I guess I'm going to Victoria

So right after I finished writing last night about how stupid it was to go to the park in the middle of the night, I decided to go back to the park in the middle of the night. It wasn't raining yesterday, so I figured I may as well get some photos of Vancouver at night. See how they'd turn out. Which is why there'll be pictures like this continually throughout this blog.

Vancouver at night

And it was quite cool to go back to Stanley Park again in the pitch black. For the main reason, that to get clarity of thought, I love going to places like parks. You just have natural sounds like wildlife and water around you, rather than mind-clogging sounds of the city. And also, it's just peaceful. Especially at this time of night. I didn't wander more than probably 15 or 20 minutes from the city this time. But even at that distance, at this time of night, it was peaceful enough that I could just think. I went there with the intention of taking photographs. But in all that walking, I got time to think. And then I had a sit down on a bench in the pitch black on the way out of the park. And it just gave me time to think things through. Think about what the Hell it is that I'm actually going to do.

And what I decided, was that one way or another, I just had to make a decision. Was I going to stay in Vancouver? Was I going to go to Victoria? All this uncertainty, was meaning that I wasn't going to get anything done.

And I still wasn't sure what I wanted to do. But maybe I'm not going to be 100%. So I asked myself, if at that moment, at that second, I had to make a choice about what I was going to do, then where would I go?

And I thought for a little while...

... and I thought...

And the conclusion I came up with, was that as much as I love Vancouver, I've done it already. How much can I gain from being here again? Plus rent is noticeably higher. And on my one occasion in Victoria and Vancouver Island, I'd loved it. And I'd pledged to come back. So if, at that point last night, I had had to make a decision, then I would have said Victoria.

Vancouver at night And the more I thought about it the more it made sense. The hostel that I stayed in in Victoria, 4 years ago, I would rate as the number 1 of all, I think 23 hostels I've stayed in in my time. I loved that place. And I don't know if they still do it now, but back then, you could get your nights board in exchange for 3 hours of housekeeping. So if I chose to (and they still did that), I could stay for free.

And Hell, if it doesn't work out, then what have I lost? Unwilling to stay on at American Backpackers for longer than I'm already booked for, to stay in Vancouver I'd be paying noticeably more than to stay in a hostel here, than I would in Victoria. So I might end up actually saving some money. So fuck it.

I said to myself last night that I'd get myself to the library today to look into Victoria a bit more extensively. And unless I could conclusively give myself a reason otherwise, I would head over to Victoria. Because I just need some damn decisiveness. Ok, I've only been in Vancouver for 5 night up until this point. And in my defense, I arrived with a fever that kept me sidelined for the first 3 days. And I've been staying in a place that stinks of piss surrounded by druggies the whole time. So it has been a little hard to get into the mindset to go job hunting. But no excuses, no explanations as they say. I've still had 5 days. And I've still done fuck all.

So come his morning, after what was probably my best night sleep since I've been here. Only being kept up for 98% of the night last night, I come down to the library to figure shit out. Free Internet and that. Look at hostel pricing. Look at bus times and pricing. Look at job listings for both Victoria and Vancouver. Compare accomodation rates. And basically compare every variable between the two cities.

And once I've done all of that, I'm still thinking Victoria. But I don't want to make any rash decisions. So I decide to head to the park; this time the David Lam park (more just a bit of grass than a park), and pull out the old Rough Guide to have a read up on Victoria. Afterall, it has been nearly 4 years since I was there last. And that was for only 3 nights if my memory serves me well. So I may have this total misconception about it.

Vancouver at night And one thing that struck me as I was reading, was looking at the Downtown map. And comparing it in size to the map of Vancouver. I knew that Victoria was smaller. But this is a hell of a lot smaller. Only 350,000 people or something. Which is awesome in that I'm not really digging the hustle and bustle of the big city life right now. But it also means that there's a lot less people out there willing to give me a job.

And if I was going to Victoria and staying in this same hostel, then one thing that made things even more tricky, was that the difference in price between booking by the night, by the week, by the fortnight, and by the month, was quite significant. A fortnight booked in advance would cost $235 for example. Where as if you paid for 2 weeks by the night, then you'd pay $280. But then you'd have the luxury of being able to leave half way through.

What I decided that I was going to do, was book for a week. That'll give me a week to test the waters of Victoria. If I like what I see. If it looks like I'll be able to find work, then I can stay on. If not, by the time that week's up, the Jericho Beach hostel in Vancouver will be open. I can come back here and do what I was planning anyway. And just look at this excursion to Victoria as little more than a holiday. If it does pan out well, then all the better.

And I also decided I may as well go tomorrow. I have 2 nights left in my druggie hostel. But at a cost of $8.57 per night, it's really not worth making plans around that much. I was so void of vitamins yesterday that I paid more than that for a salad for fuck's sake.

