Welcome to Tofino: an #OpHippie Flashback!

From now on, any time anyone asks me what Tofino was like, I’m just going to point them to this post on Facebook.

 

Sooo … This morning I found a ponytail in our car. Doors were unlocked, nothing was taken but the seemingly fresh (I sniffed it, smelled like Pantene Pro-V) tail was wedged between the drivers seat and the middle console right by my belt. I’m certain it wasn’t there before. I have not much to say other than *in true Trading Post style* “If you accidentally borrowed the use of a random car to cut off a ponytail, please identify yourself so I can go back to feeling peaceful”

Sooo ... This morning I found a ponytail in our car. Doors were unlocked, nothing was taken but the seemingly fresh (I sniffed it, smelled like Pantene Pro-V) tail was wedged between the drivers seat and the middle console right by my belt. I'm certain it wasn't there before. I have not much to say other than *in true Trading Post style* "If you accidentally borrowed the use of a random car to cut off a ponytail, please identify yourself so I can go back to feeling peaceful" ;)

It’s like that. It’s just exactly like that.

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OpHippie: the shopping situation

Well, I went and did it. I didn’t mean to, but I did it.

I spent the bus fare home.

How? One “buying pizza for a friend” and one trip to Army Navy for supplies. That’s all it takes to zero out the bank account lately: a pizza with wine and a months worth of batteries.

Well, actually:

4 D batteries for LED lamp
The cheapest LED lamp they had
4AA batteries for the headlamp, making midnight firewood runs with the wheelbarrow much, much easier
A paperback on living off the sea by a local fisherman
Three space blankets to use as wallpaper to keep the heat in
One fluorescent poncho
One fish grilling basket
Three candles
A lighter
Garden trowel for clam digging

And that’s it. That’s all it takes. $85.81. So I emailed my ex-boss to see if he could pay the remainder he owes me tonight or tomorrow instead of month’s end. Wish me luck!

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Operation Hippie Update

Soon to be me. Titania, queen of hippie fisherpersons

Soon to be me. Titania, queen of hippie fisherpersons

So, preparing to move from a nomadic, cat-sitting existence to a geostationary one, and one in a vegan ecovillage at that, is proving to be somewhat of a bigger shift than even I realized.

For starters, there’s the busfare to get there, which I do not have. Nor will I have it until one of my clients pays me, and I just split from the biggest-paying one by mutual consent. Yeah, I sent in The Last Invoice, but it’ll be Monday before it’ll be paid, and then it’ll be paid in Paypal, so to get it to the bank will be no sooner than Wednesday, probably Friday of next week and that’s IF it gets paid Monday. And once the money is there, if I’m there also, there’s nothing to buy up there but nights in a B&B and whale watching tours.

So I made Mine Hosts Metro and Mrs Metro an offer they could refuse, but fortunately they didn’t. I will give them the money that would go for bus fare if they will drive me. They can then use this to get a night in a swanky B&B or hotel. This guarantees that I get the back seat of the car, but oh well, it also guarantees I don’t have to sit beside a random homicidal maniac who will hog the armrest. It also means they can drive me to the actual site instead of dropping me off where the highway meets the road and I get a nice long walk down a gravel shoulder before turning up a dirt road in the middle of the rainforest, all while toting three heavy suitcases filled with everything I’ve been wearing for the past nine or ten months.

My footwear collection, also being ported around all over BC in said suitcases, consists of one pair of metallic wedge sandals, one pair Doc Marten Mary Janes, and two pairs of Brooks running shoes made of mesh. Absolutely nothing of the rain boot gum boot variety. And that is the single most necessary type of footwear when approaching an ecovillage on the west side of Vancouver Island in the dead of winter.

When I show up to the ecovillage, I am expected to be self-sufficient and bring food. They have kale; anything else, I’ll have to lug in. Since I am not and do not wish to become a Kaletarian, this means I have to buy food (too busy to catch my own, and the hunting is atrocious in downtown Victoria, although I hear at certain bars it’s easy to catch crabs).

And I have $1.90.

So, being me, I bitched about this on social media.

And, my friends being my friends, one of them sent me $100 so I could buy some goddam boots, two offered to mail me their boots (postage is $40 or so from Vancouver, though), and one offered me a job doing copywriting for his companies. He asked if I needed an advance, and told me to name my own rate. He trusted me to do that honestly in part because when my friend, who is between jobs, offered me the $100 I posted about it and asked my friends if I should take it or turn it down.

As it turned out, I turned down the mailed boots as the postage was truly extravagant and I could buy boots at the end of the month anyway, and accepted the money on the advice to pay it forward.

Then I went to LL Bean and found out the boots I wanted were 37% off, but they were also sold out until April 22, and a fat lot of good that does me. MOST of their boots are sold out, which means everyone is having a pretty shitty, slushy winter. So tomorrow I’m off to do some shopping in downtown Victoria.

