My friend Linda invited me to join her and a friend for a little birthday dessert at Casa Gelato last week. She also asked her house guest along, a young guy from Glasgow. He’s holidaying here before embarking on a Masters in Educational Psychology back home. A funny coincidence, given that Linda and I are also starting our Masters in the Faculty of Ed at UBC, so we had lots to talk about on the way to my favourite ice cream place. And not just my favourite, the parlour was packed when we arrived at the large pink ice cream castle.
It’s more than just the superb locally made ice cream that draws Vancouverites here, it’s the whole experience. The large Italian murals on the wall, the crazy cakes. Linda said she’d buy me the Barbie Doll one for my birthday, but I had my eye on Spiderman. We, moved through the crowd, elbowing our way to the ice cream cases, sampling many of the 200 or so flavours, even some of the crazy ones like berry jalapeno, curry, and pear and gorgonzonla. Not the Durian though. Linda’s friend Rhonda kept returning to the chocolate and Jack Daniels.
Despite all the jostling for samples and the decisions, one scoop or two, waffle cone or cup, there is order in the chaos, all set to some very dance-able music. On that night it was the Bee Gees. At one point, overcome with ice cream fever, I broke into a spontaneous disco performance, which is perfectly acceptable there, as is squealing and hysterical laughter, and all manner of silliness. My friends joined me in all of the above.
I finally decided on a double scoop, raspberry chocolate truffle on the bottom, pineapple macadamia coconut on top. We all took our cones out to the parking lot turned seating area, surrounded by trees, more murals, kids and dogs, strollers, moms and dads and grandparents. Over ice cream, we learned more about life in Glasgow and that Scots really do say Achhh. As for the Olympics, apparently the Brits feel about the same as we did – didn’t want them, but now that they’re here, let’s party.
I suspect that evening at Casa Gelato will be one of the most memorable for the Glasgow Guy. An achhh-thentic Vancouver experience.