Granville tonight, or not attending a free concert at Granville Island or LiveCity either, not using my Volunteer accreditation & blue jacket for freeloading off stuff, or passing as a ''staff worker'' to get in somewhere, not singing Oh Canada on the Skytrain, not high-fiving tons of strangers on the street, not being asked questions from strangers about anything and everything in Vancouver when I'm in the streets with the blue jacket, even if I have no idea the answer (I guess I won't worry about that in Ottawa wearing the blue coat), of eating Pizza every second day because you have no car, and honestly, it's the easiest thing to split with your brother, to sit in the volunteer debrief room every morning with tons of strangers but who eventually became familiar faces and even some, very good friends, to go out every night and end up with some friendly strangers after the bar taking part in the most silliest things in the streets - mostly some screaming and cheering for Canada, to have about 15 new contacts in my phone - close to non with a last name and who will remain as those random friends I made in Vancouver, to buy expensive beer in Vancouver - whether it was at the bar (7 - 9$ each) or at the Liquor store (30$ for 12), to watch the fireworks and the fire shows at Robson Square that goes on each night to just working my shifts everyday - making friends with everybody in my section at the Hockey Games and seeing people so excited about hockey and the Olympics, I will really miss it.

And I'm not alone.

Some people are calling it post-podium depression. Which where they write why they think people are having this depression: Why is the sense of loss so profound in Vancouver? I think, in part, it's because the whole thing turned out far better than anyone expected.
Which I think is completely true. I was doubting the whole experience my first week. But now I'm embracing it. I've never seen such patriotism outside of Ottawa on Canada Day ever - and I think it even surpassed it! 

Over here, they mention: You eat dinner with it, you spend the night with it, you fall asleep in front of it. For the better part of a fortnight, you come to count on it, put your trust in it.
This seriously represents what I've been doing the past 3 weeks, when I would get home from volunteering (if that) I would turn on the TV, write my blog, then go to bed, with the TV on sleep for 30 minutes with CTV on. Never did I watch anything else if I had the chance.

And CTV is calling it the post-Olympic blues. Some people comparing it to after Christmas. 

Well, like I said, it can't be that bad. I do have parties lined up with friends this weekend and it'll make me remember why I love them so much and kind of started missing them by the end of my trip. Kinda guys. 

Well, tomorrow I'm going back to work. Wish me luck!




Now before I write my final words on the Olympics and perhaps not touch my blog for a while, I wanted to point out something just as experiencing BC / Vancouver, but for more than a week or a weekend. I basically became a resident of Surrey travelling to BC every single day.

Now I know we are Canada, but wow are we ever different from End to End, East to West and I’m sure South to North as well! But there are also similarities.

