Posts Tagged ‘depression’

Trish and I are celebrating our one year anniversary in Dallas….but this is just the latest stop in a long line of stopovers. As Canadians, we are considered an anomaly. Most people in my country tend to hunker down, build a nest and stay in that one place for life, in the same job, short term vacation, paint the house every five years, have 1.2 children, put a different car in the driveway, buy a house they can’t afford, spend thirty five years trying to pay it off, divorce at least twice…. and never leave their comfort zone until  taken out in a box. Canadians in general are sedentary unimaginative and predictable people. The banks and government love them for acting like sitting ducks.

Many people emigrate,  we are nor immigrants…. we wander by choice. We have zero intention to stay in one place, instead we float in a dish of cream. When the milk runs dry we will  be on our way. In the past ten years in particular, we have been ‘on the road’ so to speak, living in hotel rooms and long stay executive apartments. I particularily like countries that rent furnished apartments by the week, like Australia. It’s liberating to move from one great view to another. I do not want plants or animals tying me down. I have a beautiful wife …why would I need a little furry buddy to assuage my inner emptiness? Aside from Dallas we have lived/ worked in  Paris , Amsterdam, London, Bristol, Beijing, Singapore, San Francisco, Bangkok, Hong Kong, New York, Maui, Helsinki,Denpassar,  and visited many places in between…..prior to that..  long stints in  Fiji and Brisbane homeschooling our son on the beaches. For university prep we gave the boy a top boarding school education and he went on to spend six years living on the campus of a great university. He is very independent and we’re quite proud of that.

The travelers lifestyle got under my skin when very young. I suppose you develop a mindset after a while where ‘home’ becomes a concept rather than a place. Our circle of friends are living around the world rather than the house-frau and her balding husband across the cul de sac. I’m permanently tanned from too much time in the sun, whereas in Canada they’re sounding alarms against the idea of even 15 minutes exposure. My travel flesh is deep and dark. My rotator cuffs  joints in arms and hips are grinding like an old transmission from too much time spent in swimming pools and surf lines…my travel bones are worn. And still I have no want to return ‘home’ and begin collecting china or automobiles….or even worse….take up golf.  This a hell of a lifestyle…. but someone has to live creatively.

Canadians in particular are jealous to the extreme, they covet  and become angry when anyone has something they cannot. It’s a peculiarity of the culture. You’ll find  conversations with Canadians  begin with  identifiers ‘what do you do….where do you live, how much do you make.. where have you been on holiday’? It is a Canadian caste system that defines who you are financially compared to every one else. They’ll want to know if they’re ahead or behind so that they can either envy you or despise you. Vancouver , for example has been polled as being the loneliest, least friendly, and difficult to make new friends in as a city…. there is a large population of people reporting some form of depression and mental illness due to the social isolation. People there are so covetous of anything another might have that they can’t decide to ‘just be normal’.A visitor to Vancouver will notice a desperation to own real estate and a huge number of newly leased cars…. but no theater scene, no music scene, art scene, no cool neighborhoods…..just a lot of miserable people sitting around telling you how great their city is as justification for what they’re paying every month. In fact…it has to be the most miserable , covetous place I have ever been.

But I remind people that what you do in life is a choice. ‘Change your mind.. change your life’… is a phrase that popped into my head when I began my career as a traveler hitchhiking around North America and then branching off to spend decades wandering the world. It works for me…..and if you don’t like where you are…pack a suitcase and go somewhere you do. Hey…it works for us. I guess I’ll have to keep my crown as ….THE KING OF PAIN.

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Only in Vancouver Canada would I be able to witness such an extreme oddity as in the form of a grown man dressed in day-glow Zumba spandex running on an AstroTurf all weather track under cloud blackened skies in frigid pouring rain holding a bright red umbrella while splashing through the ubiquitous puddled saturation. Vancouver must hold the record for denial , dissonant behaviors and sheer number of delusional denizens. For a city that bills itself as ‘The greatest place on Earth’ to live, one would have to either be high, stupefied by the false and misleading advertisements by the Advertising Council or simply weakened by the constant deluge and rendered dysfunctional by the grey overhang to believe such a nonsensical phrase.

I flew in from Dallas Texas last night, where it is truly a weather worthy place to talk about. There is no denying that the everyday sunny weather in Texas is phenomenal. While I was away I was in daily contact with many people of differing backgrounds here in Vancouver. I was shocked and amused that for the entire time I was away I was getting weather updates from friends and colleagues about how ‘glorious’ the weather was.

The personal anecdotes and the professional reports were entirely antipodal. I’m talking off the charts diametrically opposed. They just didn’t match up, not even close.  While individuals living in Vancouver were constantly telling me that the weather had been great, by contrast the weather services were reporting overcast skies and daily rainfall along with unseasonal and significantly low temperatures.

This strange sociological phenomena occurred the entire month that I was away. I had to conclude that either the people I knew were lying or the weather services were in a conspiracy to mess with the heads of the international community and keep people away from Vancouver by colluding to report the opposite of what the citizens were experiencing. I had to ask myself….why? How is that people in Vancouver are so covetous of the good weather elsewhere that they will lie about the conditions where they are?

I wondered “Do they not know that we outsiders have the internet and can easily discern the truth with a keystroke, and yet the lies and denial persist, even when you confront them with the truth?” Vancouverites , as I know well from living here, hate to admit that their city is not perfect, in spite of the many factual indications that it is far from that lofty barrier. But to take it to the extreme to call a grey sky blue because you think someone else is enjoying life more than you are…..that’s just weenie…..and a little creepy.

Vancouver is by design, the most over-hyped city on the planet. I can understand why a region would want to sell itself for reasons of tourism and to keep the citizens from attempting mass suicide after months of weather related depression, but the state of media induced confusion in Vancouver has reached a rare state of mass psychosis unseen anywhere else, people will call the black sky blue because they have been told it is so and desperately want to believe what is obviously untrue. I witnessed this very example today as I drove past a sodden running track and saw a man dressed in horribly unflattering spandex, running with an umbrella,  obviously believing that denial will always trump the truth.