Prior to my early morning flight - which would later become one of the most despicable experiences of my entire life of flying - I refueled with fresh fruit juice, a mocha, and breakfast in the form of eggs and toast.
This was not the first circumstance in which I had encountered this issue, though the passengers seated in front were normally kind enough to compromise. Adding to the fact that I, personally, had experienced being told to sit straight for the sake of the person working on a laptop behind me, I found it extremely unfair that I was being targeted from both sides.
An open message to Air Canada: Have faith that this memory will remain deeply embedded in my mind for the remainder of my flying lifetime, for not only have you removed the most necessities of survival from a paying customer - breathing space - but also performed an act forcing an already claustrophic being into deeper depths of psychological damage.
1) Translink is a flawed public transit system
While the SkyTrain operates at acceptable frequencies during weekday afternoons, this is completely reverted as the day eases into the evening hours. Waterfront-bound trains from Richmond depart every 12 minutes instead of 3-4 minutes - this is reduction of four times! In addition to this, trains headed towards the airport were practically nonexistent.
Buses, while decently frequent during weekday afternoons, were nowhere to be seen after dusk. Even during regular hours though, not a single one followed the designated bus schedule. Several times, I had waited aimlessly for a collective period of forty minutes since the vehicles failed to adhere to a proper schedule. It was frustrating and instilled feelings of helplessness, but over anything it was inefficient.
Needless to say, commuting on weekends was even greater challenge: majority of routes had significantly lowered frequencies, and some didn't operate at all!
The 1.5 h transfer period is also of major concern - it's simply not enough time to transfer considering that bus/wait times are never accurate. Adding to this would be the snail-like speed at which the Compass fare gates read payment statuses: PRESTO operates rapidly and accuracy, with a read speed of under one second; Compass requires up to three seconds and often more than one tap.
On three occasions (and possibly more), I have witnessed filthy, and potentially mentally unstable, homeless citizens on the Translink buses and SkyTrain. Their stench fills the atmosphere with putrid air, and their very presence leaves behind a trail of nastiness. The cities of Richmond and Vancouver do not enforce the Compass fare gates often enough, resulting in many homeless citizens to ride for free while harassing normal paying customers along the route. I was incredibly shaken from my unfortunate SkyTrain encounter and filed a message of concern via Translink's comment form. Of course, I never heard back from them.
The community is always bustling with residents, regardless of the time of day. "Off-peak" hours do not exist in the city of Richmond: the roads are always congested to the same degree and shops are constantly filled with sloth-like customers who, apparently, don't need to attend to other life duties. The most annoying aspect of this would be the slow, middle-aged ladies that make consistent attempts to block your path as if they rule the neighbourhood. They are not commuters that are in a rush to catch the next train or bus, yet they somehow feel the need to adopt that role.
4) Business hours are abnormal and random
Lunch spots are never open before noon, and dessert/bubble tea/specialty food shops operate at the oddest hours ever. To list a few: Mango Yummy opens at 2:30 pm, Snowy Village at 5:00 pm (on select days of the week), and Bubble Fruity at 4:00 pm. A Vancouver local once responded to this issue, "It's random, but that's how it is here." This only led to more headshaking on my part.
5) The community is inefficient, and doesn't strive to become efficient either
This final statement essentially concludes the above four declarations and the entirety of my Vancouver Voyage posts. A lack of efficiency at the present doesn't necessarily indicate permanency inefficiency. However, there is no clear desire for improvement, neither on the citizen's nor city's part.
For future reference, the city(ies) of Richmond and Vancouver are wonderful places for spending a leisurely vacation. Due to the severe lack of efficiency though, I don't believe I could ever picture myself inhabiting the area for work purposes.