CHANGING OUTFITS

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Many years ago, someone said to me, “It is a sign of a good life when one changes outfits multiple times during the day”. That struck a chord with me and so it stuck in my head. I often think about what my days look like from the perspective of my outfit – I wake and change from pyjamas into gym gear, shower after my workout and change into a suit, then after work I might change into something casual and go for drinks or to a restaurant or change back into athletic gear for fencing or yoga. Having multiple changes of outfits indicates a full life – one with varied interests and activities. Of course, there are some people who believe that they can do all of those things in just one outfit, namely sweat pants and a track suit jacket. These people can be spotted in action in Walmart from time to time.

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So on my penultimate Vancouver day, I put on my ski trousers and jacket and decided to take my last opportunity to go snowboarding this winter. I went up Cypress Mountain for the first time and it was marvellous. There was a plethora of snow – a bit icy but still loads of fun. I went right to the top of the mountain and the sun was shining with the cloud cover spread out hundreds of metres below. I could see the wind turbine just poking through the clouds over on Grouse Mountain and further afield, I could see Mount Baker down in the U.S. It was brilliant.

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Snowboarding is such a blast. I was hammering down the mountain at full speed. I did, however, avoid taking too many jumps. I had visions of me clutching a broken leg and having to explain to my new boss why I missed my flight to Papua New Guinea. Having said that, the world is full of peril and I almost choked on my asparagus tonight, which would have also impeded my travel plans. I shall remain vigilant against the menaces of stringy vegetables and other dangers in life, to ensure that nothing stops me from catching my flight tomorrow.

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Tomorrow’s outfit will be a three-piece suit. One is rarely so closely observed by others as when one is in an airport – hundreds of travellers all packed into a confined space and so bored that nothing seems more interesting than checking out their fellow passengers. So I try to look my best when I travel. After I arrive in Port Moresby, my next outfit will probably be a t-shirt and shorts. Quite a contrast from what I wore on the mountain today. I figure that dramatic changes in climate (and therefore wardrobe) also indicate a full life.

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By the time I left Cypress, the sun had set and I stopped on the way home at the lookout just off the main road. As I surveyed the view over the city with all of the sparkling lights and the outline of the Lions Gate bridge shining like a beacon, I was reminded that this is the city in which I want to live. I may be living in Port Moresby for the next little while, but Vancouver is definitely home.

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