T’is the 27th.  Last post was the 22nd.  Five days!  I think that is the longest drought of my nasty, brutish and short writing career. What the hell?

Part of the reason, of course, is what I have been saying lately…….there is little of interest for me in the city.  Even though living down here is easy, convenient and quite tasty when you find a few good local restaurants, it is basically unstimulating.  Worse, I spend no time building and hours at a time in the seated position.  TVs and computers are eating at my life.

“Dave, what the hell is wrong with you?  Turn ’em off!” 

Yeah.  Like that works!

Anyway….five days of city living is almost enough to give me fodder for one day of writing.  So, here it is: I met a Ukranian guy.  Expressed my sympathy for the trials and tribs his country was going through.  He shrugged.  I then expressed a bit of support for the pretty, braided Yulia Tymoshenko who had been incarcerated for the past four years.  She, it seems, was the rightful leader-of-choice of the people.  He shrugged.

“What?  You don’t like pretty girls?”

“Oh, I like pretty girls but she bad like others.  Just pretty.  Still bad.  They all bad.  Each one just take money from peoples and give to friends and selves.  They all bad.  Even her.  She not bad like others bad but still bad.” 


“You think Canada different?  It no different!  Government take money from peoples give money to friends.  You not see?”

“Oh, I see.  I see.  Don’t get me started.  We could be here all day speaking with heavy Eastern European accents, nyet?”

“What you say?”

“I say I share your cynical point of view but, given half a hour’s conversation, I will also share your accent and weird sentence structure.  I pick up speech patterns like a sponge.  Next thing you know, I am drinking Vodka (which I pronounced Wodka – it was already happening!) and sending out for perogy delivery!  I’ll leave drunk, full and with your accent.  Where’d you come from, anyway?”


I also met Frank Wang.  Nice guy.  Also poor English.  Chinese herbalist.  A friend of mine was wanting some horrible Asian tea-medicine that acts like a tonic and I was in the neighbourhood so I went to pick it up for him.  Because of his enthusiastic endorsement of Frank, I stayed for an assessment of my own self (our guest suite does not have a mirror, you see).  Frank asked me some questions only half of which I understood and looked at my eyes and throat and then prescribed me some herbs, too.  $78.00 later I walked out of the little shop of horrible herbs with a large grocery bag of frog tongues, newt eyes and things necessary to make a tea of double, double toil and trouble.  There were a few mushrooms in there too, I think.

Frank looked at me and asked, “You watch TV?” 

“Now don’t start with me, Frank……”

“Where you live?”

“On a remote island up the coast.  Off the grid.”

“Wha’…? You mean condo?”

“Oh.  No.  I live in a house.  Good Feng Shui.”

“Wha’ you say?”

“Never mind.  I live in a house.”

“Eat fast food?”

“No.  Once every two months.  No more.  Always good food.  Never processed.”

“OK.  No more pizza for you, OK?  Not good.  No more burgers, OK?  Not good.  You eat spicy food?”

“Well….yeah…kinda…..you know……I like Chinese food and…..”

“Ha ha.  Chinese food not spicy!  Ha ha, you make joke with Frank!”

“OK, well then there’s Indian food.  I like Indian food.  Probably once or twice a month.  And I make sushi now and then.”

“Ha ha!  You funny guy!  Sushi good.  Sushi no spicy.  Ha ha.  But only yellow curry for you, OK?  Yellow curry good.  Green curry bad.  OK?” 

I was going to discuss Wasabi with him but decided not to.  If Feng Shui didn’t bring us closer, nothing would.

City living, eh?  Just one giant international melting pot of herbs, spices and broken English.







6 thoughts on “Wei?

  1. I guess when he started building an 84,000 sq foot villa with its own private zoo then it is time for Viktor Yanukovich to go. What is the thing that dictatorial leaders have zoo animals? Saddam Hussein had a zoo and ran a kleptocracy.


    • The more I see of wealth and the places it goes, the stupider it seems. Rich people coking up, living in plush hotel-sized homes and owning more cars than they can drive..? I mean…really….that all has to become boring after the initial buzz….right? So, really? What more do you need than what you need? If I had a gazillion dollars, I’d trade it for thirty more years in a heartbeat. Call me crazy…………


  2. Gee man you need to google Carol Ann Fried she will help you find your joy spot.

    The Joy Spot in the out doors is to be found at exactly 13.9 degrees C according to

    Ms Fried.


    • I know a female named Joy…………..hmmmm…I also know a male named Joy (seriously…..can you imagine?). And I have several places that I might refer to as my Joy Spot…..but….honestly….? 13.9 degrees Celsius? What kind of luke-warm, tepid Joy you talkin’ there?


  3. Hope your time in the city is drawing to a close. Sounds like purgatory. Dreaming about my escape to the wild, a dream, but one I play with from time to time.
    How did you plan your escape from the city? Did you choose the location first, or did you find a suitable property first?


    • Well, Beeflower….the long story is deeply bedded in the reams of blogs already written. Near the beginning I think. But the short answer is that we bought the property when we were in our 20’s. Early to mid 1970’s. It was an impulse kind of thing. Borrowed everything. Assumed debt. Silly, really. But we did it and just held on to it and as the years passed, we almost forgot about it (can’t really forget ’cause of taxes’ but it didn’t factor in our lives). Then it did! I hit 50 and started to disengage mentally and by the time I was 55, I was totally disengaged and also sporting a plethora of collected cabin-building junk. The plan kinda crept up on us.
      Having said that, there is definitely a way to do it that is better than other ways. There are personal variations on such a plan, of course, but the main one would be good for most everyone. First buy the land. But before FIRST, get to know a few places that you may like to live in or near. Camp there. Go there. Travel there. Don’t just visit once, fall in love and plunk down a bunch of dough. One bad neighbour can ruin a dream.
      Our place, for instance, has lots of fresh water, is south facing, has no swamps nearby and is on the ocean. Plus we have plenty of land. So far, so good. But all had by luck. We didn’t know that was so important at the time. Mind you, our terrain is granite, there is little dirt for growing and being off-the-grid can be too hard for a lot of people. If there is one thing that we have grown to accept it is this: we carry stuff. We lift, carry, pack and load stuff. It is a part of living off the grid. No bringing the SUV near the back door for us.
      Some people want the seclusion but not the inconvenience. And they can find it. People have that. But crap comes with it….higher prices, taxes, police, fire, services, less wildlife and more neighbours. To me, carrying junk is a small price to pay for blessed isolation. But you pay it. And it is that kind of mental trading off you have to go through when you make a choice. Land can be cheap out there – the crowds are going IN to the city and it is swallowing them. The outback is being deserted. It’s cheap. But transportation is getting more expensive all the time and building is prohibitive. It’s a balance…..you have to ask the right questions of yourself.


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