Day V6A: Storage Locker - Caucasian - CycleBlaze

July 6, 2024

Day V6A: Storage Locker

"Work hard, play hard, that's the only way.  I'm a live my life like every day's a holiday.  This is how we do it, baby, this is what we say. Eso es lo que tú y yo vamo' a hace'.  Don't you worry.  Don't you worry 'bout a thing, cause everything's gonna be alright"

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The words of the latest hit song by Shakira helped put my mind at ease as they played in the casino.  Yet in all this trip so far after the plane touched down in Vancouver, there was zero alcohol or partying.  I guess it's fair to say that when you're going through an existential crisis as I am now, then you're not really in a party mood.  The dancing will wait.

I walked back to the Airbnb in the evening and took a route through all these parking lots of now-closed strip malls and businesses.  As I did so, all the feelings of depression I experienced  growing up started coming back.  In a car-centric society, you are less than nothing if you don't have one.  The simple act of walking alone outside with nobody else around except for those indoors or in their cars makes me feel on edge and anxious.  There is a simple conclusion:  the pandemic didn't really change anything, people were always living like this in a perpetual lockdown.

Thankfully, my Taiwanese roommate was sitting at the counter and we had a good chat.  I felt more at peace here.  We pretty much concluded that downtown has gone to shit in recent years and it's not really safe to walk around.  This morphed into an excellent discussion about how all the drugs and homeless people on the street give Vancouver a horrible global image.  We also agreed that whether it's a city in Taiwan or China or most of Asia for that matter, it is easier to walk around outside and not have to deal with the homeless problem.

As we kept talking, this was really good that I actually met someone from Taiwan.  I was starting to see lots of common features between Taiwan and China.  This put my mind at ease that a war between the two countries was less likely.  We then had an excellent political discussion and he told me he spends hours daily every day listening to podcasts from both sides.  He was especially interested in my perspective as an expat on the mainland side.  I told him the propaganda and wondered how anyone could believe all this stuff.  I also said regarding his information, "Trust me bro, the stuff you're telling me, nobody hears any of this on the mainland.  Not even I have heard it, you're the first one who told me this."  We had a laugh at that.  As the conversation went on, I got a sense that both Taiwan and China hate each other mutually but they need each other too much.  Why not start with the common ground that the cities are safe and convenient? 

A very interesting thing I learned from him is that President Xi only had elementary school education.  If that is true (I will fact check it) then it would explain everything.  The zero covid policy and the lockdown were completely retarded.  Only someone who never went to school could make those things happen.  It would also explain why he has to rely on his advisors or anyone else in his inner circle that he hasn't gotten around to mudering yet.

This trip was already proving to be an incredibly educational experience.  And yet it works both ways.  The great irony is that as a white male, I'm the one educating people about the changes in China.  Most people in the west are in a state of lag and can't keep up with the developments.  For example, most think the one child policy is still a thing and they are killing babies. I told them, "Actually no, this is 100% not true.  Chinese government did a U-turn and they want people to have kids now.  If you're trying to get an abortion, good luck.  You still can but it's way harder now.  It won't be long until they punish couples for not having kids because they're afraid of the population drop"

What I'm starting to understand is that Xi's China is much closer to a hard right nationalist agenda than anything socialist.  That's why I've always said there is way more in common they have with the conservative parts of the US, especially when you look at the pro-family camp and those who are trying to outlaw abortion.  Both sides want to bolster their populations and try to stop the birth rate decline.

Well enough of that.  Today's errand was going to be a bike ride to the storage locker.  At least two years ago, my siblings had met with my stepmother on multiple occasions before and faced similar gaslighting interactions as I did yesterday.  But they acted a lot faster than I did and immediately moved as much stuff out of the house as they could to a storage locker on some myserious location on a remote island.

Today's mission would be to rent a bike and find this place.  If there was any stuff of mine growing up still in that locker I would find it then assesss what to do.

But first thing to do was take transit downtown where I came up with an idea to find a bike rental.  I had my protein bar and snacks at the gas staiton then hopped on a bus.  The driver said, "If you want to take this bus and then the skytrain downtown, you need to pay twice.  Yeah I know, the whole thing is bullshit.  I trust you're going to the skytrain next so just hop on this bus for free."  I thanked him very much and did so.

Once downtown I found a busy bike shop near the Seawall that was famous with tourists.  I inquired as to whether they did 5-day rentals and negotiated a deal for about $100.  Perfect!  I told them I would come back later because I had to first run off and do a HIIT class at Barry's Bootcamp.

