Obviously there are people here who I’ll miss and have a sad goodbye with. But I got to thinking the other day that there are a handful of people I see all the time, but won’t say my goodbye’s to. These are the people I see in passing or have some kind of interaction with, but they will not know I’ve left the city because I’ve said very little to them and maybe they don’t recognize me. And it would just be weird.

  • The little old man I pass by almost every morning on my way to work: I walk to work through my East Vancouver neighbourhood and each day I see a few older men and women taking their morning walk, but there’s one old guy that I’ve been walking by almost every day for three and a half years that I’ll miss. He’s just one of those cute old men that walks super slow and smiles as you pass by that you want to adopt as your own grandfather. I could have a 85 year old Japanese grandfather, right? Anyways, I always thought it would be him who stopped walking by me, but it looks like it’ll be. Peace out buddy.
  • The people who supervise the self-checkout at Superstore. I see them more times a week than I care to admit to, will they miss me when I’m gone? Do they know how important they were in my quest to not talk to anyone while grocery shopping? You’re all doing the important work, and I thank you for not judging my purchases/life choices.
  • The fellow car share drivers in my neighbourhood. Sorry I won’t be around to bring Evo and Car2Go cars to the ‘hood, but on the plus side I won’t be there to take the cars you brought to the block. Drive safe neighbour-enous.
  • The lady who walks by my house in this beautiful pink winter coat. This woman could walk by my house every day, but I wouldn’t know it. I only recognize her in the fall/winter/early spring when she’s wearing this light pink, tweedy (almost Chanel-esque) coat. It’s beautiful and I want it, but where I’m going it won’t keep me warm. Plus I heard it’s not cool to steal from the 70+. Stay warm lady.
  • My neighbourhood environmental avengers. This is what I call the people that dig through your recycling for the cans and bottles they can get money for. I don’t have a car so returning cans and bottles to the depot is too much work, plus I feel like I’m being judged by all the hardcore canners when I do go to the depot for my return that nets me $2 where they’re getting $30+. So I put them in recycling and the bottles are gone within 15 minutes. You’re welcome, I apologize I won’t be here to be a source of income anymore. (Side note: East Van canners are serious business and a legit retirement plan, there’s one old Italian guy in my neighbourhood that rolls up in his SUV and goes through my neighbourhood recycle bins, in his trunk he has his own bins set up where he separates the different types of cans/bottles. I can appreciate the organization)
  • This next one isn’t so much a person as a thing. You see that photo up there? That is one of three humongous plants that are in this yard I walk by daily and after about 20 minutes of googling I believe it is a Gunnera Manicata. Every fall the owners cut the leaves down and just lay them on top of the branch stumps as some sort of compost/warming system, it looks like a pile of dead leaves. Then suddenly in the Spring they start sprouting leaves again and grow to about the size above. These plants amaze me because they’ll be piles of nothing on the ground and the next day they’re leaves with giant stalks. I hope to find similar plants to watch their progress in Edmonton, I will not plant my own because they seem like a lot of work.

It’s so weird how people and things we have no relationship with, and most of these people I have never talked to, will be missed. I also wonder if they’ll think about me and wonder where I’ve gone. Is it egotistical to hope I’ve made some kind of impact on them that they’d wonder where I was, not right away but in a few months they wonder where I’ve gone? I hope they don’t think I died.

Do you ever worry that you’re keeping the people in your neighbourhood fed with your recycled bottles? Can someone come drop an Evo or Car2Go off in front of my house every so often for my neighbours? Is it weird that I want to have some kind of goodbye for these people? 

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