Relying on a Wi-Fi connection with an upload rate of less than 1 MB/s became an increasingly painful issue for me, thus prompting me to take my setup outside in hopes of quickly finishing pending work.
I took to Google to narrow down a spot that would fit the bill: low noise levels, free and stable Wi-Fi, and ease of accessibility were my main factors of concern. Unfortunately, the only location that fill the bill was Estea Cafe in Aberdeen Square.
Besides attempting a rather flavourless milk tea with tapioca on my second day in the city, I had also popped in several times while hovering around the Aberdeen area. I hadn't purchased anything though; I wasn't particularly prompted to considering that they had been incompetent enough to botch even the most basic drinks of all time: Milk Tea with tapioca pearls. To my knowledge, there is a standard ratio of black tea to milk powder and syrup, along with generally-practiced tapioca cooking methods. Neither principle had been executed properly.
Despite taking the above into consideration, Estea remained the closest cafe to my living accommodations. Around 11:30 am, I stepped onto the empty, pink-tinted premises and proceeded to camp out. Prior to engaging in Internet usage, I placed an order of their Original Milk Tea Waffle; the dessert required approximately the same duration of time to compile as one trip to their disgustingly dusty bathroom combined with complete laptop setup. The resulting product was a milk tea slush topped with two scoops of, presumably, no name vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, mini tapioca pearls, a chocolate wafer, and a waffle that had been sectioned into quarters and eights for easy placement.
At $6.75, it was a fairly decent dessert. The outer edges of the waffles were undeniably crisp, while the milk tea slush was of a fine, icy consistency. Flavour-wise though, the sweetness was just overbearing: it was essentially 16 oz. worth of a diabetes-inducing creation that only tasted more sugary with each bite. The caramel sauce was overkill, and eventually, so was the submerged melty ice cream and soggy waffle pieces.
It's highly unlikely I'd return for Estea's milk tea-based items, should I return at all. The password-secured Wi-Fi connection proved to be much quicker than at home, but fluctuated quite significantly throughout my five-hour stay. Download speeds ranged from 11 MB/s to 23 MB/s, while upload rates bounced between a measly 0.3 MB/s to a max of 4 MB/s.
By this point, I was extremely puzzled, I simply repeated that I wished to know the wait time for a Katsu Sandwich. A different cashier worker uttered, "One hour. But we have one right here." and lifted the packaged sandwich in her hand.
"That's all I want!" I was frustrated and exasperated. "I'll take it! That's all I wanted!"
While patiently waiting for the bus to arrive, thoughts of turning back to pull out the tripod surfaced in my mind.
Reaching Brighouse, another wait ensued for the arrival of the SkyTrain. I found it absolutely ridiculous that, on a weekday evening (and a busy Friday night at that!), only one train was scheduled for every 15 minutes or more. When paired with an atrocious lack of A/C, the trip only worsened.
Take note: there are approximately three to four vendors that sell relatively similar products, some pricing their items more economically than others. That being said, it's important to cover the entire area to scope out the best deal.