I got back and planned out my next day on the Grouse Grind, and got a feel for some of Kyle's recommended restaurants. Later on, I bought some fruit and yoghurt drinks for my climb and headed out to eat. Kyle recommended a place called Guu. It was just like a japanese pub fare snack and drinking hole in Okinawa. Just like in Okinawa, the place was loud and crowded. Also like in Japan, you'd hear all the staff yell 'welcome' and 'thank you' in japanese as people came in and out. I loved the atmosphere and sat right in front of the cooks. They were amazing. Like bartenders they precisely made and prepared all the dishes with genuine care and focus. The thing was, they were fast. Each dish had a specific presentation and garnish and it all came together masterfully. Also they offered high quality liquors and cocktails. All of this quality was expensive mind you, but well worth the experience [Provided you experience it once, but really it was my fault, as I came in hungry expecting a restaurant, when it really was just a place to drink and snack]. I ordered beef sashimi which they garnish with a nice sour sauce and mustard and arranged into a tight rose. I also ordered stewed cow tongue, being sure not to get something cheaper and sacrifice the experience (a real struggle). For a drink I got a single shot of japanese 'vodka' [Their words, not mine] called kaido, which just tasted like good sake. The seat beside me was taken by a lone white guy, so I figured I'd start a conversation. The general mood of the place encouraged social forwardness. He was a friendly guy from Slovenia. From what I gathered, he moved here after visiting family here and has been living here since 2002 (8 yrs). He has a chinese girlfriend and likes butchering japanese [language] to the waitress and chinese to me [I don't know why people try to impress me by showing off that they know how to say hello in Chinese. I mean, it wouldn't bug me at all if there wasn't that awkward pause of anticipation for recognition. What do I say? "uhhh... hey yea! that's hello alright. way to go?"]. He's active and swims everyday, which is why I pegged him at mid 30's even tho he's 42. Asking him what to do, he suggested the grouse grind, which he did 2 weeks ago. A lucky coincidence as I was doing it anyways. I ordered a sake mojito, which included a japanese 'ball' drink. [I kind of felt the urge to buy him a drink, as that would be a Canadian thing to do, but I was in super cheap mode still]
We talked some more and he asked me to keep in touch, giving me his email [Lost it, but I don't think I would have emailed him anyways, because I'm a jerk]. He also told me about a great coffee place in town (saying a lot since he's european). It's supposedly owned by an italian couple. I took my leave and paid the $33!! bill for just myself, with a tip and tax it was closer to 40. No regrets since it was a great time, but ouch. [Alright let's put this into perspective... I knew my trip would cost a ton as I would be eating out and paying for room and board for a whole month, so yes... I was worried about money at the time]
I left feeling really good and ready to party, but for the first time, really wished there was someone to chill with. I wandered through the busy pub streets and came back to the hostel. The hostel was organizing a pub crawl, but I didn't feel like getting drunk with a bunch of hardcores the night before a hike. [That and I don't know how much conversing there'd be, as everyone was stoked to get smashed and you'd be in the bar for about 15-30 mins at a time before heading to the next]
Instead I chatted with Wakana as she sent me links to houses in Ottawa. We chatted for about 2 hours and I came up to shower and write. As I was writing this I finally met a dorm mate. He's Zak, and from France. He's looking for a more permanent place till Dec. He seems really nice... but he stinks. 2 mins after he got in, and there's a powerful B.O. smell. I hope he's gone soon, it's a little overwhelming.