Australia :: June 1994 - March 1995

Subject: Back home
Date: November 22, 1994 18:09

16:50 Vancouver, BC-Canada :: 22 NOV 94

What's interesting about returning home is how little it has changed, even after five months. To be sure there're a few new construction sites and what were once holes in the ground are now completed or soontobe buildings; an old West End landmark, The Pacific Palisades, one of Hollywood North's favourite billets, imploded from a 23 story apartment complex to a small pile of rubble in a ditch. But to scan the local and national newspapers is kind of like watching your favourite soap opera after a several year hiatus. A couple characters change but the plot lines remain all too familiar.

For the last five months every day brought some new experience. New places, landscapes, cultural ways, political systems and a vastly different daily existence: lessons at every turn, more than I could possibly absorb. For a month every day will bring primarily familiar experiences.

While Vancouver life remains essentially unchanged, these lessons force me to perceive it in new ways. For five months I existed largely external to any "system" whether government, industrial, community. Today I re-insured my car which has been in storage in Burnaby since I left. Getting insured required first purchasing a one day policy so that the car could be driven to an Air Care inspection station. With a passing inspection document in hand, I could then drive back to my Autoplan broker and pay for three month's insurance, two months more than I need before departing again for Australia.

In the last five months I have not received one piece of junk mail. Wait a minit. I did receive one piece, but I also had the unique experience of thoroughly chastising the originator.

Of course, there's a stack of it waiting for me at my permanent address in Whistler. I know, having just talked to my Aunt there, that amongst the rubbish I will find an unpaid speeding ticket and a Revenue Canada bill for $167 (negotiated down from $1600 via three lengthy calls from Brisbane last August). My medical insurance expired at the end of October so I have to renew that.

Tomorrow brings decisions concerning what items in storage remain there and what I drag out for just one month. The contents of that 5X7X8' room feel more like an anchor than material wealth, than the fruits of prosperity. For five months I could carry every useful possession on my back.

People claim that this rigmarole, this recipe for stress, forms the basis of a quality existence. I'm currently re-evaluating this position.

At least while I'm standing still I can catch up on some of the 7 or 8 entries I've started but never quite completed.

Patrick. -- Responses Sought --


The number of rational hypotheses that can explain any given phenomenon is infinite.

  graphical element Robert M. Pirsig,
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance