I emerged from my no busking malaise with a sunny arrival in Vancouver. Right as I alighted from the bus from Seattle, I saw a busker in the middle of a random farmer’s market in the park outside the station. He finished his pitch soon thereafter and I asked him about busking the city – getting more difficult every day, he said, with the economy driving more people to play the streets and less money around to be given them, but always enough “after a full day for at least a hostel and a couple slices of pizza.” Hm, it really must have been the sun that enthused to busk so much.
So I headed for a go very near where I’m staying in Vancouver, beneath Highway 99 as it goes through Stanley Park on the way to the Lions Gate Bridge – as far as I know it’s the only remotely pedestrian tunnel-like place in the city. I started off with an original. I think I’m once again enthusiastic to busk as a form of practice – which really isn’t how one should approach it, but oh well! Right as I finished that first song, two Polish women strolled by with two adorable little girls. One called out, “But no one’s going to stop here!” (The tunnel’s mostly frequented by runners, bikers and roller bladers.) She stopped to request “Oh my God you know Falling Slowly” and watched rapt with her friend while I sang and the girls drew with green crayon on the sidewalk around me. Eva, my fan of sorts, took the chalk from the child at one point to draw a big heart. They tipped me with a “Oh I wish I had more!” asking me how long I would stay and sad it would be so short. I thanked her profusely – more for her attitude than the money – with a Dienkuje. She asked me my second language and responded with a 多謝. What a great start to busking Vancouver!
I continued to play for a full hour that Thursday evening, with lots of smiles and thumbs up from every passersby. I happened to have a great desire to practice Run and chose a fortuitous time to play it – a small group of youngsters passed and each one tipped! I find I enjoy myself the best in places with good acoustics – I like to hear the sound of my own voice not merely for reasons of arrogance but also to improve upon my singing. Add onto that the fact the songs which meet the best reception in such locations are the ones I like the best – the sadder, slower fare as opposed to I’m Yours or Somewhere Over the Rainbow. I love tunnels, and nice foreign people :).
Earnings: 15.85 CAD, 1 hour
Song of the Day: Falling Slowly – Once