So after a lot of deliberation, I decide to bite the bullet and go for it. I'm still in the park. So I call this toll-free (free-phone) number to the hostel from my cell phone.

And once I get an answer, I get put on hold for maybe 3 minutes...

Vancouver at night And when someone does come back; he was taking another reservation, then I ask for a weeks reservation, starting tomorrow. Preferably in a co-ed dorm. Because not that this played much part in my decision to go back there. But last time I stayed here, it was in the middle of Summer in a room where the air-conditioning was broken. And man it was hot in here. Too hot to sleep at times. Sweating just laying there. I mean it had to be in excess of 35°C. Which would be shit normally. But I was in a dorm with 3 hotttt girls. And in that temperature they slept pretty much naked. It was awesome.

But after all this deliberation about where to go. And when to go. And finally making a decision... They're full tomorrow night.


For fucks sake!

I could have stayed in another hostel. But like I said earlier; of all the hostels I've stayed in in my lifetime, this one was the best. And maybe I'll find out it's best to leave that memory in tact when I get there if it turns out to be shit. Afterall, as I've said before, it's the people that make a hostel. And the 5 other people in my 6 person dorm were awesome. A lot of fun. So I might get stuck in a room with a load of French people this time. And then where would that leave me?

This place had space from Thursday instead, so I decided to book from then. I guess I will be staying that seventh night in American Backpackers.

So as I'm about to make the reservation, the phone suddenly goes dead. "Hello... Hello... For fucks sake." And I look at the screen to find a message. I was out of credit. With over $3.50 on my phone when I started making this call, to a toll-free number can I remind you, after about 7½ minutes on the phone, to this toll-free number, my credit was gone. To a toll-free number. Now I was pissed.

Now I won't get started on some long rant about phone companies over here or anything. I've done enough of that in the past. What I will say, is that if I happen to come face to face with any major shareholder or member of the board of directors for Rogers, I will be going to jail for a very, very long time. They had just charged me $3.50 for a 7 minute call to a free number. A free number. I'm living with druggies, eating shit everyday. Scrounging for pennies, to save money. And they see fit to charge me $3.50, for a call to a free number. A free, number. That put me in a bad mood.

Vancouver at night So now I have to go scrounging around Vancouver looking for a payphone. I don't need coins or anything. Afterall, it's a toll-free number. I just need a damn telephone. So after zig-zagging for a few blocks with no luck, I rack my brains to where there's a pay-phone in Vancouver. And the nearest place I can think of is the HI Central on Granville Street.

So I have to walk in there, go straight passed the front desk and they don't usher a word, grab the key-card door as the person before me goes in so it doesn't close, and head up to the third level of this hostel to get to the phone. Security just isn't what it should be. If the hobos around here were a little more resourceful, they'd have a roof everynight. I'd just walked straight into a hostel. Dorms were left open. There's always food around a hostel. If they just had the nerve to walk into a place they aren't staying, there'd be a whole treasure trove of joys awaiting them.

I've stayed in this place on 3 occasions in the past. And I got somewhat envious as I was walking all the way down the hall on the second floor to get to the phone. It was clean. It didn't spell like smoke or urine. The bathrooms were clean. It was freshly painted. Now admittedly I was paying about a third of the price. But still. This is how I used to live!

And guess what. The phone worked without me putting a single coin in. I called back the hostel and we carried on where we'd got ungraciously cut off by Rogers. They even still had me on the computers from 4 years ago so I didn't need a credit card or anything. So from Thurday, I'm booked into a Victoria hostel. So I guess that's where I'll be.

Vancouver at night Now I have another cell-phone related dilemma. I'm going to Victoria and I have a Vancouver number. Now I've given this number to a few people already. But I'm going to get charged out the ass to use it in Victoria. So if I'm going to be there long-term, it would make sense that I get a Victoria number now. When I'm out of credit. And also before I start handing out resumes with my Vancouver number on. But do that, and what happens if I end up in Vancouver next week? I'd have to change my number to a Vancouver number again and I'd be giving people 3 different cell phone numbers in the space of a month. And I'd say I've got maybe a 75% chance of going the distance in Victoria, so if I'm going to change my number, it has to be now. Before I start handing out more resumes. But I've just spent ages giving people this number. And what if I end up back in Vancouver? It's fucking bullshit, it really is. I have to either change my number... again. And then risk having a long-distance number if I come back to Vancouver. Or not change my number, and have a long-distance number in Victoria. It's just bull-shit. Cell phone companies making things as difficult as they can for people. Just to take as much of their money as possible. This is why I will not hesitate to stab in the face repeatedly, any Rogers shareholder or director I'm ever lucky enough to come face to face with. I talk a lot about the flaws of capitalism. How the greed of people will never allow it to work. Well these cunts... they're the poster child of what is wrong with the world. It would be a great service to us all if they were eliminated. $3.50 for a fucking toll-free number. Cunts.

