Category Archives: Canada

To Tip or Not To Tip: That is the question – Tipping

To Tip or Not To Tip – That is the Question of the Day

by Leaf McGowan / Technogypsie Productions

I’ve always been on the border about “tips”, “gratuity”, and “tipping”. I never in my younger years saw it as “required”, “mandatory”, or “expected”. Even when i was a bartender I never expected it nor thought I should get it. After all I was just doing my job and I was paid a fare wage for it. It was nice to get a tip when it happened (and it happened often), i just saw it as a “hey thanks for doing an exceptional job”. Its true I was brainwashed by regulars to recognize them as good tippers and pouring extra liquor or giving them extra attention because I knew they tipped. But I was fair to all. I always saw it as a practice to thank a worker for being extra nice, going out of their way, or high performance. I wouldn’t tip someone who did a poor job. But these days, you’re expected if not required to tip a service worker regardless of doing a good job. The percentages have raised from the normal 10% to 15% to 18% and 20% in some cases. Really? That’s not only obnoxious, but criminal. The criminality of tipping, no tipping, less than minimum wages, etc. didn’t sink in until I became a delivery driver and experienced first hand the angst and stress than a customer who doesn’t tip causes a worker … especially when it affects their livlihood, wear and tear on their vehicle, or when that tip teeters the ability to cover the gas it took to deliver said food.

When my ex-family member became rapid about no tippers as she works in the food industry, it was definitely a flag seeing how hostile she got on the topic. It was definitely a clash between us. I tried to explain to her my thoughts about it, how it was meant as a gift for exceptional service, and that it should never be expected. In fact, many countries find the act offensive and many foreigners don’t do it. She shouldn’t get hostile on a bunch of Germans at her table who don’t tip her. They might not know the American custom or requirement. But she would just get seething angry. It was that seething anger and dishonesty in her persona that made her my ex-family member in the long run.

But she’s no different than many in the service industry – if you don’t tip or are a poor tipper, you can easily become the scum at the bottom of a barrel and seen as a disgusting, unappreciative, vile individual. There are servers and delivery personnel who have been known to create databases recording your details so others can avoid you, or worse yet, target you for pranks, discrimination, or mean revenge. It really is a problem. Some pizza joints have been known to have comments and notes about customers who don’t tip. The common thought is that if you are a bad tipper for any reason other than bad service then you are stealing from the server and are consequently a thief so should be held up to public ridicule. So various staff have made facebook databases, web sites, and public forums “outing” the bad or no tippers, sometimes including their names, addresses, and/or phone numbers obtained from delivery apps, receipts, or credit card slips. Even if there are no physical databases active on the web, darkweb, or a businesses’ computer system … there certainly are mental notes and staff who will remember your face, name, or address and may avoid serving you or giving you proper service. Its always best to be safe and tip – be considerate of the individual who is serving you. There is the Uber Eats drivers forum on “No Tip for Food Delivery? Boycott them.”; (currently down); the Lousy Tipper database; NFIB – Should you publically shame a bad tipper?; Shitty Tipper Database; (currently down);; the Shitty shitty tipper database; Bad Tippers Suck; and Bitter Waittress.

Then there is the facts that suggest tipping was born out of racism. Should you not tip because it was originally a racist act? Certainly not – because you’re not hurting the industry that is the wrong-doer, you are hurting the server/driver/staff that is struggling on less than minimum wages their employer are giving them with expectation that your tips will make up the additional missing income. This is detrimental to those workers and really damages their livelihoods, especially in America and the tourism industry. Unfair? certainly. The only way this can change is to attack the industry and get companies to pay their employees proper fair wages.

So what exactly is a tip? or gratuity? Gratuity is another term for “tip” which is a certain amount of money that someone “gifts” to another for excellent service. It is additional funds above and beyond the fees or pricing for a item, service, and/or food. It has become a custom in many of the world’s countries. In some places its simply just the extra change to round up to the nearest dollar amount, other times it is a sizable sum often left on the table to thank the server and/or staff. The amounts that people give varies from country to country, and in some countries it is considered insulting. Other countries discourage it. Some countries require it. Originally it became 10%, and more recently has increased to 15-20% of the bill’s total. Some employees are prohibited from tipping if paying for food or services on government payments – government workers in some areas would break the law if they tipped. Unfortunately the practice has become an important part of the income for various service workers like servers, bartenders, delivery drivers, uber/lyft/taxi drivers – and failing to tip the can be a detrimental effect on their livelihood. This is very common in North America. Some restaurants will automatically add a service charge/tip on the bill especially when there is a large party at a restaurant.

In most places, it is illegal for government workers to not only give tips, but to receive them as it can be seen as bribery. For companies that promote tipping such as restaurants, the owners see the act of “tipping” as a incentive for greater work effort. Some abuse the custom by paying lower wages to their employees expecting the tips to make up for the difference. This is where the process has become criminal and abusive of the lower class in the United States. It is in this regard that tipping expected or not, is actually quite arbitrary and discriminatory, adversely affecting livelihoods and lives. It has been proven that amounts of tips can vary based on age, sex, race, hair color, breast size, color of skin, and appearance rather than quality of service.

The etymology for “tipping” and “gratuity” dates to the 1520’s from “graciousness” or the French “gratuite” in the 14th century. The Medieval Latin “gratuitas” or “free gift” or “money given for favor or services”. The practice appears to have begun around 1600 C.E. and was meant as a “small present of money”. It was first attested in 1706 according to the Online Etymology Dictionary. It was first practiced in Tudor England. By the 17th century it was expected that overnight guests in private homes should provide sums of money called “vails” to the host’s servants. This spread to customers tipping in London coffeehouses and commercial establishments. London in the 1890’s also had “crossing sweepers” who cleared the way in the roads for rich people to cross so that they wouldn’t diry their clothes, and they were tipped for this action.

Etymological differences in various languages can also translate the terminology to “drink money” such as “pourboire” in French, “trinkgeld” in German, “drikkepenge” in Danish, and “napiwek” in Polish coming from the custom of inviting a servant to drink a glass in honor of the guest and paying for it to show the guests generosity amongst one another.