1)    The culture clearly differs. As we can see in Ottawa, we are very multicultural as well but it’s completely different in terms of nationalities.
2)    The Public Transportation. In Ottawa, I used to say the occasional thank you to the bus driver as I stepped out of the front door. In Vancouver, people scream Thank you from the back door, almost all the time! Also, they have their bus stops electronically up so if you’re from out of town, it’s easy to find where you are going. Downside of Vancouver: Some of their bus stops don’t have numbers or anything.
3)    The Streets. At first, I thought it was CRAZY to name all the streets ‘164th avenue’ and ‘130th street’. What? Were these people reall non-creative? No. They  were smart. They do this so people can situate themselves really easily, and people knew exactly which area of Surrey you were in when I would tell them.
4)    The bad ‘neighbourhoods’. You know when you live in Vanier, and you’re sorta embaressed so say ‘vanier’ while looking around a bit knowing that they might make fun of you, I realized where I was, Surrey, was the same thing! By the end of my stay, I would say Surrey while looking around and a bit rolling my eyes, becauses of the reactions I had gotten from people the whole week! Same same thing as Vanier or any other rough neighbourhoods.
5)    The Rain. People in BC are not phased at all by the rain, and will go out and do their regular thing as us in Ottawa seem to curl up in a ball and try to avoid anything that has to do with going outside.
6)    The Weather. Clearly, it was hot as hell over there. But I heard that had their warmest winter, but I think it’s usually along the same lines.
7)    The public transportation part 2 – The skytrain was very similar to the 95 in terms of people busting out the Oh Canada, but it was much more efficiently run.
8)    The French. They don’t give a shit! They either really don’t care, or hate it even. People were frustrated that it was at every Olympic venue in both official languages. Yeah sure, there wasn’t that many Québec people and the French from France were probably pretty happy, but at least we’re not in the States where they only have one language, and doesn’t say much about their culture and one-mindedness? It was funny, because at the GM Place they would annonce certain things in French first (i.e. a newly acquired gold medal) and I would cheer … but nobody else, until they heard it in english. Pff. I did have a few talks with anglophones in Vancouer that did realize that problem and were loving to hear my opinion on it. Kudos to you guys. It’s funny because in Ottawa, the anglophones totally respect french and even in circumstances would wish that they spoke it! Complete different end of the spectrum. People also were really amazed at how well I could speak english, some not even realizing I was french (whooaa!) but nobody even ever assumed we were franco-ontarians, just Québec right away. Except some Québecers, they would be the ones to point out our ontario out of us!
9)    The Alcohol. 30$ for a 12 of beer? Are you kidding me? For some reason in BC, their beer is really expensive. Hard alcohol is a bit more expensive, but wow. And it’s funny because you have the BC Liquor Store and privately owned Liquor Stores offering Beer and Wine as well. Clearly different than Ontario (Hard alcohol only dealt by the Ontario Government) and slightly different than Québec.

I’m sure I’ll think of more, later on. But there’s one thing that’s definitely the same: It’s the way we act for our Hockey Teams. The guys cheer the same way, people are just as crazy about hockey in Vancouver as it is in Ottawa or Montreal. I thought it was really cool to see that the atmostphere in a bar did not differ at all on a hockey night whether you are in the East of the West. Go Canada Go!

Also, all the Vancouverites are all having high hopes of the Stanley Cup now. I guess they see a direct correlation on the Gold from the Olympics and the Stanley Cup, but I feel like they are only setting themselves up for dissapointment, because let’s be honest, it is really hard to win the Stanley Cup. But I’ll be honest – it probably won’t be the Habs going to the finals, so all the power to them and to believe!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Monday - March 1st - Whistler

So we got into Whistler at about 7:45 am and then dragged all of our luggage to the Hotel we rented last minute - 150$ with tax and everything. It was really not bad, especially we met up with people who booked a room a while back and paid 298$/per night for just a really small room. It was perfect for my brother and I. So we get dressed and head for the slopes.

What an amazing day - I will have more pictures when my brother's camera gets back - but we did start out wiht a breakfast up top after a few runs, which was pretty amazing view. We heard about these free mountain tours - which we assumed it'd be older people giving us the tour - but went with it anyway. So we did that at 11:30 (oh and after doing a Boarder Cross run - it's so fun, I definitely would want to do that! hhehe) And they brought us all the way up in the Bowls. Now, I have never seen so much snow and openness. That's the thing, it's SO open I can't believe it.

We did one of the bigger and popular bowls where we had to hike up after a T-Bar (oh, I am no longer afraid of them) and so I have a pretty cool video of that.  Steph hiked up a bit to get really fresh Pow and it was pretty cool. We would stop a bit everywhere and they would explain where all the other Bowls were, where you had to hike to get to the more intense ones, and wow everything seemed really amazing. It's such a free-for-all!

We took the Peak-To-Peak at the end of the day to check it out, and skied on Whistler at the end of the day. We were dead tired by 3 pm so decided to call it a day. Although it took us quite a while to get all the way down, where the snow was getting very much like April-like snow. Kinda sucks, there was 0 snow in the village or anywhere around, kind of weird to experience!

