By Shelley Budd
It began with a few cold Lucky beers at English Bay beach on a sunny Saturday after work at 4. The beach was crowded and entertaining, full of dogs of all kinds and a friendly lifeguard making sure the pales like me didn’t get burned…Excuse me ma’am, but are you aware that you’re starting to get a little bit of a sunburn? I guess 60 SPF just doesn’t cut it in this new global warming sun! We packed it in when our beers were over and walked across the city shaking off grains of sand as we went, down into Gastown, for an amazing indian feast at Sitar. The Tandoori dinner for one, make it spicy, with a Bombay Sling is the perfect antidote to beach hunger – and enough for a lunch the following day. The servers really know what they’re doing there…there was a big old sitar in the corner of the room and we asked one man “who plays it;” he gave a teeny smile then got serious again and replied, “I do.” After shaking his head to reneg, we recognized his humour.

Outside, on our way to the Chill Winston , which was brimming with lovely looking people and plenty of street-ertainment to take in from the tables, we had a brush with ACTUAL MAGIC. He had long white hair and a black cap, and he asked me and a friend to put out our hands, flat. “Look into each other’s eyes,” he said, so we did. “Now, make a wish,” and I wished, among another thing, that we’d be able to get a table over on the packed patio. Real magic doesn’t exist anyway, so I was preparing my faux Ooo’s and Ahh’s when he said, “Close your hands, I am pouring the magic ash into his,” and he tapped twice with a closed fist. “Now you put it into her hand,” and so my friend tapped twice with his closed fist onto mine. “Open your hand,” he said to me, and I was bringing it close to my face with the plan to blow this imaginary magic dust away when my fingers opened up and there was actually a dark, thick ash inside the middle of my palm!! The magic man quickly asked for donations in his hat, and I plopped a quick toonie in, amidst our baffled, and oh-so-real oo’s and hows!! He replaced his hat and ran off into the gassy night, leaving us literally amazed.

Needless to say, a patio table opened up just as we asked about it, and it took a delicious Devil’s Fruit of Van Gogh Espresso Vodka, Kahlua and espresso beans, to work off the chills from a brush with the unknown. If I hadn’t felt a boozy buzz yet, I sure did after that.