Customs in varous Countries:

Africa/Nigeria: not common at upscale hotels and restaurants because the service charge is usually included in the bill although the employees don’t usually get any of it … this has been changing as establishments have begun to coerce customers to tip in the Western world manner even to the manner that there have been reports of security guards asking bank patrons for tips.

Asia: China – there is no tipping. Some hotels that serve foreign tourists will allow it, especially tour guides and drivers. Hong Kong – tipping is not expected at hotels or restaurants because a service charge of 10% is already added to the bill, but taxi drivers sometimes charge the difference between a fare and round sum as a courtesy fee so as not to make change for larger bills. Japan – tipping is very discouraged and seen as an insult (unless masked in an envelope). It also has created confusion. Indonesia – common in large touristy areas like Bali or Lombok where there are a lot of Western visitors. 10% is expected at full-service restaurants, and bar tipping is discretionary depending on the style of the bar. Pubs don’t expect tips, restaurants 10-15%, massage parlors 10-20%, taxi drivers 5%, bellboys $1 a bag. Malaysia – tipping is not expected, restaurants often add a 10% service charge, and if tips are left it is accepted and appreciated, but often is just rounding up. South Korea – not customary nor expected and can be seen as inappropriate behavior. Hotels and restaurants often add on a 10-15% service charge already embedded into the bill. Singapore – not practiced and rarely expected, though bars, restaurants, and some other establishments add in a 10% service charge compounded with the 7% goods and services tax – the staff rarely receive any of this. Taiwan – Not customary but all mid-high end restaurants and hotels have a mandatory 10% service charge which is not given to staff and made out as revenue to the business.

Europe: Tipping started in the United Kingdom and spread throughout, but not all parts of Europe accept it, some will be offended by it. Albania – It is expected everywhere and performance will vary based on requests for tips. Tips of 10% of the bill is customary in restaurants, and while porters, guides, and chauffeurs expect tips – duty-free alcohol is usually the best tip for porters and bellhops, but others may find it offensive (such as Muslims). Croatia – tips are sometimes expected in restaurants, but not mandatory and are often 3-5% of the bill. Clubs and cafe its common to round up the bill and its not common for taxi drivers or hairdressers. Denmark – “drikkepenge” or “drinking money” is not required since service charges must always be included in the bill according to law. Tipping for outstanding services is a matter of choice and never expected. Finland – not customary or expected. France – not required but what you see on the menu is what you are charged for. The French pay their staff a livable wage and do not depend on tips. Some cafe’s and restaurants will include a 15% service charge in the bill as french law for tax assessment requires. “service compris” is a flag that the tip has already been added to the bill but the staff may not get any of it. Tourist places are unofficially accustomed to getting tips. In smaller restaurants or rural areas, tips can be treated with disdain. Amounts of the tip are critical sometimes, such as at least a 5% for good service, and unless tips are given in cash, most of the time the staff won’t receive them if on credit card. Austria/Germany: Coat check staff usually tipped but tipping aka “trinkgeld” is not obligatory. In debates about minimum wage, some people disapprove of tipping and say that it shouldn’t substitue for living wages. It is however seen as good manners in Germany for good services. Germany prohibits to charge a service fee though without the customer’s consent. Tips range from 5-10% depending on the service. While Germans usually tip their waiters almost never the cashiers at big supermarkets. The more personal the service, more common to tip. There are often tipping boxes instead of tipping the person, and rounding up the bill is the most common practice as “stimmt” for keep the change. Tips are considered income in Germany but are tax free. Hungary – “borravalo” or “money for wine” is the tipping there and is commonplace based on type of service received, rounding up the price is most commonplace. Various situations will vary with tipping as either expected, optional, or unusual since almost all bills have service charges included. In Iceland, it is not customary and never expected except with tourist guides who encourage the practice. Ireland – tips are left by leaving small change (5-10%) at the table or rounding up the bill, and very uncommon for them to tip drivers or cleaning staff – it is the tradition thanks for high quality service or a kind gesture. In Italy – tips are only for special services or thanks for high quality service, but is very uncommon and not customary, though all restaurants have a service charge but are required to inform you of said added charges. Norway – service charges are added to the bill so tipping is less common and not expected. If done its by leaving small change 5-15% at the table or rounding up the bill. The Netherlands – it is not obligatory and is illegal and rare to charge service fees without customer’s consent. Sometimes restaurants, bars, taxis, and hotels will make it sound like tipping is required but it is not. Excellent service sometimes sees a 5-15% tip as in 1970 regulations were adopted that all indicated prices must include the service charge and so all prices saw a 15% raise back then so that employees were not dependent on tips. Romania – Tipping is close to bribing in some instances where it is used to achieve a favor such as reservations or getting better seats. tipping is overlooked often and rounding up can be seen as a rude gesture if including coins, otherwise one should use paper currency. Russia – its called “chayeviye” which means “for the tea” and tipping small amounts to service people was common before the Communist Revolution of 1917, then it became discouraged and considered an offensive capitalist tradition aimed at belittling or lower the status of the working class and this lasted until the 1990’s but once the Iron Curtain fell a influx of foreign tourists came it and it has seen a comeback. Slovenia – most locals do not tip other than to round to nearest Euro and the practice is uncommon. Tourist areas have accepted tips of 10-20%. Spain – while not mandatory it is common for excellent services. Tips in the food industry depend on the restaurant and if upscale, small bars and restaurants the small change is left on their plate after paying the bill. Taxi drivers, hairdressers, and hotel staff may expect tips in upscale environments. Sweden – tipping is not expected, but practiced for high quality service as kind gestures, but often is small change on the table or rounding up the bill mainly at restaurants and taxis. Hairdressers aren’t commonly tipped. Tips are taxed in Sweden but cash tips often are not declared. Turkey – “bahsis” or tipping is optional and not customary. 5-10% is appreciated in restaurants and usually by leaving the change. Drivers don’t expect tips although passengers often round up and small change to porters or bellboys. United Kingdom: England/Scotland – customary when served at a table in restaurants, but not cafes or pubs where payment made at the counter often between 10-15%, most commonly 10% rounded up. Golfers tip their caddies. Larger cities may have a service charge included in the bill or added separately commonly at 12.5%. Service charges are only compulsory if displayed before payment and dining, and if bad service, customer can refuse to pay any portion (or all) of said service charge.

