I was walking to the Skytrain and decided to walk a little longer to Waterfront Station and catch my train from there. Got to the light to cross the street when police on motorcycles come racing along the street. One stops in the middle of the intersection and halts all traffic. One rather elderly Asian women crosses the street anyway and he rushes over to walk her back across the street so she doesn't get hit. More motorcycles come racing along and then down the street I can see black cop cars with their lights flashing.
What in the world is going on? Is there some parade I didn't know about? I thought to myself.
The cars stream by and in the middle of the pack is a black car with Japanese flags waving out front. Definitely someone important I guess, a dignitary of some sort. The people around me are all muttering similar things. Then as the car passes us we see a face smiling out the window. A lovely older Japanese women is waving to us (the five of us standing at the corner). We wave back. A girl on a bike with her two friends are chatting about it.
"Oh, I know who she is. It's the Empress and her husband the Emperor. I heard they were coming for a visit. It's been like 50 years since they were last in Canada".
Curiosity piqued, I Goo.gled it just a few moments ago and found this article:
They intrigue me with their non-traditional ways. But it's her, that gets me. Her face was very clear from the car. Her smile was genuine today, at least it seemed to me and I was struck by how pretty she is, especially given her years. There's a kindness in her face.
I hear people talk about how they once saw this Royal visit or that one, but having never experienced one myself, I could never relate. There's a part of me that's fascinated by the people in these positions, most of which are figures of political power rather than real sources of it. Still, there's so much history embedded, how cannot we not be at least the tiniest bit awestruck when we come across such an individual?
Today, it's not about history or who they are that I'll remember, but the wide beaming, genuine smile of a women I momentarily locked gazes with.