Vancouver is one of those faraway places which has a special ring for an Austrian like me. Being situated almost on the other side of the world, it has long been in my mind synonymous with a place very distant and different from home — and thus potentially interesting to visit. Over time my curiosity was further raised by the vivid accounts of school-mates who had travelled and even migrated there. Much of what they said sounded charming, so I was happy to be eventually able to relate their experiences with what I saw with my own eyes.
But there was also the Sinocouver I have been reading about lately. An Asian bridgehead where the locals are priced out of the market by soft-colonial methods, a city which is selling out its soul to globalism and multiculturalism. Being a tourist who is generally interested in the distinctiveness of places and peoples I have come to dislike the random and replaceable character of ‘diverse’ cities. You see one of them, you’ve seen them all — like an airport lounge.
Still, I was excited when my Greyhound bus descended from the mountainous interior of British Columbia into Fraser Valley. This is the story of my recent 24 h trip to Van, seen through the eyes of a European traveller on the look-out for Canada.
Fraser Valley And The Mountainous Hinterland
The afternoon sun was shining warmly through the bus windows on my face when I finally decided to give it up and let it go. Two hours of online search on the wacky bus wifi for a place to stay in Vancouver had yielded nothing. I had been warned that getting a budget accommodation on short notice would be a challenge, but finding literally nothing in the after-season — that came unexpected. It was Saturday and the hostels seemed to be booked out by scores of weekend visitors. Mentally, I flipped the switch to survival mode. There was no way I was going to miss a Saturday night in downtown. In the worst case, I would simply make a night of it. In Burnaby or Richmond, this much I knew, I didn’t want to spend the night.
Up to Abbotsford I found Fraser Valley to be rather sparsely populated, almost bucolic. As the valley lay peacefully under the sun, it struck me as a true beauty. With the mountain ridges rising majestically to both sides, it seemed as wide as the largest High Alps valleys I have seen. Yet, as elsewhere in BC, their flanks were practically devoid of any trace of farming or transhumance. Without any sign of pastures and cabins the dense forests covered the slopes in monotonous grandeur as far as the eye could see. Unlike the more populated regions of the Alps which have been (and still are) cultivated extensively up to the treeline, human settlement in the Canadian mountains is limited to the valley bottom as if a magic spell forbids expanding beyond it.
Another thing I noticed was the absence of any proper high mountain culture among the indigenous Euro-Canadians. Architecture, customs, dresses and the dialect of the Rockies and the adjacent ranges seemed to be identical to that of the lowlands.
Both these phenomenons, if I may digress, must have been the result of the quick and late settlement of the area. There was not enough incentive and time, historically speaking, for the poorer immigrants to evade the competitive pressure in the valley plain and take up farming and pasturing at higher altitudes. Nor was there enough time to develop a distinct high mountain culture along the line of the Swiss or the Tyroleans. This is a point of no small importance, I feel. Due to the remoteness and adverse nature of their living space, mountain people often develop a particularly strong sense of identity and attachment to their land which provides them with the spiritual strength to resist invaders (cf. the Tibetans, Kashmiri and South Tyroleans). At the least, the lack of a grown Anglophone culture in the vast spaces of the mountainous interior will have made it easier for immigrationists to play up the narrative of an underpopulated and post-cultural (“post-national”) Canada.
After leaving Chilliwack behind, the valley gradually altered its character from countryside to urban agglomeration. And, judging from the people getting on and off the bus, its ethnic composition began to change too. Road traffic became more dense than at any other place in Canada I have visited, even the corridor between Montreal and Quebec City. When the bus travelled across the Fraser River bridge a spectacular all-around view on the densely populated lower Fraser Valley opened up. I could discern several conglomerations of high-rise buildings on the horizon, leaving me confused as to where proper Vancouver lay.