North America:
Canada – similar to the United States, tipping is common, expected, and in some cases required. Quebec provides alternate minimum wage for all tipped employees, other provinces do so for bartenders. Servers tend to share their tips with other restaurant employees called “tipping out” or a “tip pool”. Ontario made a law in 2015 to ban employers from taking cuts of tips that are meant for servers and other staff as that became a bad problem until recently. Tips are seen as income and staff must report the income to the Canada Revenue Agency to pay their taxes on it. Caribbean – the practices vary from island to island, such as the Dominican Repulbic adds a 10% gratuity on bills in restaurants and its still customary to tip an extra 10%, St Barths it is expected tips to be 10-15% if gratuity isn’t already included in the bill, and most of the islands expect tips due to being used to it with tourists from the mainland. Mexico – In small restaurants most workers don’t expect tips as the custom is usually only takes place in medium or larger high end restaurants, and when it happens roughly 10-15% not less nor more as a voluntary offering for the good services received on total bill before tax is added (VAT – value added tax). Sometimes VAT is already included in menu pricing. Standard tip in Mexico is 11.5% of the pre-tax bill or 10%. Sometimes tips are added to the bill without the customer’s consent even though its against the law especially bars, night clubs, and restaurants. If this service charge is added it is violation of Article 10 of the Mexican Federal Law of the Consumer and Mexican authorities recommend that patrons require the management to refund or deduct this from the bill. United states – Tipping is a strong social custom and while by definition voluntary at the discretion of the customer, has become mandatory in some instances and/or required, very commonly expected. If being served at a table, a tip of 15-20% of the customer’s check is customary when good service provided, in buffets where they only bring beverages to the table, 10% is customary. Higher tips are often commonly given for excellent service, and lower ones for mediocre service. Tips may be refused if rude or bad service is given and the manager is usually notified. Tipping is common for hairdressers, golf courses, casinos, hotels, spas, salons, bartenders, baristas, food delivery, drivers, taxis, weddings, special events, and concierge services. Fair Labor Standards Act defines tippable employees as those who receive tips of more than $30/month and federal law permits employers to include tips as part of a employee’s hourly wage or minimum wage. Federal minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.13/hour as authorities believe they will make up the difference in tips. The federal minimum wage is still only $7.25/hour. 18 of the 50 states still pay tipped workers the 2.13/hour. 25 states as well as the District of Columbia have their own slightly higher tipped minimums, while the remaining states guarantee state based minimum wage for all workers. Some states have increased this such as Alaska, California, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Guam require that employees be paid full minimum wage of the state they are working in. Tip pools are used as well but the employer is not allowed to take any, nor any employees who do not customarily receive tips such as the dishwashers, cooks, chefs, and janitors. The average tip in America today is 15-16% with tipping commonly expected regardless of how good service was provided. A few restaurants and businesses in Amrica have adopted a no-tipping model to fight back, but many of these returned to tipping due to loss of employees to competitors. Service charges are often added when there is a large party dining and to catering, banquet, or delivery jobs. This is not to be confused with tips or gratuity in the U.S. which is optional and discretionary to the customer. Some bars have started to include service charges as well – but including these require disclosure to the customer. Until the early 20th century, Americans saw tipping as inconsistent with the values of an democratic egalitarian society, earlier business owners thought of tips as customers attempting to bribe employees to do something that wasn’t customary such as getting larger portions of food, better sittings, reservations, and/or more alcohol in their drinks. After Prohibition in 1919 alot of revenue was lost from no longer selling alcoholic beverages, so financial pressure caused food establishment owners to welcome tips and gradually evolve to expecting them. Tipping never evolved from a server’s low wages because back in the day before tipping was institutionalized, servers were fairly well paid. As tipping evolved to become expected and mandatory servers were paid less. Six states (mainly in the south) however passed laws making tipping illegal though enforcement was difficult, the earliest of which was passed in 1909 within the state of Washington. The last of these laws were repealed in 1926 in Mississippi. These states felt that “the original workers that were not paid anything by their employers were newly freed slaves” and “this whole concept of not paying them anything and letting them live on tips carried over from slavery” (according to Wikipedia article). Tips are considered income and the entire tip amount is considered earned wages except for months wehere tip totals were under $20. The employee must pay 100% of payroll tax on tip income and tips are excluded from worker’s compensation premiums in most states. This sometimes discourages no-tip policies because employers would pay 7.65% additional payroll taxes and up to 9% workers compensation premiums on higher wages in lieu of tips. Tax evasion on tips is very common and a big concern of the IRS. While tips are allowable expenses for federal employees during travel, U.S. law prohibts employees from receiving tips. Tip pooling is also illegal if pooling employees are paid at least the federal minimum wage and don’t customarily receive tips, but was repealed in 2018 so workers have more rights to sue their employers for stolen tips.

South America: Bolivia – Most restaurants have service charges included in the bill, but tips of 5% or more are sometimes given to be polite to the worker. Paraguay – Tipping is not a common part of the culture, there are often service charges included in the bill.

Oceania: Australia – Tipping is not part of Australian customs, so it is not expected or required. Minimum wages in Australia has an annual review adapted for standards of living. Many still round up the amount owed to indicate they were happy with the service as “keep the change”. There is no tradition of tipping someone who is just providing a service like a bellboy, hairstylist, or guide. Casinos in Australia prohibit tipping of gaming staff so its not considered bribery. New Zealand – like Australia, does not possess the tradition though it has become less uncommon in recent years especially with fine establishments and influx of tourism, or American tipping culture. It is expected that employers pay their staff fairly and that minimum wage is raised regularly based on costs of living. The only real tipping is for far and above normal service.

