Monday, 2 March 2015

A brief escape and a birthday party (Cycling to the Sunshine Coast)

When I have almost finished saddling the bike, I notice two women in the room below mine that have their door wide open and have their car parked with the exhaust pipe pointed at said door from a distance of about 2 meters. The car is idling. When I point out to them that the exhaust is filling their room and consequently the smell is penetrating my room above, they just remark that they are moving to a different room and leave the car running, while they are carrying open suitcases from their room. 

I am surprised anew on a daily basis to what levels ignorance and incivility have managed to increase in the last few years.

I stop at a grocery store in Dundarave to mitigate the fact that I haven't had breakfast yet, and am rewarded by this sight:  The driver of this vehicle still has a functioning brain:

Two smart drivers ;-)
For anyone who has never heard of the Messerschmidt Cabin scooter, and consequently would not know the origin of the electric contraption riding around West Vancouver, here is a picture of a Messerschmitt; very popular in Germany in the 1950s.
Messerschmitt Kabinenroller (not my pic)
The vehicle in West Vancouver seems to be a hybrid between the above Messerschmitt and the BMW Isetta pictured below.  Isn't it "The ultimate driving machine" ? ;-)

Isetta (not my pic)

When I ask the BC FERRIES employee that sells me my ticket when my ferry will start boarding, she gives me the departure time instead. I reply "It LEAVES at 12:40; what time does it BOARD?" (Reason: bicycles must enter the ferry BEFORE the cars).  She gives me an irritated look that lasts for over a second, then shakes her head and says "I don't know".  Good Show.  Compare that to the charming and extremely polite Jersey Ferry employee who in one instant noticed that I had booked for another day and had already half re-booked me for the current day.  But then maybe the BC FERRIES lady's consternation was simply the result of spotting the half-full bottle of Chardonnay in the side pocket of my backpack.  For a lot of Canadians this is as bad or worse than peeing into the sandbox of a playground while there are still children in it!

Despite her not very helpful reply I sense that I have enough time for Fish & Chips at Troller's Pub. 
I get to Roberts Creek around 2 pm in an exhausted state. I feel tired all afternoon, go to sleep at 6 pm, sweat and shiver from cold and a fever at night, but wake up refreshed after 14 hours of sleep at 8 am.

During a bike ride along the Sunshine Coast Highway to Wilson Creek I notice that traffic has noticeably increased here. Trucks and pick-ups throw road-dirt into my face.  Oh how I miss the bike trails of Europe!

Denise forces me to cheer up when she unrolls the two quilts she has made for Eike and Joerg.  Gorgeous details and gorgeous overall. Hail the magical seamstress ;-)

During the evening's birthday celebrations, everyone consumes fabulous pizza that was home-made by Eike (Don't say that they're not learning anything useful in BC schools!) and  both Eike (17) and Joerg (47) launch a Chinese Wishing Lantern.

Not my fault:  The chances of catching a slim person with food in their mouth are naturally slimmer ;-)

Winner of the Montgolfier Prize: Eike on the right (but only because he borrowed my lighter first)

Eike's lantern takes off

Still heating up

Eike's lantern gaining altitude

Joerg's lantern is almost ready to take off
The lanterns rise and rise and rise and rise.  Soon they are far enough for their tininess to rival that of the natural stars.

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