Saturday, July 30, 2005

Through The Eyes of a Newcomer

As I do many Friday evenings, I bicycled down to a local beach to play some volleyball with an informal group that gets together there. This time was different though, as two newcomers joined me, one from Hong Kong and the other from Quebec via a decade in California. The three of us were among the first to get there so I said to them, "While we're waiting to start, I'm sorry that there's no real scenery to look at." This was deliberately said with much irony since anyone who has visited a Vancouver beach knows, the scenery is abolutely stunning!

Throughout the evening I periodically looked around the beach and noticed that there were relatively few people present. It was not cold, there was an unbelievable sunset, the weekend had arrived, and yet ... there were so few people there. No complaints from me, as I'm not looking for a crowded beach. But I couldn't help from noting how these two newcomers had made the effort to get themselves down there and clearly appreciated the gloriousness of the setting, whilst so many locals had long ago taken it for granted.

I have a theory that no more than a month after moving to a new community, most people establish their daily routine: where they shop, where they eat, where they walk, if they walk at all. After that pattern is imprinted, it rarely, if ever, changes. In the case of Vancouver, everyone brags about the natural beauty of the city, but relatively few every partake in it on a regular basis.

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