The varying degrees of gratuity around the world causes much problems internationally, as American tourists may continue to tip when travelling to countries where it is not custom, thereby setting precedent that evolves into expectation of Americans travelling abroad. Likewise, tourists from countries that find tipping rude or non-customary, may not tip when in the U.S. and infuriating staff that expect and/or depend upon it. Some Americans have been known to become aggressive, rude, and vindictive when they don’t get tipped and they may not realize the non-tipper is a foreigner who comes from a culture that doesn’t tip. The key is to know the culture you are travelling in. There is a high level of discrimination embedded into tipping culture, and many think the custom should be banned. According to Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt’s Freakonomics blog “Should Tipping be Banned?” they point out from Michael Lynn’s research that “attractive waitresses get better tips then less attractive ones. Men’s appearances, not so important.” “blondes get better tips than brunettes, slender women get better tips then heavier woen, larger breasted women get better tips than smaller breasted ones.” Hooters, an American chain has monopolized on looks for their waitresses and get away with discriminating upon those who don’t fit the look, and therefore the tip. Many will flaunt wealth by distributing big tips, and others do it to demean the worker to make them feel beneath them. After the abolishment of slavery, restaurants and rail operators embraced tipping as a way of getting free labor – hiring newly freed slaves to work for tips alone.

The newest industry being affected by tipping is delivery drivers who get paid $3.25 or lower for a delivery, don’t get paid to wait around for orders, sometimes are given some fees for mileage, but not wear and tear, nor reimbursement for the highly increasing cost of gas. So not only is a drivers time affected when someone doesn’t tip, but their vehicle, cost of gas, and expenses. As a delivery driver, I have gone on deliveries where what i received from a non-tipper and the company didn’t even cover the gas to get to their place and back. Remember that when considering if you should tip or not.


  • Oatman, Maddie 2016 “The Racist, Twisted History of Tipping: Gratuities were once an excuse to shortchange black people. In fact, they still are.” Mother Jones News. website visited at on 7/17/18.

  • Wikipedia 2013 “Tipping”. Website referenced at on 7/17/18.

  • Video: The Racist History of Tipping :

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The History of Wandering Leaf Designs or “Wandering Leaf, LLC”

Wandering Leaf Designs, also known as “Wandering Leaf, LLC” was a web studio located in the region of North America’s Pacific Northwest – servicing its clients in the United States & Canadian provinces. A Limited Liability Company, Wandering Leaf Designs provided their clients with top-notch web designs, logos, art, graphics, wireless / nomadic technologies, and hot spots of interest from 2000 until 2004. “Wandering Leaf Designs” was founded after the closure of “Leafworks, Inc.. “Wandering Leaf Designs” was closed when its C.E.O., organizer, lead designer/developer, and mover/shaker left the .dotcom industry to return to his passion of “Archaeology & Anthropology”. Once on the trail to doing work at the Camano Beach Excavation, Miami Circle’s “Icon Brickell” project, and finally to be the GIS Specialist/Curator for the U.S. Army’s Cultural Resource Management Program at Fort Carson, he no longer had the time to continue operating “Wandering Leaf Designs”, much of which was the lasting demise of the “.dotcom” collapse that started in the late 1990’s into the early Y2K era. The Company closed shortly after his absence.

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Ghost Stories on Wreck Beach …

Saturday, November 6th, 2004

Wreck Beach Ghost Story, Wreck Beach, Vancouver, British Columbia

Wreck Beach Ghost Stories

Wreck Beach- Vancouver, B.C.

Some say, that if you visit Wreck Beach at night, and are away from the camp fires or the crowds, you can hear a woman screaming as if she’s being brutally murdered. Some say, you can see a apparition of a bloodied naked young girl stumbling around on the sand or walking the trails. Others claim to have seen a mist that floats with a shape of a young woman. Some have said to hear screams coming from the bushes. Others have reported seeing a ghost of a male wailing in agony.

Evidence of these tales have not been proven. Some say the ghost tales are hearsay. In 1990, Kevin Ladouceur was brutally murdered on the beach. He was the first reported murder at Wreck Beach. The horrid death of Christina (Tina) Joy Thompson who was murdered at the top of Trail Six in August 1993, inspired a local play called “Wreck Beach” that tells the tale, and could be the source of the tale. Apparently this was the 2nd murder committed at Wreck Beach by 1993. Not aware of any other murders since that date.

In 1995, after two years of angst in the community as rumours circulated over who murdered the popular girl, Joseph Daniel Hammond arrived with a priest at the Richmond RCMP detachment and admitted killing Thompson. He was jailed for life and is eligible for parole in 2004. Hammond said he had watched the woman argue with her boyfriend. He then offered to carry a bag for her up a trail. He began to touch her and a struggle ensued. The woman was quickly strangled. The Crown lawyer said that Hammond had intercourse with the deceased woman “a couple of times” in the bushes after killing her.


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DV8 (Vancouver, BC)

515 Davie Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6E 1N3

A underground-styled hang out joint popular amongst the hip Vancouverite scene. Good food, slow service, but an excellent place to hang out if you are interested in hanging out. Comes with an art gallery which changes every week or two displaying some of Vancouver’s best alternative artwork. With a serving station styled after a djbooth you can find some of the most intriguing and raunchy named drinks you can think of off its menu. The food has the same flavor. It’s an excellent venue.

Rated: **** 1/2


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English Bay (Vancouver, BC)

English Bay
Vancouver, British Columbia

English Bay brings sweet memories for me during the
World Expo 1986. It was the romantic setting for a marriage proposal to my
first wife. English Bay has a bit of San Francisco charm. With
bicycle/rollerblade paths along the beach and sea wall, palm trees and
ornate architecture, beach activities, roller bladers, and summer fun –
kayaking, rain forests, and great seafood restaurants – great views of
Vancouver, the harbour, Stanley Park, and the great aspects of Vancouver –
English Bay should be on your activity list for a place to relax and

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Glacier Park

Welcome to British Columbia
Driving in Glacier Park

Glacier Park in
British Columbia:

In the Eastern region of British Columbia stands the beautiful Glacier Park. This Provincial and Canadian National Park is one of the wonders of British Columbia. Completely pocketed with giant mountains with glaciers cradling most of them, this Park of beauties is definitely the place to spend a camping and outdoor vacation. Remember to dress warm, for it can be quite cold in some parts of the park even in the center of Summer.