At night we met these 2 groups in the hottub, and one of them were from Hull. We went to supper with them, then hit up Tommy's Africa for the 80's night. Everybody was fully dressed up for it - reminded me of JDC parties - but they were all SUPER snobby. I was really turned off by the ''locals'' attitude - like they were the cool kids in High School but I felt like they were all like.. dumb as shit.. No offense. It wasn't like JDC at all because I felt like the people were missing just, brains. I don't mean to be harsh towards the locals, but I realized that they all either serve, work in hotels, etc which yeah it is a sweet life, and I'd love to get a transfer of BDO there, but I started doubting them!

gay pride week at Whistler

Anyway, we went back, I woke up at 8:30 am to catch a bus to the airport, caught my plane at 2:30 and only got in Ottawa at 1 am.

Going over the Rockies in the Plane.

That was it! I'll keep posting a bit because I really want to make a post with all the main differences between BC and Ontario.

I'm back home now if you want to hang out! Haha!

Sunday - February 28th - Crosby SCORES!!!

So today, we go straight from where we were last night because we ended up staying up until 7 am and just passing out until 10 am - They were pretty nice and didn't mind letting us crash on the couch. We get to the Canada Hockey Place where Steph was able to sneak his way in by completely lying to everyone (Haha Just for you) and sat beside a camera, on a media box that they set up for those cameras, for the whole game. I, didn't have my pass back on time, and couldn't do the plan I had planned! Nooooo - I know, it was harsh. But I just went across the street to the Molson Canadian Hockey House -  but from the outside and met up with Judy, the girl that I spend watching the Swiss game with. She was there with her RCMP cousin so the three of us caught the game together.

It was a wild game - I don't have to go into details. I can tell you when Parise scored, the whole crowd went dead silent from cheering (since they were cheering loud from about 2 minutes left). I immediately saw downtown Vancouver all in fire from a riot I could see being caused if Canada would lose - and would ruin the whole feel-good image that the Olympics were getting in the past week. So I was really hoping for the sake of the Olympics, that wouldn't happen.

The entrance to the house.
It was 100$ to 200$ for a Day Pass at the Hockey House, and people were even scalping passes as well. 

Anyway, when we scored, everybody went nuts naturally. The party immediately started, and I'm sure it was the exact same in Ottawa - like people wrote on facebook, a mini-Canada Day/Sens Mile. I thought the same thing, but it was already like that each and every night, and even more on any Team Canada win nights.

Unfortunately, my brother and I were absolutely dead from the night before so we had to skip the whole downtown thing (we had done it about 9-10 times anyway) and head home to go pack because we had a 5:15 am train to take. We ended up going home and sleeping for a while, then taking a cab at 3 am to get downtown in time. It was a weird night. And we missed out - but hey, it's stuff like that you have to do if you want to go to WHISTLER!

Saturday - February 27th - Alberta House

So today we got up a bit late and I was quite hungover, and decided to contact Jean-Marc (our new Montreal friend) and Elodie to go out and enjoy our real last night in Vancouver.

So we did just that by meeting up at the Edgewater Casino, headed to McDonald's while Jean-Marc got tons of Free stuff at the Ahtlete Village (Oh and his Federov pass-hilarious), bought out Greyhound tickets for Whistler and then headed towards Granville once again. It was raining, but something was hilarious - There was TONS of people partying, and that's pretty standart here, but they were all in their MOST ridiculous outfits and the oldest boombox - blaring out a radio station all at the same time. So there's about 100 people with boomboxes, and people will signs of a Decentralized Dance Party. It was a lot of fun to see. Clearly, I lost the crew and went filming all of this.

 This guy was crazy on the guitar. Reminded me of a Guitar Hero character!

So we proceeded through Granville trying to figure out where we could go out - We knew that everywhere would be packed so I mentioned the bar I was at the night before - there was a DJ and a small dance area, decent prized alcohol compared to everywhere else, so let's do it. On the way there, we bump into the Alberta House and there was a good song playing so we decided to go in there instead. 