My shopping list is a bit different now. When I lived in Vancouver’s Chinatown my shopping lists looked like:

  • sambal oeleck
  • udon noodles
  • bean thread noodles
  • peanut butter (the universe’s most perfect food)
  • prawns
  • salmon
  • chicken
  • soy sauce (you could always tell when I was “rich” because then I’d have three kinds: Indonesian, Japanese for sushi, and Chinese for rice)
  • bok choy
  • onions
  • makeup
  • nail polish in outrageous colours
  • antique or collectable cocktail accoutrements
  • gin

My shopping list for tomorrow reads:

  • gumboots
  • keeper cord for my $150 Akubra hat so the wind doesn’t blow it away
  • crab trap so I can catch my own food
  • fishing rod
  • bean thread noodles
  • peanut butter
  • sambal oeleck (some things never change)
  • bag of oranges in case of scurvy or some goddam thing
  • coffee and GOD I HOPE THEY HAVE A COFFEE POT IN THE COMMUNAL KITCHEN

It would be nice to get some glasses before I leave (the kind for your face, not the kind for your cocktails) so I could actually SEE the view, but maybe I’ll squeeze in an eye exam at least. Metro and Madame Metro have promised me glasses for Christmas. If not, once I’m paid I can just wander into town and I’m sure there’s a doctor there who can write a prescription that Clearly Contacts will mail.

So, basically, gasp in wonder at my steez. My swag. My YOLO. My command of buzzwords.

And my D*CK!

Operation Hippie is GO!

God or Cthulhu or universal pantheistic principle help me. I’m turning hippie.

Yes, after several long months of dithering and running all over BC in search of pets to sit, I will be sitting still for some time, as in BEING GEOSTATIONARY, at least until I go back to Vancouver to volunteer at the BIL conference (an alt-TED conference) and run a Bitcoin workshop. And the next month, when I come back again to poodle-sit for an old friend. But otherwise, I’ll actually know where I’m going to be from one week to the next, which is something I haven’t been able to say since last April, when The Prospective Landlord from the world’s most perfect place bailed on me, rendering me technically homeless and throwing me into a new sideline as a pet and house and occasional child sitter.

I will be at an Ecovillage just outside of one of my favorite places, Not-Ucluelet, of which I have spoken before. For those who wish to take this opportunity to pizza me, remember: I have no credit cards and I prefer my pizza with anchovies.

Behold the ecovillage:

This could be the end of Hobocoaster (although there’s still a book in it if I ever have time to write it, as my friend Alex pointed out. Bitcoin and Backpacking? Something like that).

The question is, is this the beginning of Hippiecoaster? I’m not sure, as previous experiments in veganism did not exactly work out (unless you consider chest pains and fainting as “working out”) and I don’t like pot. Naturally, I turned to the internet for answers.

OKCupid says I’m Alt-Hippie, the most mainstream of hippie archetypes, which most people who know me would agree with. I did used to work for Greenpeace but then, I did used to work for Starbucks too.

Alternate

You are 32% experimental, 50% feral, 41% spiritual, and 10% square!

Congratulations! You’re Alternate. The Alternate is, at first glance, the most mainstream of hippies. You are probably more into protecting disempowered people and the environment than expanding your mind or achieving a higher state of being, but you aren’t so into nature that you choose to live in a tree. You even shower at times, and some people may not notice the passionate hippie lurking beneath the seemingly conservative exterior.

The hippie world needs you because you earth the other hippies, and form a bridge between them and the rest of society.

If you believe that opposites attract, you probably find yourself around Full-blown hippies. If you are more inclined to enjoy the company of those with similar attitudes, then other Alternates, as well as the Faerie-child, Treehugger, and Raver are for you.

The other categories are Neopagan, Mystic, Feral and of course, the Non-hippie

According to this infographic, I’m a fairly advanced Level 6 hippie, Hippie 2.0, which seems right, since I refused to move to the ecovillage until I had been assured there was both electricity and wifi.

The Hippie Continuum

The Hippie Continuum

Now, Shahee, who has more or less set this whole thing up, is your basic, full-blown hippie. I sometimes worry that he feels guilty  for wearing clothes made of plant fibers, and probably walks through meadows going “Excuse me!” “Oops, Sorry”! etc to all the plants he’s stepping on. So it’s going to be a bit of a cultural shift for me.

Then again, having had cultural and geolocationary shifts every two weeks since last April, it might come as something of a relaxing change. If nothing else, on a green kale and smoothie diet I’m going to lose some of the blubber which keeps me warm in the winter.

Return from Ruralopolis!

Ruralopolis sure is pretty

Ruralopolis sure is pretty

Well, as I mentioned in the previous post, I have returned from Ruralopolis. I have returned, my friends, only to find Kate had her baby when I wasn’t around to cover it, Jennifer Aniston is probably married, Dennis Farina is dead, and the Daily Dot got hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army. Fuck, that’s the last time I go on vacation! Everything falls to pieces without me.

But for those of you who’ve been following my Flickr stream, you’ll know I haven’t been idle. I’ve been dashing about from Hither, a sprawling metropolis featuring actual hitching posts, to Yawn, the megalopolis which boasts not one! but two! mini golf courses, and taking pictures all along the way and particularly of the food. So I didn’t leave Vancouver behind me completely. I wasn’t expecting much in the way of entertainment, and was not disappointed. One night we could listen to the coyotes while sitting in the hot tub sipping wine, and that was quite enough excitement for me after the year I’ve had.

Imagine, then, my astonishment to come across an amazing musical duo, deep in the heart of the northernmost reaches of the Great Sonora Desert! These guys apparently play sold-out stadium shows all over, in the big urban centres, from the Spallumcheen to Olalla, not neglecting the Rez-taurant in Ruralopolis. Enjoy their soothing sounds and sophisticated syncopations as they lay down some slick lounge grooves.