Sunday, 13 September 2009

Situation Report

Welcome to Vancouver - population of 0.5 millon (greater Vancouver 3 million). Reasonably (relatively to London) multi cultural - second largest Chinese population in North America after San Fran. It is consistently in the top strata of the most desirable places to live in the world according to the quality of life index living score (with not surprisingly Baghdad at the bottom). It is easy to see why - a stunning coastal location with a back drop of impressive mountains. The city feels small - everywhere seems to take about 20 mins to get to. The public transport system isn't bad (although the locals think it is, although I am relying on pedal power until the winter begins.) The mood is apparently typically 'west coast' (read laid back and friendly; not sure if that has anything to do with Canada being the largest producer of cannabis in the world or not). It is a dog friendly city with lots of chocolate labradors to nourish my dog owning fantasy (currently a choc lab called Nelson). The way of life here is honourable - healthy, (preferably organic and locally sourced) outdoor living. All extremely noble (it is illegal not to recycle your household rubbish) but I have sensed a marginal sanctimonious population if you don't conform to the Vancourite model of organic protein shakes for breakfast and regular yoga classes (preferably at 6am). Tattoos and body piercings are de rigeur (as is hepatitis and HIV) . Everyone seems more irritated than excited about the forthcoming winter Olympics. Healthcare + radiology will deserve another blog.

Scratch below the surface? Its diluted North America.

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