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Hamburger Marys

Hamburger Mary’s Diner
1202 Davie Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6E 1N3

Rated: **** 1/2

Hamburger Mary's

(Review by Leaf McGowan, 11/5/01):
“An excellent restaurant with organic meat entries. Right in the heart of Davie street village (gay district of Vancouver), this hamburger joint has a warm and welcoming staff and excellent service. A fabulous burger joint with fresh food, and excellent selections. I had the Organic beef California burger – came laden with lettuce, tomatoe, mayo, ketchup, avacado, onions, pickles, and a good serving of fries. The coca cola came in an old fashion shake steel cup which kept it ohhhh so cold. Top place. Will visit many times more. The burger, fries, and coke all for $11.75 CAN. ”

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Lotus (BC)


Lotus Sound Lounge

455 Abbott Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 1C8
Vancouver, British Columbia
Yahoo Maps!
ClubVibes Details

Rated **1/2 by Leaf McGowan.

Lotus Sound Lounge

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Taisho Restaurant
Metropolis, E 15 – 4700 Kingsway
Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5H 4M1
604.435.1211 / fax 604.435.0717

Rated: ****1/2

Rated: **** 1/2

(Review by Leaf McGowan, 11/17/01):
“A highly recommended Sushi / Japanese restaurant – Taisho will cover your needs and entertain your soul. The spot was pretty crowded but waiters/waitresses were very attentive and helped up set up our large group table of 16. The restaurant has the traditional Japanese rooms where you take off your shoes, a sushi belt where you can grab plate after plate of sushi, a room for karaoke and dancing, and all styles of sitting. I got the Chef’s combo – which was excellent – good tempura, good sushi, good sashimi (my favorite unagi), chicken and noodles, etc. Overall it was an excellent experience. ”

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Purple Onion


the Purple Onion Cabaret
* 15 Water Street * Gas town –Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 1A1 * 604.602.9442 * *


Vancouver’s only underground Brit Night – radiohead, blur, suede, bowie, clash. DJ Sheriff Fatman and ken Bastard. Real Brit. No Sh*t. 60’s Brit Invasion, psychedelica and soul in other lounge: DJ Lee Modern spins The Who, the impressions, and the Byrds.


Available for private parties.


Freebasing Funk shooting soul with residents Djs Lush and Stephane.


The afterlife entertainment presents pure O2, DJ Ali (Leaf Recordings and Fresh Studios), funky ass house, Vancouver, and a variety of other shows.


Sugar and Spice, blending hip hop, RnB, and Club hits, DJ Relik and DJ LDB with MC Tropiq. DJs Roger Z and Andre Drop the sweet sounds of downtempo house and hip hop complimenting the funkiest in live acts.


Platinum with resident DJ’s Seanski (Bronx, NY) and WAX (DMC Champ) the jams are bumpin all night long. Hip Hop / Top 40 Dance / RnB.


Sanctuary: Vancouver’s Darkest Secret. Etheral Beauty, Downtempo, Experimental electronix, Crunchy Beats, EBM Electro Industrial Synthpop and loads more. DJ Pandemonium and Guests.

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Canada    Journeys of a Technogypsie

Canada is the largest land-mass of a country in the Americas and extends geographically from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific ocean in the west, North to the Arctic Ocean, and is bordered to the south by the United States. It’s the world’s second largest country by total land area. The term “Canada” comes from a St. Lawrence Iroquoian word “Kanata” meaning “village” or “Settlement”. The word was first applied to the territory in 1535 when inhabitants of present-day Quebec used the word to direct explorer Jacques Cartier to the village of Standacona. Historically Canada was inhabited for a millennia by various groups of aboriginals, but was first invaded by Europeans in the late 15th century by both France and Britain. When France ceded with its American colonies in 1763 after the Seven Years War, many of the loyalists inhabited what is now Quebec. In 1867 with the union of 3 British North American colonies through confederation, tied together with the French, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces. Until 1982, Canada had various levels of dependency on the British parliament. Canada is now a federation compromises ten provinces and three territories, labelling itself as a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. Canada is bi-lingual, both French as English as their official languages. Canada is extremely technologically advanced and industrialized, making a very diversified economy based on its natural resources and trade with the United States of America.

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Club 23 West: Sin City (Vancouver, B.C.)

Club 23 West

23 West Cordova, Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 1C8
Vancouver, British Columbia
Yahoo Maps!
ClubVibes Details

Rated *****


SIN CITY: description: “Sin City is a monthly club night dedicated to the truly kinky club demons of Vancouver and takes place monthly on every second Saturday of the month at Club 23 West. Cover is $9 without a pass, $6 with passes which can be found at many downtown locations. In addition to the dancefloor, drink specials and antics of DJs Pandemonium & Klaxxon bangin’ out dark n’ dirty retro, electronika, industrial & dance, we offer a seperate play dungeon complete with friendly monitors, lovely sturdy black & cushioned bondage equipment with plenty of couches & viewing space, and a private, outdoor patio looking over Gastown’s blood alley. We enforce a very strict dress code which must be adhered to in order to gain access to the celebration of sin! Absolutely no t-shirts (unless fetish-related) will be admitted, jeans, suits, or streetwear of any kind. Some examples of acceptable dress are: rubber, pvc, vinyl, leather, full uniform, fantasy or period costume, armour, cross-dress, bondage, body paint, and lingerie. Sin City is a cross-over night with all sorts of people and scenes coming together to celebrate a truly sinful party – young, old, gay, straight, fetish veterans, newcomers, partiers, loungers, we all come together once a month to party in high style. “ (Leaf’s virtual tourist page)

