COLUMN: Even paradise has its shortcomings

Reporter's Viewpoint

I looked out the aircraft window as the City of Vancouver quickly approached and shuddered.

Not that I’m afraid of flying or having anything against Vancouver, but it was the last place I wanted to be.

You see, the pilot had just come on the intercom, welcoming us to Vancouver International Airport.

The skies were cloudy, the temperature was -3 C and the forecast was for snow. Seven hours earlier, we were in 27 C weather under the bright blue sky of Maui, Hawaii.

“I’m going on back to that little grass shack in Hawaii,” I muttered to myself as the door opened and the winter air filled the plane’s cabin. Of course it didn’t help we were still dressed in shorts, short-sleeved shirts and flip-flop sandals.

Two weeks on Maui was a great holiday – just the right combination of relaxation and fun rolled into one. There was time spent by the pool, time walking the beaches, splashing in the surf and watching humpback whales breach in the bay off our condo.

We snorkeled with turtles, explored various spots on the island and enjoyed a Haleakala sunrise and bike tour 45-kilometres down the road from the dormant volcano.

We browsed through a few shops and enjoyed more than one shaved-ice treat.

The words amazing and awesome were not far from our lips whether it was enjoying the sunsets, taking in the beaches with massive waves or interacting  with nature.

And, of course, there was the fact that we had to pinch ourselves to remind us it was February and we were deciding which pair of shorts went best with which T-shirt.

It’s always interesting to travel to another country and witness all that is different from home.

Aside from U.S. money all being the same colour, the one thing I couldn’t get used to was seeing motorcyclists and scooter operators riding around without a helmet protecting their heads.

As near as I can figure out, anyone over the age of 18 does not need to wear a helmet. The surprising part was the number of tourists riding around without a cover for their cranium.

There may be something to riding wild and free, but Maui is a busy island in terms of traffic and common sense or the possibility of brain injury should override the call of the wild.

Another aspect I had trouble accepting was a lack of recycling. Bottles, cans and plastic containers worth a refundable deposit were collected separately, but I saw everything from cardboard, metal, glass, wood, yard waste and kitchen scraps tossed into the dumpster at our condo complex.

A friend of mine commented about recycling during her stay in Maui, saying she felt guilty about the items she was tossing into the garbage.

I don’t know if our experience with recycling, or a lack thereof, is common practise on Maui. Perhaps items are separated elsewhere and dealt with properly.

I can only think that if people are worried their island paradise is slowly eroding back into the sea, they would take care not to fill up the little space they have left.

***

After a number of columns of pushing nothing but kudos upon my Boston Bruins and heaping abuse on the Vancouver Canucks, I entered the dragon’s lair known as Rogers’ Arena after Maui for a game between the two squads.

Fully attired in a Bruins jersey and headgear, I mingled with the enemy but had little to fear.

It might have had something to do with the fact there were hundreds of Bruins fans on the streets, in the pubs and at the game.

Or, it could have been that my wife countered my every move to promote Boston supremacy with her Roberto  Luongo jersey and Johnny Canuck toque.

But winning tops everything, and I have the bragging rights of a 3-1 Bruins victory.

Just Posted

Nanaimo’s ‘Living History’ isn’t being forgotten

City announces return of speaker series for one night Nov. 19

Nanaimo service station first in B.C. to be part of Petro-Canada’s ‘electric highway’

EV charge stations started operating last month at service station at Terminal and Princess Royal

Kris Kringle Craft Market making its return to Nanaimo

Self-taught craftspeople join trained artisans at seasonal sale Nov. 21-24 at Beban Park

Idea of free student bus passes will come to Regional District of Nanaimo board table

Tyler Brown, RDN transit committee chairman, hopes to explore fully subsidized bus passes for youths

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Neighbourhood around supportive housing disrespected

Supreme Court’s ruling a mean-spirited example of establishment versus the people, says letter writer

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

The Great Nanaimo Toy Drive launches 37th year collecting presents for kids

Toy drive makes sure children in Nanaimo’s less fortunate families have presents Christmas morning

Fisherman missing near Lake Cowichan’s Shaw Creek

Family is asking for everyone and anyone to keep their eyes open,… Continue reading

Use of force deemed justifiable in arrest of suspect after snowy chase in Nanaimo

Independent Investigation Office of B.C. reports on incident from late last winter

Rowing Canada, UVic investigate celebrated coach for harassment, abuse

Lily Copeland says she felt intimidated and trapped by Williams

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

Most Read