Vancouver, Canada: Sex and the City

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Vancouver, Canada: Sex and the City

The bar-cum-restaurant in Vancouver's trendy Yaletown district was a sports shirt and sunglasses kind of place. At the outdoor tables office workers took off their jackets, and a few groups of tourists carrying shopping bags of their purchases sat down to enjoy the afternoon sun and the excellent beer.

Both men at the table next to me were in their 30s. They were well-groomed, neatly dressed, and obviously worked in the "no jacket required'' world.

Their easily audible talk turned immediately to e-mails, the internet, various incomprehensible systems management options, and pixels.

The darker of the two was asking the questions: how to upgrade his photo options, what were manageable rates to maximise the quality of the image, how about this business model, and what do you think of that number of unique users?

The man with the heavy French accent replied with economic and clear answers, asked probing questions, discussed a new way of producing spread sheets and so on.

They talked about architectural drawings, modalities and modems.

It was impressively cutting edge and both looked the part: men who had grown up with the internet and were comfortable with the codes and language.

The waitress returned and asked if they wanted more iced tea. They did and so chatted on about the speed of internet connection in a conversation which, to me as their unintentional audience, sometimes sounded like a mix of Esperanto and an alien algebra peppered with acronyms.

Then, just as I was about to leave, the one asking the questions seemed about to wrap things up. But what he said next made me order another beer and settle in again.

"Okay, that's all good. Now, I gotta ask you,'' he said, his voice carrying in the still afternoon air.

"What's the best way to catalogue my porn?''

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