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The Element (Vancouver, B.C.)

the Element

Cambie Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
Rated ***1/2

Gas Town Inn - Element Pub

Thursday, 11/8/01:
” I hailed down a cab and headed over to the Element on Cambie / Hastings, by the Cambie Hotel. I wasn’t quite sure if I was in the right place, but as I walked in past a restaurant kitchen, back into the dank and dark pub – I saw horror movie and haunted house tacky decor … with a sprawled sign stating I was in “the Element”. I saw Melissa, gave her a hug, and chatted – headed over to Bernie and gave her a hug and wished her “Happy Birthday” as I handed her a gift and watched as she enchanted “the Element” with her dj magic. Chilled out to a couple of drinks with Bernie as other friends appeared and wished her birthday blessings. The element had a intriguing decor of a haunted house with the top pseudo-balcony covered with Halloween stuffed beings and macabre decor. Green fake ferns and air plants sprawled along the ceiling – the evening had great music but lacked numbers of individuals, and at this point, no one dancing. Then came in Jeffy, and two other friends I met previously at a Halloween party – they recognized me without my green makeup and faery wings. We all grabbed a table and chatted away through the night, discussing Skinny Puppy, how we wished we were at the Tori Amos concert, the Survivor series, and other elements of news going on in the world. As I partied with my friend Bernie at the Element and was woo’ed by her dj’ing with excellent 80’s, dance, and Industrial mixes – as the clock struck 12, I decided to head back to Seymour street for a little dancing at my favorite hotspot on Thursdays … Luvafair. The drinks are pricey here but created with pizazz and a good kick. Music was excellent, just lacked the people to fully utilize the dance floor. By the time I was planning on leaving, a handful had started to dance.”

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Cypress Mountain (Vancouver, B.C.)

Cypress Mountain

Cypress Mountain is a fabulous resort for the ski enthusiast. Not quite Whistler/Blackcomb, Mt. St. Anne, or Mt. Baker, Cypress is a top-dog resort however for a local mountain resort servicing Vancouver, British Columbian ski enthusiasts. Good prices, not too crowded, and skiing from morning till around 11 pm at night, this winter wonderland will enchant you for sure. Best of the three Vancouver ski triads (Mt. Seymour, Grouse, and Cypress) … Cypress is accessible from downtown Vancouver in a 20 minute car drive depending on Lion’s gate bridge traffic. It’s also accessible by shuttle from downtown.

Official Cypress Mountain website:

22402-alpine-cypress-view-250 (12k image)

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Two Parrots (Vancouver, BC)

Two Parrots
Granville Street
Vancouver, British Columbia

Overall Rating: **** 1/4

The Two Parrots, a festive restaurant/pub located on the corner of Davie Street and Granville, right across from the Blenz is an excellent restaurant for conversation, resting your feet, socializing, and good cheer. According to our reviewers the “Two Parrots” is a great place to go after dancing. Open late and serving a good selection of savoring dishes we agree you won’t be disappointed with the experience. Restaurant is under new-management as of April 2002 and the rumor-mill is that the restaurant is has become an even better establishment and is quickly becoming a favorite hangout amongst pub lovers.

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Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver, British Columbia


Vancouver, British Columbia:
Home to the X-files and many other supernatural thrillers and television shows such as Dark Angel, The Outer Limits, The New Addams Family, and Stargate … Vancouver is a multimedia and digital entertainment hot spot in North America. Many digital producers, special effects, sick and twisted animationists, foreign film festival highlights, and top movies are produced and Created in Vancouver. Rated the 16th most beautiful city in the world, Vancouver has just about everything for anyone. Street coined “the Amsterdam of North America” or the “San Francisco of Canada”, Vancouver has a miriad of interests for the tourist. A unique nightlife awaits the night owl. Tons of plays and theatrical performances, music fests, concerts, and other cultural festivities. Home to the World’s Fair in 1986, the city has landmarks celebrating that event. In what other city can you stroll in a rainforest, swim in the ocean/lounging at the beach, rollerblade the beach walks, and go skiing in one day? 10 minutes to Grouse Mountain ski resort, 20 minutes to Cypress Mountain, and 45 minutes to Whistler/Blackcomb. Vancouver is a skiers/snowboarder’s paradise. Also known for it’s Asian culture … Vancouver is one of North America’s most famous Asian cities.

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Columbia River

Columbia River

The Columbia River was named after Captain Robert Gray’s ship, the “Columbia Rediviva”. It is also called the “Big River”, “The River of the West”, or “River Oregon”. It flows through Canada in British Columbia, and in the U.S. through the States of Washington and Oregon. Its tributaries are the Spillimacheen River, Beaver River, Illecillewaet River, Incomappleux River, Kootenay River, Pend Oreille River, Spokane River, Snake River, John Day River, Deschutes River, Willamette River, Kicking Horse River, Blaeberry River, Canoe River, Kettle River, Sanpoil River, Okanogan River, Wenatchee River, Yakima River, Lewis River, Kalama River, and Cowlitz River. It is the drainage from the source of “Columbia Lake” in British Columbia. It drains an area of approximately 258,000 square miles including drainage basins from Idaho, British Columbia, Oregon, Washington, and small portions of Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada. Its median elevation is 2,690 feet above sea level and flows into the Pacific Ocean. IT is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America rising in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia flowing northwest and then south through Washington and Oregon into the Pacific. It is 1,243 miles long. It is the fourth-largest river in the United States and powers over 14 hydroelectric dams. The river historically has been used for trade, transportation, exploration, and economy for thousands of years. Its first recorded inhabitation was more than 15,000 years ago transitioning from hunting and gathering to sedentary lifestyles along the river based mainly on salmon ca. 3,500 years ago. Skeletal remains of the Kennewick Man aged at over 9,000 years ago, were found along the Columbia River sparking debate about origins of human habitation in North America. Many Native Americans inhabit the river valleys including the Sinixt, Lakes, Secwepemc, Ktunaxa, Blackfoot, Colville, Spokane, Coeur d’Alene, Yakama, Nez Perce, Cayuse, Palus, Umatilla, Cowlitz, Chinook, Shoshone Bannock, Nch’ i-Wana, Sahaptin, and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. There was once a land bridge called the “Bridge of the Gods” connecting Oregon and Washington across the Columbia River Gorge that has alot of mythology over its formation and destruction. It was believed to be from a battle between the Gods represented by Mount Adams and Mount Hood and their competition for the affection of the Goddess represented by Mount St. Helens. The bridge originally permitted increased interaction between tribes on the north and south sides of the river until its destruction.

