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.