Across Continents

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Off the grid

October 20th, 2011

"Get off the grid man" he said abruptly. He was Canadian, his youthful partner had Finnish blood. Did she speak the language, I’d asked? "Kindergarten". I’d seen them a couple of times over the previous few days, smart matching Surly touring bikes strapped to the roof of their small car.

They’d been travelling for some years. Inter-railing in Europe. South America. Now British Columbia, searching for somewhere to settle. On the edge of society, or at least away from mobile phones. For barefooted as they might be, their hippy attire appeared as it might fresh on a film set. Tailored replicas. Chic.

I thought their disenchantment was more with the rat-race than society per se, and had suggested as much, seeking to convey my sympathies. Drawing the assertion that I should also move to the margins. I’d smiled. Always curious as to how far those advocating dis-enfranchisement are prepared to go. How self-sufficient they are willing – and able – to be? Growing your own vegetables, solar heating and compost heaps are one thing. But, for example, declining modern healthcare in time of need? Food for thought.


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