Arriving In Vancouver
When the bus finally arrived, I was met with a pleasant surprise. In Europe the central bus and railway stations of the big cities are an area you want to leave behind as quickly as possible, but here the environment was clean, safe, almost placid. And it got even better: I quickly found a greasy bed hostel whose dorm stank only tolerably badly. The price was fair enough to make me overlook a White weirdo who was still snoring in one of the bunks. Silently hoping he wouldn’t turn out to be typical of the city’s diminished founding population, I headed towards downtown. Fired up, I was now in full explorer mode.
From the railway station one has to cross Chinatown which is strategically located at the entrance to the peninsula that Vancouver’s downtown lies on. Unlike in North America, Chinese ghettos have been traditionally unknown in Europe (and frowned upon), at least until not so long ago when the inner city demographics began to be really messed up by open borderism. Vancouver’s Chinatown ticks all the boxes from your holiday park replica: the lanterns, the lamp posts and a forest of Chinese shop signs, all painted in the characteristic red color. Yet I found the place lacked somewhat the ambience of Victoria’s tiny but more atmospheric sibling. In contrast to other traditional ethnic enclaves like Little Italy and Germantown, it is still dominated by the eponymous ethnicity — not a trivial point as this indicates a still expanding demographic with enough replacement arrivals from China and Asia to compensate for the social upward mobility of older generations of residents.
|Totems in Stanley Park, the only detectable sign of Amerindian culture in the city|
In case of Vancouver, though, I quickly realized that there was no need for clever inference of the city’s demographics. It was plain to see on the street. Even after leaving Chinatown and entering proper downtown the ethnic mixture was not terribly different. Not that I was totally caught by surprise. But it was still worse than what I had expected. Whites, it seemed, played almost a minor role and were nowhere in the clear majority except in the police force and, sadly so, among homeless people. Of the foreigners East Asians were dominant, followed by surprisingly many South Asians. Blacks were few and Hispanics almost absent. If there were Amerindians in the city, I must have missed them entirely. They left no identifiable footprint with the exception of some token totems of recent date.
|Redbrick Gastown (on Sunday afternoon)|
When I arrived at Gastown, twilight was already setting in and night life was starting up. The terraces were packed and flocks of people were strolling leisurely on the sidewalks. The redbrick style of the quarter gave it a pleasant British flavour. In the course of the night I moved back and forth between Gastown and the not too distant “strip,” a portion of the main shopping street which, I could not believe my eyes, the police actually bothered to close off for the hordes of party people populating it. What I noticed here, as much as elsewhere in Canada, was the absence of any kind of aggressiveness in the air. No reason to get wary, turn your shoulders and watch out for troublemakers, not even in the alcohol-saturated early morning hours. Instead a blessed serenity almost rivalling that of smurf’s village.
|Granville Street, the “strip,” where you show what you have|
People were also fairly approachable, quite unlike your typical big city dweller. There is of course nothing wrong with being nice, but I wonder if Canadians are on the whole too nice for their own good. How many times did I find myself in social situations where Canadians apologized, although that was my responsibility. Invariably harmless situations like me unintentionally standing in someone’s way or the like. But they added up. Is that merely a cultural difference? But how much divergence can there be between someone from Central Europe and someone originating from the British Isles? In a homogeneous society with a lot of social capital to share, as Canada and Austria once were, being nice to strangers did not hurt your own prospects. But under the conditions of mass immigration, being indiscriminately open and nice to cultural aliens becomes a liability as they will interpret it as a sign of weakness and start taking advantage of it. So, Canadians, please please stop being too nice. This is not the time for naivety. Niceness as a national trait will mean larping the fate of the Late Roman Empire in the Second Migration Period we are in.
For sure, any sign of resistance to forced multiculturalization was absent in Vancouver. Quite the contrary in fact: the whole city seemed to be a textbook case of working multiculturalism. Everybody knows those beer commercials where multinationals parachute a colored person onto the TV couch next to Whites and make them act together like best buddies. Their contrived, educative character usually makes you wince. But in Vancouver downtown, those brief 24 hours I was there, the scripted multicultural utopia seemed reality. For once I saw lots of ethnically mixed groups of people on the street standing, walking and having a good time together. The diversity of the long queues before the nightclubs would have put every ethnic casting agent in Hollywood to shame. Yet despite the brutally long waiting time the atmosphere was remarkably relaxed and peaceful. I noticed many mixed-race couples, and — elsewhere still pretty much a non-occurrence — a number of Asian males taking out White women. No signs of invisible barriers and unspoken borders. The colorblindness seemed authentic.