This class was especially brutal as one of the instructors was famous for torturing her people on the weight floor.  Somehow I survived the class with all those military pushups and bicep curls.  On the treadmills I was crushing it and got multiple shoutouts from the coach on the mic.  During one such sprint I let out all my anger and frustrations with my now ex-friend as well as all the injustice with the will and my stepmother.  It was then I realized something:  when life throws you a curveball you throw it right back at the person.  In the end, just like the song said, everything is gonna be alright.  With every treadmill sprint, I felt this surge of energy come out of nowhere and flow through my body like electricity, causing a sensation of victory pulsating through my veins.

Later I was able to find a Korean restaurant and enjoy some spicy chicken and rice for $10, as well they threw in a free container of instant noodles.  This would come in handy for later.

Next it was the bike shop and they easily hooked me up with what I was looking for.  The guy told me many times to be extremely careful with the bike and lock it everywhere.  He said bike theft is rampant in Vancouver.  I told him I had firsthand experience of that.  The shop was absolutely booming with business and I couldn't help but wonder how many bikes go missing from them due to all the theft.  They took my credit card as a deposit so I would be extremely careful.

Image not found :(
Excellent place
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Found this place I didn't even know existed
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The initial ride out of downtown was amazing.  Here I was exploring the West End, literally a few hundred meters from where I was born.  And yet it was like getting to know my city for the first time.  It was really surreal.

There was about a 15km ride to the storage locker.  My route passed some sort of music festival with all the roads closed that I later found out was where my uncle was at.  There were tons of people on the street drinking alcohol and partying.  Unfortunately there was no time for any of that, as this errand took higher priority.  At the locker there might be childhood memories or other stuff I could find that would aid in my quest for answers to my existential crisis. 

The initial ride out of downtown was spectacular
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Eventually I got there, and rode out of the south of Vancouver and across a small bridge to this island that nobody goes to.

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No idea where it is. I think we're lost
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Eventually I did find the locker and without Google Maps it would have been impossible.  This thing was literally nestled in the middle of nowhere in a bunch of containers that had to have been converted from something else.  

Now we found it
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Once at the office I checked in.  The guy running it was a friendly and amicable 74 year old.  He saw that my name was on the authorized person's list and asked for ID to prove it.  He said, "Looks good Steve, it even looks like you.  Now I bet you're here to take all your brothers' stuff."

I said, "Nah I couldn't get very far, I'm on a fucking bicycle." and he laughed and gave me the key.

While going through there it was emotionally draining experience.  I broke down in tears.  It was evident that lots of the boxes had been pulled out of the house in a hurry.  This had been done towards the end of 2022 after my Dad's funeral when my siblings were able to travel but I could not because of President Xi's retarded zero covid policy.  His lockdown killed thousands of people, and damaged many more million, including me.  All because he wanted face.  That was all the more reason to cry.

But looking at these boxes, all I could deduce was that my siblings must have rushed back to my stepmother's place and gotten into some fight or argument with her.  Then they hauled as much stuff as they could out of "her" house and into this sanctuary.  The stuff had been sitting here ever since.  It almost felt sacred, like all the memories were preserved of a happer time in life, and nothing was faded.  It was all so quiet and peaceful there.  I rifled through some pictures, and read some stuff.  There wasn't much time since guy wanted to close up, but no matter I couldn't find much stuff of my own anyway.

A quote from my late Mom caught my eye:  It's ok to be lost when someone loves you

Realizing I could only take a few things, I found some key stuff and then resolved to scan them at the library and return them to this locker before I left for the USA.  The locker was truly a sanctuary.

Managed to snag this
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While leaving the area I chatted to the guy and we started with the weather.  He said, "It's amazing that people complain about this nonstop sun when those same fuckers go to Hawaii in the winter to escape the rain"

For some reason, don't ask me how, the conversation eventually led to him going on an absolute tirade against Trump, calling him "a despicable piece of shit of a human being"  Not only did he rant, this was the most factually accurate and detailed account I have heard.  He got all the names and events correct.  He even knew names of people in the Republican Party I did not know.  And apparently Steve Bannon was now in jail.  His closing statement was "Look it up, 2025" but I wasn't sure what I was supposed to look up.

This was top notch entertainment to be sure, yet not really a joke as I had seen with my own eyes what dictatorships were like abroad.

After that visit, time to sit here at the river and think about all this.
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Stopped off for pizza on the way back.
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Today's ride: 37 km (23 miles)
Total: 148 km (92 miles)

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