You have at least one pair of calf-high black $20 gum boots, purchased at the co-op, identical to the boots everyone else in town has. You wear them everywhere (unless it’s sunny, then you wear $5 flip-flops.)
You do not expect a store to be open during regular business hours. All stores are on “Ukee Time” and may close at any moment for any reason. This doesn’t bother you because you operate on Ukee Time yourself and enjoy the same flexibility. You are not in a hurry to get anything, you will simply return the next day to try again.
You drive or bike around for entertainment, you rarely have an agenda. Errands get done by osmosis while you’re out: If there is parking directly in front of the post office you will check the mail, otherwise you will drive around the block and try again in ten minutes. If there are more than a few cars in front of the co-op, you decide to do your grocery shopping later because there might be a line at the checkout inside.
You never use your phone for local calls – you’ll just talk to whoever you want to talk to the next time you run into them.
You finally receive your B.C. drivers license in the mail.
You get an actual post office box of your very own and no longer have your mail addressed “General Delivery”.
You often wave to the drivers in cars as they pass by.
You never hear sirens, car alarms or gunshots.
You barter for a portion of your groceries. Got crab? Trade ya for some halibut from my freezer.
Most of your food was farmed, harvested or caught within 100 miles of where you live. Part of it was harvested with your own hands or was purchased directly from someone who harvested it with their hands.
You have at least three sources of income including at least one part time job. You likely employ someone else part time and you find a way to make your hobbies earn money too.
You have at least two vehicles, one of which does not run and is parked permanently in front of your house. You have at least one recreational vehicle, boat, or camper parked beside the broken down car.
You stop locking up anything. You don’t lock your house, your garage, your bike or your car. Locking things just means you have to keep track of the keys. You keep your car keys in your unlocked car – that’s where you need them.
The value of your vehicle is less than $500. You have it to take your surf board / kayak / mountain bike to the ocean / lake / mountains.
Your surfboard / kayak / mountain bike is worth more than your vehicle.
Should your bike ever disappear overnight, you know it wasn’t stolen – it was merely borrowed by someone too sloshed to drive home. You know the bike will reappear the next night or two. You visit the bike shop to post a note with the description of your bike and your address, just in case the borrower sustained a head injury in the nightly bar brawl and can not remember where he got the bike from.
You realize it’s been a couple of days since you’ve seen your working car. You know it’s not stolen, you simply parked it somewhere, forgot you drove and walked home. You don’t sweat it because you’ll spot it next time you make the rounds in town.