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suburban idyll

These are the things that Langley BC is not. Surprising. Beautiful. Surprising. Ugly. Quirky. Old. Dirty. Did I say surprising? Langley is almost exactly like New Westminster or Coquitlam, or Pickering or Richmond Hill or West Bloomfield or Lackawana. It is a suburb, a just fine place where lawns are green, cars are washed, and Tim Hortonses are plentiful. Its streets are numbers and tree names. Its pedestrians are well fed and comfortably shod. I remember an ad from the 1970s for a hotel chain that went something like -- The best surprise is no surprise.

I am not crapping on suburbs -- well, maybe a bit. There's not a lot of apparent individuality here. But when you consider how nine tenths of the world lives, just fine is in fact pretty darn good. Anyone who has survived an earthquake flood riot civil war fire invasion pandemic lightning strike tornado (the one in the picture is from Greensburg Kansas, 1915) or other natural or human-made disaster will tell you that surprise is over-rated. May you live in interesting times is not a blessing-- it's a curse. And the kids are great. They usually are. Bright and not so bright, eager and bored, wriggling and giggling and picking their noses, the kids and I had a lot of fun. And, hey -- there was a surprise after all. In the mall across the street from the library is an Army and Navy store. We don't have them in Ontario. I bought a pair of gloves. I'm here in Vancouver for another week. Monday I go to Bowen Island. Ferry boat, hippies, and more kids. I hope my voice holds out ...


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