American Stonehenge and the Columbia River Valley, Washington.  11/16/15. Chronicles 20: Exploring Oregon/Idaho border lands. October-November 2015. Photographs by Eadaoin and Thomas Baurley, Leaf McGowan, Technogypsie Productions.  Reviews:  Chronicle tales:  American Stonehenge: Columbia River
American Stonehenge and the Columbia River Valley, Washington. 11/16/15. Chronicles 20: Exploring Oregon/Idaho border lands. October-November 2015. Photographs by Eadaoin and Thomas Baurley, Leaf McGowan, Technogypsie Productions. Reviews: Chronicle tales:
American Stonehenge:
Columbia River

Columbia River

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Jericho Beach (Vancouver, British Columbia)

Jericho Beach * Vancouver, British Columbia *
One of my favorite beaches in Vancouver, next to Wreck Beach and Spanish Banks. Rather than a place of “fun” its had much more of a spiritual draw for me personally, as it was a place of engagement as well as a place of celebrating my divorce. It was also a place where I awoke one night while sleeping on it next to a campfire with some international friends and discovering that I needed to move to Vancouver. So it has been a place of many beginnings and endings as well as transitions for me. Also one of my best friends live in the community embarked upon the beach, so its often a place where I stay when in Vancouver. Jericho Beach to others is well known for its naturally sandy beaches nestled amongst treed copses and ponds. The first settlers in the area created a village here called “Ee’yullmough”. Then in the 1860’s, Jeremiah Rogers set up a logging camp here called “Jerry’s Cove” which later evolved into the name “Jericho”. Vancouver’s first golf course was then built here until the Department of Defence in the 1930’s took it over for development of a seaplane base which once housed numerous hangars along this shoreline. The Park Board took it over in the 1970’s when it was developed into a public beach/park. On the east end is populated with beach goers and sunbathers while the west end is popularly used by sailboaters and windsurfers. There is a seaside seawall system along this beach, there is also a concession, washroom, play fields, tennis courts, picnic tables, a very popular Youth Hostel, a Sailing Center, and a lifeguard from late May until early September. There is also a swimming raft during swim season.
Jericho Beach borders the infamous Kitslano and Point Grey. Every summer there are major festivals held here. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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Wreck Beach (Vancouver, British Columbia)

Wreck Beach
Vancouver, British Columbia *
One of my favorite beaches in the world because the sub-culture and community that it embraces and its location in the heart of Vancouver, British Columbia. For the years that I lived in the area it was my weekend spot during the warm months and even in the fall/winter evenings a remote spot where we could have rituals, campfires, fire spinning, and beach parties. Wreck is one of the world’s most popular clothing-optional beaches. It is located in the Pacific Spirit Regional Park which encompasses the University of British Columbia Endowment lands on the western shores of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The beach itself stretches 6.5 km from Acacia Beach to the north and the Booming Grounds Creek. The beach is well marked as a “clothing optional” beach and is administered by the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD). Most of the beach is rocky but the proper main beach is a large sandy stretch where people do beach activities, swim, play volleyball & frisbee, sunbathe, and socialize. Part of Wreck Beach has an area where dog owners can unleash their pets. Smelt fishing is also done here during smelt season. Wreck Beach connects with Acadia Beach (accessible from a parking lot on Marine Drive) that has a grassy area with picnic tables; Tower Beach which is accessible by Trail 3; and Point Grey by the steeper Trail 4 located by the Museum of Anthropology. It’s possible to walk along the entire stretch during low tide. Tower Beach has two tall concrete gun towers from WWII. The rainforest creates a boundary from Marine drive down through the cliffs up to the ocean’s edge in some places minus Wreck Beach proper with its large sand bar and banks. Bald Eagles, Kingfishers, Sea Lions, Seals, and nesting herons can often be seen here. There has been sightings of Orcas in the past. Wreck Beach proper has the most developed trail in the area leading down the bluff to the sand – the stairs number approximately 400 steps. Wreck Beach is also home to an enormous community of naturalists and nudists who caretake the beach and police the area making it safe. There are some legal vendors down below that sell clothing, drinks, snacks, sunscreen, sarongs, and cooked food. However, Wreck Beach is most notoriously known for its black market vending of alcohol, cocktails, marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms, and LSD. Local law enforcement police the area often to crackdown on the black market which is so openly available that contributes to Vancouver’s reputation of being the “Amsterdam of North America” even though none of the subtle wares and substances are legal in British Columbia. Its difficult for the police to crack down on the illegal substances here because the community that sells them keeps a watchful eye for them and warns everyone when they are spotted. Nudity is legal on the beach and its an openly ‘clothing optional’ family location. This is not a adult beach. Families, children, parents, teenagers, and adults can be found enjoying the beach. Most beach-goers go nude, regardless of age or sex. Often, the clothed will feel out of place. Because the beach is located by the University of British Columbia, alot of students can be found at the beach. Wreck beach is publically accessible. It can be accessed via road, water, and public buses. TransLink runs a number of bus routes (4, 9, 17, 25, 33, 41, 43, 44, 49, 84, 99, 258, and 480) to the UBC bus loop. From there it is a five-minute walk west, down University Boulevard, to UBC Gate 6 (from which Trail 6 takes it name). Turn right on N.W. Marine Drive and the trail is immediately to the left about 100 meters. From Highway 99, turn west on one of these roads: S.W. Marine Drive, 41st Avenue (which eventually merges onto S.W. Marine Drive) or 16th Avenue (which eventually ends at S.W. Marine Drive, then turn right). Alternatively, from the north only, take the 4th Avenue exit off the Granville Street Bridge (then from 4th Avenue, turn right on N.W. Marine Drive). From Highway 1, take the Grandview Highway exit (28A) westbound (this eventually becomes 12th Avenue), turn right (north) on Clark Drive, left again (west) on 6th Avenue (this eventually becomes 4th Avenue), and then turn right on N.W. Marine Drive. There are toilets at the top and base of the stairs. There is no running water. [synopsis composed with data from above wikipedia link] Since cameras are not allowed on wreck beach and often frowned upon often with threats to destroy the camera equipment – photos are limited to stock photos from the web that were designated for public viewing, photos displayed here come from stock photo collections that appear to have no copyright tags that came off free photo galleries. If a copyrighted photo wound up on this page, please contact and we’ll be happy to remove it.

