Some unimportant finds on life in Vancouver. Since I have not finished a short bit on the seventies I might share with you over the next few days.
A few times a day I get angry stares. So many streets to cross here and never a ‘green zone’ for pedestrians. So I, like any Dutchman would, try to cross when the lights are red. But I found out that the Canadians are very into doing as they’re told. So immediately they follow me in between the honking cars. That’s when they get angry. At me, not at themselves or the cars. It’s the same in the pool. God, are they serious and law abiding citizens. If it’s ‘200 meters, every 3 minutes’, they look at the clock nervously to start at exactly the right second. And they never cheat in distance. The trainers look at me with suppressed anger for not doing exactly as told. But may be I’m reading too much into it. But then again, perhaps not. As one swimmer told me when I got out of the water one minute before practice ending: “you’re not supposed to leave before the trainer says so..”
In the supermarket they get upset when I start searching for a five or ten cent coin when the amount is $ 5,04. Not used to that. So they start digging nervously into the till to give me 96 cents before I can wriggle out the right coin (they all look alike). The system seems to work though. Because outside there always stands one of the many homeless persons, ready to take all your change. Everybody also pays four taxes and rebates on a bottle of Coke. Rebate fee, environment tax, and two state taxes. Actually carrying the bottle all the way back to the shop to collect your rebate seems a bit silly, as, again, one of the many homeless persons will gladly see to that job, I noticed. They go through all garbage looking for bottles and cans. So, being the kind person I am, I just put the empty bottles next to the garbage can. It’s a system.