Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Remain in Light ( 72 hours on the Sunshine Coast) and Tremendous Turmoil in Turkey !

35 years ago ;-)
The first part of that post title also happens to be the title of my favourite Talking Heads album.  I bought it when I was 15 (Yes, we're talking Vinyl in those days) and at the time, having been deserted by my mother, I was living at my Spare Mom (Much Missed!), which happened to live right across the street from the Grammar School that I attended at the time.  Suffice it to say that quite frequently I was sitting in her living room listening to this album when I really should have been attending some class across the street.  It was just too easy and being an unhappy teenager didn't help much.  HERE is a listen ;-)  The LYRICS to this 1980 song are also worth READING .
  So yes, in retrospect that album was responsible for me ultimately repeating that school year, but that album together with my spare mom also saved my sanity and maybe even my life.  So there, without that album, you might not have to read all this drivel ;-) 

My first full day in Roberts Creek is relaxing.  I have two naps on the day that arrive, sleep 8 hours solid at night, and have another 1-hour morning nap. 

 Nothing much has changed here.  Hans is still following his routine of alternating between eating to fully wake up from a nap and then taking a nap to properly digest the food he ate. This routine only seems to be interrupted by the daily trip to the public swimming pool (more of a cover story, since he always returns from ‘swimming’ with all the items he could buy on sale at the Sechelt supermarkets).  But he is great fun and a good sport at the jokes directed towards him.  

It's more obscene curving the other way around and dangling from a rope ;-)
When he is napping in the Garage facing the open garage door with his legs spread wide, I quickly dive towards the fridge to get the last remaining Knackwurst and then organize some rope. A quick stomp on the deck on the garage roof and he’s fully awake, only to find a Knackwurst dangling obscenely in front of him.  His groaning only increases by a few magnitudes after I explain to him that I just exposed his inner Hanswurst (Hans his name, and Wurst the German word for Sausage).

I pay for this later (literally) when Hans, Denise, and I each put 5$ on the table together with our best guess of Hans’ weight.  At first he refuses to get on the scale, but after Denise and I test the respective self-estimates of our own weight (I’m guessing 180 pounds and the scale says 180.2; not bad for not having seen a scale in half a year or so), he finally steps up to the task.  With 269 pounds, he is almost 100 pounds heavier than me, almost 3 times the weight of his wife, but he guessed most closely to that number so he is $10 richer.

In the afternoon, I hop on the bicycle for a short ride along Davis Bay to Sechelt, because I have been craving the Hot and Sour Mussels at Pho Kien Giang for quite a while now. 
Davis Bay

I get there by 3 pm, which works out well because the lack of other guests lets the cook concentrate on my meal and deliver it in record time. 
The only thing eft in the bowl at the end of the meal are the tomatoes (not the greatest fan) and the empty mussel shells.  The broth has been spooned to the last spoonful.

When I return to the house, I am exhausted by the cycling and lie down for a nap, but only after having seen the first news reports about a successful military coup in Turkey.  When I wake up 1.5 hours later, the news sounds different; apparently the coup might not have been successful.

The next morning, the Sunshine Coast is no longer sunny.  Both inside and outside it is so cold that I resort to going back to bed, watching a movie, and napping until noon as an emergency measure to keep my feet from hurting from being too cold.

The rest of the day is pretty much spent in front of the computer, whittling down the amount of tasks that have to be done there, a bike trip almost to Davis Bay to get more Knackwursts, and then leaving Hans in the garage to find some peace and quiet while Denise, Max, and I head to the beach.

Not a young dog anymore

What leaves Vancouver at 5 pm, arrives here around 6

Max & Denise among driftwood

The 180 pounds...
...suit me well

When I get up at 7 am I am the only thing stirring in the house besides Max, who gives me his usual puppy look when I sneak upstairs to run the coffee maker.  It reminds me a bit of my 4 am risings on my trip with Zulema, but hey, it's fully bright outside at 7 am and I don't want to miss part of the day!

It's time to return to Vancouver today and the frequent ferry sailings during tourist season will make that especially uncomplicated today. With the chance of rain increasing later in the day, I'm ready early to catch the 10:50 am ferry back to Vancouver.