Wreck Beach rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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Wired Monk Cafe, Vancouver, BC

Wired Monk

Wired Monk Coffee Bistro * 2610 4th Avenue West * Vancouver, BC V6K 1P7, Canada * (604) 742-1752 *

Artsy fine-elderly design coffee bistro with food and drinks, coffees, chai, teas, and pastries. Free wifi. Didn’t find the service that great, employees seemed bored and bitter. Not many plugs available for laptops. Service was still good. Wifi good. Plain and not a place I’d go out of my way to go back to. Rating: 2 stars out of 5.

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Hell’s Kitchen (Vancouver, British Columbia)

Crab n’ Avacado Bennie at Hell’s Kitchen

Hell’s Kitchen * 2041 4th Avenue West * Vancouver, BC V6J 1N3, Canada * (604) 736-4355 *

Ah, Hell’s Kitchen. I’ve been wanting to try out this bar/restaurant for awhile. Glad I did. Its artsy, comfy, odd, and decorative in a modern kitch sense, with you-got-it … down under decor. Great service, great dishes, and decent prices. Several of the patrons were recovering from their saturday nights, so we weren’t alone at noon in that endeavor. The crab and avacado bennie was fabulous. The raspberry mimosa was good too. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

Me, Stephanie, Ryan, Caitlin at Hell’s Kitchen

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Fritz European Frie House (Vancouver, British Columbia)

Fritz Fries

Fritz European Frie House * * 718 Davie Street * Vancouver, BC V6Z 1B6 * 604-684-0811

Ah Belgium Fries. Poutine. Gravy/Curds/Potatoes/Oh My! The french fries are to die for. The Poutine …. mmmm spectacular. But then again, I’m a big fan of Poutine, which is a Quebecoise dish I can’t get in the States. But popular in Canada, especially amongst the French Canadians. To the level that even most McDonalds in Canada serves it. But here? You’re getting your best poutine experience you can have outside of Quebec. Fries everywhere and a great place after clubbing to grab some good grub. Beats pizza. Lots of dipping sauces for your fries. Curries and peanut sauces are wonderful. Its a small place/hole-in-the-wall with very little space to dine, but at 3 am, that really doesn’t matter. Great place! Rating: 4 stars out of 5. Revisits: 7/4/09 – Fabulous as ever. Fritz’ just encourages my crazy cravings for poutine. Delicious! Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

Fritz Menu


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Sanctuary Saturday (Vancouver, British Columbia)

Dancefloor at Sanctuary (Club 23 West)

Sanctuary Saturday @ Club 23 West * * 1st/3rd/5th Saturday every month @ Club 23 West: 23 West Cordova, Vancouver, British Columbia
Ah, back in the day when I first moved to Vancouver, this was the only Goth/Industrial club I could find in Vancouver when i first moved there during Y2K. At that time it was at the Purple Onion. This fabulous night was established in 1997 and is the longest-running night in Vancouver that’s dedicated to the Goth/Industrial/Underground and alternative music culture. DJ Pandemonium who started the night is still keeping it alive and beating serving the best of alternative/synth/electro/new wave/80’s/90’s/rock/goth/industrial/ebm/ and synthpop. Now joined with DJ’s R-Lex, Vortex, Contrasoma and periodic guests; its taken hold on Saturdays instead of Sundays in the infamous thriving ground of Sin City at its home in Club 23 West. Doors at 9 and the party lasts til 3 am. Free before 10, students free till 11, and two-for-one’s with cab receipt all night. $6 cover after 10, $1 off if dressed to impress. I’ve been a fan of this night since early 2000 attending every year since then, when I lived in Vancouver it was a weekly attendance, when living in Seattle it was a bi-monthly venture, and even when I was living in L.A., Miami, and Colorado … I still came back at least a half a dozen times throughout the year with Sanctuary and Sin City as driving forces to selecting calendar dates to visit. Its a must visit venue for anyone in the underground scene that wants a great place to dance, meet people, and slam some drinks down. Dress to impress! Now with two floors: upstairs and downstairs spinning the best in the dark scene. Rating: 5 stars out of 5. Previous reviews I’ve written:,,, Revisit on 7/4/2009 – Still amazing music and a fabulous dance floor. Still yet one of my most favorite nights!!! Thank you Isaac!!!

Dancefloor at Sanctuary (Club 23 West)

Dancefloor at Sanctuary (Club 23 West)

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Cuppa Joe Coffee (Kitslano, Vancouver, British Columbia)

Cuppa Joes – Jericho Beach/Kitslano

Cuppa Joe’s Coffee Shop * 3744 West 4th Ave, Vancouver, BC * (604) 224-3687 *

A great little local (but Vancouver chain) two story coffee house right off of 4th, conveniently located in Kitslano bordering Point Grey bordering Jericho Beach. Just a short jolt of a walk from the Vancouver HI. Free wifi internet just ask for the password at the counter. Great chai, pastries, and coffee. A Starbucks alternative. Carries organic and free trade. Always good music and apparently has great beer on tap (I’m not a beer drinker so can’t comment on that one). Staff and regulars are very friendly. Its an artsy joint with good music. Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.

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