Not so Sunshine Coast

As I found myself in the Sunshine Coast for 3 nights I was suddenly very tired and lazy. Perhaps because the previous week had been so intense, never in one place for more than one night, always on the move and making the most of each place and the company I was in. However, I am more inclined to blame the weather. At first it was an absolute delight, and of course I didn’t make the most of it because I knew I would be there for a while, yet before I knew it the weather had turned and it refused to stop raining.

The couch surfer I was staying with in Roberts Creek introduced me to some friends of his. This included a Scottish guy who had the strangest accent I have ever heard, having been in Canada too long, and making the most of his medical license to grow marijuana. The Sunshine Coast is a truly bizarre place, it’s incredibly slow and too laid back for my liking, time is endless and there is no rush to do anything. Those that live there are either old and retired, or young hippies. The reason why I even ended up in Roberts Creek was because a friend I made at the Manitoba Earthship told me that I would find the best fish and chips in Canada there. It was funny, because my couchsurfing host has lived there for 4 years and has never come across this place, and Roberts Creek is not a large town. After my endless nagging we eventually located Sharkey’s and ordered haddock and chips. It blew our minds. This was not the best fish and chips in Canada, this was the best fish and chips we had ever had.

The eating did not end there, my host being Indian, he made paranta for breakfast, for his neighbour and I, a delicious Indian dish made of wheat and potatoes. For dinner I made baba ghanoush and cooked a vegetable pilaf. We decided that we could not let the weather control our lives so we went for a walk in the forest. It was a wonderful trek, surrounded by huge tropical trees up above and rivers and waterfalls below. I can not imagine the beauty of the place if it had been sunny. Yet it still had it’s own beauty in the rain.

It was time to make our way back to the ferry to get back to Vancouver. I met a woman on the bus who is working on programs to convey science creatively, amongst many other things, and she wants me to get in on it and help. She also suggested that I could work on cruise ships and give workshops about physics and astronomy, not sure if cruises are really for me, but an idea nonetheless.

As I was making my way to an area called the Drive, I remembered a conversation I had had with someone on the Greyhound, who warned me about Vancouver, especially an area called Hastings and that I should avoid it at all costs. Of course, as it so happens, that’s pretty much exactly where I would end up. Never have I seen so many homeless people in a city before, they were on every corner of every block in the Downtown area, and even more so in Hastings. I guess because of the warmer, tropical climate. Shockingly, each homeless person in Vancouver costs the government 50,000 CAD a year. It would be cheaper to house them, than to leave them homeless.

For my last night in Canada I went to a cafe which has the best cookies in the world. Peanut butter, chocolate chip, and gluten free. There were two girls singing and playing guitar, and I just can’t get over how great they were. The friendship between themselves, let alone being friends with most of the audience, made it such an intimate gig that is often hard to experience. They poured their heart out in their music, music that they had written when they were on the verge of suicide or as high as a kite. It was perfect.

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