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Stir crazy in Whistler



After my first three weeks in Whistler I was ready to leave.

How many more times can I walk around this village, I thought to myself the 10th time around.

All the buildings looked the same. I had eaten in the same restaurants, partied in the same bars, sipped the same coffee in the same coffee shops. In those 21 days I had only travelled in a 10 kilometre radius. Those 10 km got me to work, home, the grocery store and the village and there was no need to venture farther than that.

Back home in my parents’ northern Toronto suburb, I had to travel at least that distance to rent a movie.

As soon as I got here I lost the anonymity that I had become so accustomed to in the big city. It was impossible to disappear in the village at any time, but especially early on a Friday afternoon when I should have been at work. (Note to Ed. - I would never dream of skipping off work, I’m simply illustrating a point.)

Everybody knew each other in Whistler and, more to the point, everybody knew everyone else’s business.

I had been transported from the biggest city in Canada to a town of less than 10,000 people and I was in culture shock.

Still, I couldn’t put my finger on what it was about the city that I was missing exactly. I only knew that I was feeling confined and constrained and I couldn’t wait to escape to Vancouver and get caught up in the hustle and bustle of city life. To walk along the crowded streets and get caught up in the rush, and to breathe in the city smells of things happening, to watch the different people going about their different businesses.

It’s funny how quickly things change.

I was in Vancouver last weekend for the first time in a long time.

Suddenly everything was too fast, too different, too smelly and I couldn’t wait to get back home to Whistler.

City life is summed up at Costco on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Bargain-hunting shoppers are awful at the best of times but in a crowded warehouse full of bargains they are simply intolerable.

There was a lot of pushing and a lot of shoving and the lineups were so long that we opted out of buying anything that day.

The next step was driving across the city to Kitsilano.

There was a lot of honking and a lot of butting in line and the lineups were so long that we almost opted out of the city immediately.