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Cambie Street Survival Kit

If you plan on navigating Cambie Street in a car, it is advisable to come equipped with a survival kit containing a wide range of reading material and possibly sedatives.

If you decide to go so far as to actually drive across the Cambie Street Bridge traveling south, this reading material should include a long novel, such as Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, or, Moby Dick.

If Moby Dick is the novel of choice, it is advisable to keep a dictionary in your kit. Don’t worry, you will have plenty of time to look up words while idling in the gridlock and doing so will stave off the desire to curse at the heavens or yourself for having decided to take the Cambie Street Bridge traveling south and it may also save you money by preventing the need to take one of the sedatives. You will then have your remaining sedatives handy for the next time habit gets the best of you and you forget to avoid the Cambie Street Bridge going south.

So you thought you’d figured out how to ferry yourself through the maze between Cambie and Oak Street on your way to King Edward? Ha, think again. The maze is constantly in motion. It is a work in progress, all those signs saying, “Road closed,” surprising you by cutting off access to roads you had counted on to get you from east to west. That is another good reason to have the dictionary handy on the ride going south on the Cambie Street Bridge. If you haven’t already taken your sedatives on the bridge, you will have them handy when you realize that you are circling around and around between Ash and Heather, continuously facing signs that read “Detour” but point you to roads where you again encounter “Road Closed” signs. This is a good time to take the sedative and keep trying. Don’t give up. Persistence will result in your car finally finding its way to the only way out. The way out is apparently classified information that only the directors of traffic in their happy orange hats are privy to.

Don’t get mad at the directors of traffic in their happy orange hats. Just because they are smiling, or laughing, it doesn’t mean they are smiling, or laughing, at you. Anyone who works on or around Cambie Street knows that the only possible response to eternal chaos and confusion is laughter.

If you are on foot, it is advised to bring a radar-tracking device to monitor the traffic creeping up behind you, particularly if you find yourself walking down Tupper Street. Although it used to be a highly ignored alley, it is now a major thoroughfare, and people park there, too. Just because you aren’t surrounded by an armour of steel and wheels doesn’t mean you have extra rights. Watch your back, and if you are a person of faith, pray. If you are not a person of faith, then perhaps you should consider becoming one until construction on the RAV line is complete.

If you are a child attending the Edith Cavell School at 19th between Cambie and Ash, you must not use fear of death as an excuse not to attend school. You will probably make it to school safely via Tupper Street, because your parent will have brought along a radar-tracking device. If you have to actually cross Cambie on your way from home to school, think of Harry Potter's courage in facing Lord Voldemort and don't be such a wuss.

Traveling on Cambie Street can be fun and interesting. Take a little trip over the strip that will one day support the RAV line, making Richmond seem only a breath away from downtown. After all, inconvenience is the price of convenience. These days on Cambie Street, you never know where the next obstacle will arise, so enjoy your quest.

If you aren't into adventure, think twice about using Cambie Street. If you decide to throw caution to the wind, always approach Cambie with a sense of humour. If you don't fall into a ninety foot hole, you just might make it to the other side.

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