Monday, 7 August 2017

Gulag Time

The plane gets to Vancouver at 5 pm
not my picture

They have a new system at YVR.  They finally got rid of those stupid Do-Not-Fold customs forms.  Now you get to play computer games at a multitude of terminals.  The call them Border Kiosks.  And they even read my new PR card !  Things are IMPROVING !

Of course, you still have to talk to an immigration officer AFTER playing at the kiosk.  

Where did you come from? Vietnam.  What did you do there? Swim.  Do you go there often?  Yup.  WHY?   Because I like it there.   
NO real information was exchanged here, but I guess my bored facial expression and reluctant answers don't match any of the listed Ways-Not-To-Behave-If-You-Don't-want-your-luggage-turned-inside-out in the How-to-be-a-sly-customs-officer manual.

Wow.  This is the FASTEST journey through immigration and customs at YVR EVER for me.  

Is there hope for Vancouver after all?

When I can't see the North-Shore Mountains from the airport on this clear sunny day, I decide that the answer to that last question is NO.  

Sure, Vancouver will blame the haze on the forest fires, but I've seen more really BLUE sky on every day of the last few weeks, even in the cities that Westerners love to hate for their traffic congestion, like Saigon, Bangkok, and Manila.  Call it Fake News ;-)  In addition, I took pictures of the filthy Vancouver air before the forest fires even started.  
Not my picture;  YUMMY .  INHALE DEEPLY !
Now there is a new culprit.  Instead of telling Vancouverites that they need to get out of their cars if they don't want to breathe this shit every day, someone is pointing out that some of China's dirty air actually ends up here.  Yes, that's true, but the media and the residents of Lotus Land still manage to AVOID mentioning the fact that Vancouver has LOUSY air quality and that it's HOME-MADE.

I'm catching both the SkyTrain and the connecting bus at Granville just in time.  Now that's a first.

All this picture is missing is four guys on hors
The pictures right above and below are from the day of my arrival.  The air quality is actually still GOOD on these days.  The mountains are still visible from the North Shore

The air quality is atrocious. There is also fear of a record-breaking heat wave.  

But the City of Vancouver is TAKING ACTION.

The City of Vancouver is handing out SUNSCREEN to its homeless population.

NO, I kid you NOT.   I can think of quite a few things that a homeless person could need or want. But sunscreen is not one of them.  I'll have to talk to a homeless person to find out what they think about the free sunscreen,LOL.

A few days later the air quality goes even further downhill.   I can only guess at the outline of the mountains only about 2 or 3 km from my place. And THIS is the actual colour of the sun at sunrise.  Everyone in Vancouver seems to be coughing, and almost everyone assumes that it's because the contracted a cold.
WHAT is WRONG with people???
How can the urge for self-deception go to such extremes?

Is that the life we really want?

I actually can't remember on which trip I came to the conclusion that I want to spend the rest of my life in a place where I can NOT hear ANY cars.  Oh, right, it was after being appalled and sad after crossing a bridge over a German Autobahn running through the forest in Momtown.   That was in March or May of this year.  

Now it is August and  I've actually found such a place.  And the palm trees and the ocean and the warm temperatures and the smiling neighbours don't hurt either.  

And a tiny bit of that place is for sale.

In other words, it's the answer to my quiet prayers.

Somehow it would be silly not to do anything about it now that these prayers have been answered, eh?  

So I'm heading back to Paradise next week to grab a tiny piece of it. 

Seems like the sensible thing to do.

And I'm looking forward to the moment when I will look out the window of the plane and quietly whisper: 

Hakuna Matata, bitches!

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