Back to Bedlam

We are in the city again.  And today was sunny. All in all, a good place and time to be.  A trip to our favourite Indian restaurant and it is a perfect day.  In the city, that is.  I am sure there is such a thing as a ‘nice day’ in jail, too.  Even Hell must have better days than others.  It’s all relative.  But let’s make no mistake – a day in the forest…ANY day in the forest, is better than a day in the city.  Maybe not ANY day in the city but certainly MOST.

As you can tell,  I am already having trouble adjusting.  It could be the traffic.  It could be me.  I am getting older and that adds up.  I used to drive faster than everyone else by at least ten and usually 20kms an hour.  While talkin’ on my phone.  Now I am 10 kms less than everyone else.  I drive in the slow lane.  It is not so much about ability although I know that I am not as Mario Andretti as I used to be, it is more about pace.  I am the pace car now.  No need to race.  No need to hurry.  ‘Oooh, look!  A squirrel!’

OK.  I am not  that bad.  Not yet.  But you know what I mean.  Still, if there is any one thing about the city that hits you in the face like a fish, it is traffic.  And it started at the Parkesville interchange.  One minute we were toodling along with the occasional car ripping by us and the next, we were in bumper-to-bumper traffic.  And thus it has remained all the way to downtown Vancouver (25 minute wait to get on the Lions Gate bridge. Parking just off Broadway was 2 minutes for a dime – $3.00 an hour for street parking!).

We were doing 100 to 110kms along the Upper Levels cheek-by-jowl with people in shiny new cars.  It was like an auto showroom somewhere just exploded.

Ooooh, look!  A Ferrari!’

I used to relate to traffic.  It was my language.  I was a driver first, a human being second.  I judged people by the cars they drove.  Not in a bad way.  And usually not women or teens.  But a man’s car says something about him.  Even a company car says well, a ‘company man’…I guess.  One of my best friends drives an 80’s era El Camino.  My son drives vehicles of any sort so long as they do not cost more than scrap value – $500.  I know a guy who drives a big black Suburban!  C’mon!  That says something!

We drive a Jed Clampett-san.  An old Nissan Pathfinder.  With (gasp!) rust!  We are the traffic equivalent of lepers in Vancouver.  People judge us.  But, it’s OK.  They are probably right.  ‘Oooh, look!  Hillbillies!’

The next few weeks are gonna be interesting.


9 thoughts on “Back to Bedlam

  1. Yep. Mansionville redux. It did progress. But not much. Not half way. Seems dithering is the problem. Must be a committee somewhere in the works. We hillbillies may be ugly and rusty but we can make decisions. OK, maybe some of them are bad decisions but we make ’em! That is why we are here……….


  2. I live in this city and hate the traffic. Cant imagine visiting from elsewhere. Your like a goldfish in a pirahana tank. Good luck.


    • Well, the traffic sucks but it isn’t because the drivers are aggressive….there are just a gazillion of ’em and a good portion can’t drive! Approached a roundabout and a guy circling in it and in a MB SUV stopped to let me in? He has the right of way and I am supposed to wait for him to pass – that is the way roundabouts work! I just KNOW he doesn’t have a licence. And I see people all the time driving as if they are looking for an address and they are on a busy three lane road like Granville. I think the thing that gets to me mostly is that I have never been driving in the city when there weren’t at least two ‘delays’ like a broken light or an accident or a bus off it’s trolleys or a cop just taking up too much room. That’s over 50 years of driving and there is roadwork or Hydro crews or merging lanes all clogged up every single time. Conclusion: they have never gotten it right and I don’t see it improving. Now, GERMANY gets it right!


      • I bought a “dashcam” for my own personal insurance protection. Dont want to have someone hit me and then try and blame me. Cost about $200 and sits on the mirror. Dont even notice it. Hopefully I never need to use it.


          • I bought a new Toyota Tacoma a few months ago and had a few “close calls” that were entirely the other persons fault. So, in order to end any ICBC disputes as to who’s “at fault” I have to dashcam. Good for roadrage idiots as well……


  3. I find that rat-running is a good option particularly south of the river. But I know from days of yore that you are an inveterate rat-runner. In my part of town rush is brief so it is easy to get around in off rush hour periods but in the core rush hour is all day long. Your point about round a bouts is apt. Some folks speed up as they approach and they do not yield for no man. Very easy to get picked off.


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