NOT Bc Ferries' fault.  Stop taking your stupid cars on the ferry !
I get to the ferry terminal at 10:20 and there is already a 1 ferry wait. TOO MANY CARS. Hint: There will NEVER be a ferry wait for bicycles ;-)  While waiting, I spot an older German woman in the passenger area and am about to greet her with "Tutto Bene, Marlene?" but then she leaves after having dropped friends of at the terminal.  Too bad, I like her spirit, and would have loved to use the line, which my spare mom overheard and rightfully LOVED in Bellagio in the fall of 2012.

On the ferry I talk to various Vancouver-bound passengers, a Vancouver-detesting Jamaican guy living in Madeira Park and a family, in which the daughter rides an e-bike and the father transports chickens in a cat-carrier..  

My room is ready when I arrive at my motel and I head over to Denny's for Fish & Rice. Eda is working today, and I'm anxious to ask her whether her family in Istanbul is o.k. 

 Her family is O.K, but she feels as if she just lost her home country over the weekend. She's afraid that Erdogan will further tighten the screws on liberties, a sentiment shared by many.  IMHO the fact that Erdogan has managed to keep black ISIS flags out of a predominantly Muslim country that has borders with BOTH Iraq and Syria is a masterpiece of political maneuvering and might (!) justify the curtailing of some liberties.  

One thing I hadn't even thought of when looking at images of young soldiers confronting citizens in Istanbul:  When they moved to strategic points in their tanks and vehicles, they had NO CLUE that they were taking part in a coup.  They simply were told "There is/was a terrorist threat/attack. Secure that location".  So have some pity with those front line 'coup participants'. Their lives might be ruined just because they followed orders.  And some died for that simple reason.  You haven;t forgotten General Jack D Ripper from Dr Strangelove and all the common soldiers that died for his lunacy, have you?

But don't forget that some of those soldiers opened fire on common Turkish citizens. Not nice, even if ordered to do so under false pretenses.

Being back in Vancouver sucks as bad as usual. 

The baby elephants are living above me and their parents are kind enough to let them stampede freely back and forth until at least midnight.  The exhaust dome that I'm living in doesn't even try to camouflage itself any more; it is openly manifesting itself but everyone pretends that it's just haze that obscures the view of the mountains.  An amazing feat of self-foolery because all one very noticeably smells when coming out of an air-conditioned supermarket is exhaust gas.

I arrive at Denny's at 9:50 am and am informed that their kitchen is closed and they don't serve food. Vancouver never seizes to amaze me.

So I head to the motel lobby to partake in the hotel's free nourishment offer.  Since it nominally stops at 10 am, that is no fun either, in particular since the motel's WiFi doesn't seem to work in the lobby.  Fortunately I have my cell phone with me and use it as internet access.

I will start house-sitting on about Saturday and my hotel room is booked until Thursday. Book again in North Vancouver?  My hotel has no rooms available. For $313/NIGHT (+tax) in the run-down TravelLodge next door? LOL, I think NOT. The only bearable option I have found so far is a $80/night motel in Squamish, but all the reviews seem to say "Whatever you do, do NOT stay here".  Ah well, I'm sure I'll find a couch somewhere.

What else?  Oh right, Vancouver, self-proclaimed "Greenest City" LOL, has finally joined the 21st century. Vancouver now has a bike-sharing program !!!!!!  Naturally it's ludicrous. Bike stations are only available between Main Street and Arbutus, and the cheapest option to participate is $99 for a one year subscription.  There will be 1500 bikes (There are less now) at 23 stations.  Hang on, one year subscription? What if you're a tourist?  Any tourist in Paris can buy a ticket for about $2.50 and use the bike--share program there (24,000 bikes in 1800 bike stations).  So why is there no short term usage plan????    
Wanna bet that City Hall listened to the whining bike RENTAL places on Denman and Georgia, that make a KILLING renting bikes to tourists???  It's like the city building another suspension bridge right next door to that other tourist trap, Capilano Suspension Bridge. It's not going to happen.  

Watch for Vancouver to be the first city in the world where a bike sharing program fails because the ultimate motive is NOT to get people out of cars (what would Jim Pattison, owner of most car dealerships in town, say?) but to make MONEY.

Gotta get out of here!

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