The DJ was okay - I mean, he could of been playing better music at first. The house basically closes at midnight, so towards the end he started playing all the classics (some on a remix) of the country songs. 
We met these young 'kids' I'll call them in line, they were 18, when we were coming in and had a few drinks wiht them, started a dancing circle and we were just crazy in general. Trying to have a good time, there was a few people cheering for Finland (They had just won the bronze) and a few ''cowboys''. I met these 2 boys that paid 3,000$ for their tickets to the final, which was pretty standard at this point! But wow. I didn't think it was worth that much - but yet again, we heard somebody paid 100,000$ for 4 tickets together in the 100's the day of. That is nuts my friends! Or maybe I'm too used to seeing tons of games, all the time...


Then we left a bit before 12 to go to the next bar, just around the corner, called Dix. It was a peanut bar, with peanuts absolutely everywhere, and drinks were definitely decently priced as we've been paying 7-9$ beers all month. Yeah, it's expensive, that's why we snuck in a lot of alcohol. 

Skip to the last call, we start drinking our last pitcher really fast, then these guys are playing some sort of beer pong, on a pool table, but like, you get a peanut in somebody's glass and they have to drink, it's a big free for all. Before that, we start throwing them peanuts kind of causing a peanut-food-fight until they tell us to come join them to finish up their pitchers too.

This is pretty much what it looks like.

After that, we start walking outside with them to where they invite us to come over and keep on partying. As we're a bit tipsy, the four of us just say Yes to continue the party and go over to their house. It ended up being one of the most fun we've had - the girl had a bass violin (I'm not even sure if that's what it's called, it was just a gigantic violin a size of a person), one of the guys had a guitar, tam tam's and randomnly this other european looking guy brought out an accordion - which he was AMAZING at! So they jammed for quite a while and it was really nice to hear. At one point, the accordion guy just started signing really loud! It was really godo though, I got it on tape. You'll definitely see it in the video.

So that's about it for that day! We're a bit anxious to find out about tomorrow's game..

Friday - February 26

I wrote this in Word and never got a chance to get it out for some reason. Yesterday = Friday.

So basically yesterday was pretty crazy and a scratch-off. First, I got to watch the semi-finals from a ridiculously good view, Section 111 to be precise, and so I didn’t take any breaks to eat or anything because no way I was missing that. I did get the end on video by a friend of mine, so that will be precious to keep! (My parents even spotted me on TV when I went all the way down the stairs to check something out)

People started chanting ‘We want USA’ very early before the game was over – which at one point I didn’t think it was going ot be a 3-2 game. After a while, I told the people waiting to go to their seats that I thought it was a tad too early to say that (about 10 minutes before the 3rd period) and I think they got mad at me because Slovakia scored right after that. Oops.

I wish I could of taped the people walking out of the stadium. The usual – Oh Canada, We want USA, We want Gold (yeah no pressure boys)  and Go Canada Go and so on. But it’s just magical in there, when there’s a goal, it’s so crazy. I really hope we don’t lose – it would just put the whole nation on a year-long depression and the media would dissect every single thing that happened.

I met up afterwards with Scott, a guy who works for the New Jersey Devil which I couldn’t get over the fact he was a ‘jersey’ boy but actually made sense about hockey. Ha ha. Then we went to this bar with two of his friends who get to ‘work up’ the crowd – sweet job if you ask me – and basically just decided to party the night away, it was another of those random but great nights. 

  Big flag in bar

New Jersey hat - don't get fooled, its still Go Habs Go

Tonight I’m going downtown with Steph and we’re just going to go out and enjoy the last few days we have here in Vancouver. We jut own our 13th gold – tieing the Soviets for their All-Time record and that means that tomorrow we’ll BEAT it – Right boys?

I also got a cowbell donated to me last night and it made me really happy for some reason. I love how they represent the hockey moms everywhere across Canada – You know you had somebody’s mom on your hockey team that had a cowbell, usually just one person, but we all know it! Hehe

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I've just landed in Ottawa - It's been a great journey.

Update tomorrow on what I've done since Friday and until today. Whistler included!

For now, here is a video of Marianne St-Gelais watching her boyfriend Charles Hamelin win his gold. So cute, made me cry. But yet again, it's 2:33 am in Ottawa and I'm exhausted and about to go to bed.

Ahhh I'll miss these Olympics so much.