City Of Mammon
|Gastown at night|
At the risk of saying the obvious, Vancouver is a money city from tip to toe. Its competitive character was also pretty evident in the night life. I got the impression there was a literal arms race going on between the longest legs and the tightest outfits. Not that I minded. The women in the bars and on the street looked slender, cultivated and well-dressed. Not just the local ones but no less so the Asian females. Clearly, very many had an upper class background. Nowhere was the Roseanne type in sight. The men too were pretty much in shape, but dressed more conventional. This may have been simply down to the casual Canadian clothing code. But usually a pronounced difference is a sign of a groom’s market. Its basic mechanism transcends any cultural barrier: urban wealth attracts attractive people from the countryside who are trying their luck in the big city. The foreign money buys the access to the Canadian real estate market and, consequently, to Canadian women. Vancouver’s impeccable skyline and décolletés — two sides of the same coin.
When I passed the top notch Pan Pacific Hotel, a Chinese businessman stepped into his Lamborghini with his (first?) wife. Needless to say his idea of a good Saturday evening was to shop when he could secure best the attention of the pedestrians at the sea front. Such ostentatious displays of wealth are fortunately still frowned upon in continental Europe except in specific contexts and locations. Even more, from a foreign guest they would be rightly seen as a condescending act towards the locals. But in the uprooted, globalized atmosphere of downtown Vancouver it did not seem a wrong thing to do. All through the night, white stretch limousines were shuttling through the streets; probably rental services, but the message was clear: this is capitalist country.
|Homeless Whites while the party rages on close-by|
The dark side of it I could see on my way back on Hastings Street. Only one or two corners from the hipster partying zone in Gastown away a depressing sight of homeless people sleeping on cardboards along the street opened up. The next day when it was drizzling they looked even more miserable. In the queue to the kitchen soup on the sidewalk I could discern many races but the majority seemed White.
Towards the end I want to share a small episode when I left the strip briefly to shoot a picture from nearby Granville Bridge, a high speed viaduct with virtually no pedestrian traffic. As it just so happened at the desolate spot where I turned around to make the photo my eyes caught a lone sticker on the lamppost. Guess what it said: “Make Racists Afraid Again.” Can you believe this? In one of the most globo-capitalist cities on the planet all that Antifa is concerned with are the “racist” locals who may dare to resist their own dispossession. If any more proof was needed of Antifa being the useful open-border idiots of the global plutocracy, here it came black on white.
|Corner Hastings Street / Chinatown|
My respect for the local patriots has risen double-folded. Asiacouver is a most difficult terrain. Demographically, the city seems to be close to the tipping point. Financially, I suspect it is already in the pockets of the new overlords. Furthermore, in contrast to Western European cities the case cannot be simply made that mass immigration is bringing the place down. The influx of foreign money does upscale the city and the cohabitation between the different ethnic groups is harmonious on the surface, making it a showcase of successful globalization.
I do not pretend to understand the place from a beery Saturday night, though, and I did not even visit the satellite cities around. I am well aware that I only saw a — polished — part of the real picture. Unaffordable rents, dense traffic, unfair job competition, foreign crime and arrogance — all these negative side effects must be weighing heavily on the locals in their daily struggle for survival. It will be up to the local resistance groups to form a response which addresses these social issues and revives an identitarian spirit at the same time.
What I know from my short visit is that Vancouver is a crown jewel of Canada, where land, sea and sky mixes into a truly blessed spot, and if I were Canadian, I would be fighting tooth and nail for it. And if you can’t fight them on the beaches, fight them in the fields, in the hills, and in the streets. Fight them with growing confidence and strength everywhere. This time we are all in it together.