So although I'm saying, give it a week in Victoria. See how we go. In reality, because of the phone companies, I need to know, now. I need to know whether to change my number or not. Because it will cost me heavily if I get it wrong. A cell phone is pretty much an essential communication tool in todays world. And these cunts just hold you hostage to it. Because like I've said, once I start handing resumes out, I can't change my number. That'll put me back to square one. I just need to know, now. And that pisses me the fuck off. I'm not even joking when I say I would kill these people in a second if I ever saw them. I mean every word I say right there.

Vancouver at night Anyway, once I've called one hostel, from another hostel, I go back to my hostel. Now if I only had one night left, I was going to stick it out in my dorm of druggies and fuck-ups. Yesterday I was all gay and sensitive to their retardations for some reason. Today I'm just not in the fucking mood. Proabably because the phone companies have pissed me off. So I'll say it like it is. These cunts are some of the most fucking retarded, low-life pieces of shit that you will ever come across. What kind of weak-minded jack-off can't get through his day without the use of drugs. I mean it's sad in a way. But don't bring your problems onto my fucking door-step. You're going to fuck your life up? Then do it somewhere where I don't have to fucking watch you. And I didn't want to have another 2 nights stuck with these fucking inbreds.

There was one other normal person in my dorm. And he had already moved out yesterday. I'd been offered the chance. But I couldn't really be bothered to move all my stuff. But today I just decided to get the fuck out of there.

So I said to the guy who runs the place I wanted to move. And he didn't seem too surprised. Told me that these 4 were being kicked out at the end of the month anyway because no one wanted to share a room with them. And he put me into room 1.

And I only went into there about 30 minutes before I came down to the library; where I am now. But the contrast was night and day. This room didn't smell of piss. The people were friendly. They weren't on drugs. And all of a sudden, this flea-pit of a hostel didn't seem so bad. It sounds like I'd literally just drawn the short straw for the past 5 nights. This dorm was tidy. The people were nice. Friendly. Not on drugs. And it was actually like what I expect a hostel to be like. Maybe these 4 in my previous room were just bringing the whole hostel down. Because they were at the root of every single negative that I'd seen about this hostel. The drugs. The fight I eluded to last time. Probably the bad fucking smells. It was all down to these 4. So maybe this place isn't so bad afterall.

In fact I almost hope that it isn't so good now that it's nice enough that I could be applying for jobs etc. Because that would almost eradicate any need for me to be going to Victoria at all. Though I think it's the right move regardless. This hostel now has 2 nights to redeem itself. And God knows it has every chance. After being so damn short on sleep because of the 4 junkies in my last room, if it's only moderately quiet I'll be sleeping like a baby. So we'll see. Maybe this place isn't so bad. Maybe I was just unlucky.

Vancouver at night As I was thinking about going to Victoria tomorrow, my one regret was that I haven't been back to Wreck Beach yet. UBC is the only university in the world with it's own nudist beach. And that was the one thing on my list to do in Vancouver that I haven't done yet. As well as going to a particular strip-club, but I'll look passed that. But I haven't been there in, like 4 years. So I was actually considering delaying going to Victoria for a day, just to go to the naked beach. Because I love naked places. I'm not shy. And it's nice to be free once in a while. And if there happens to be hot naked student chics there as well, then all the better. But I told myself, you can't change your plans just to get naked. That's stupid. But I guess it turns out God wanted me to go to the naked beach. Because why else did he make the hostel in Victoria fully-booked for tomorrow? I can't think of any reason either. So on my to do list for my final day in Vancouver: Go to the beach and get naked. And buy a bus ticket. And maybe this is just God's way of telling me he wants me to go to the strip club as well. We'll just see where he takes me.

But that is my plans all set now. In around 36 hours from now I'll be on a bus/boat heading for Victoria. A journey that in '05, I remember thinking was worth taking, just for the journey itself. So it might turn to shit. And I might be back in Vancouver in a week. But apart from a little time and money, what else is it costing me? I don't want to stay in Vancouver, just out of fear that I might not be able to make it work anywhere else. My big argument for leaving Invermere and the security of a job and a place to live, was that I didn't want to stay there, just out of fear it wouldn't work anywhere else. And now, I guess I'm using the same rationale to leave Vancouver. I love this city. Always have done in the many times I've ended up here. It was the first place I ever really gained independence. I've said that before. But I've done it now. And I'm sure I could gain something by staying on. But nothing like what I could going somewhere new altogether. So we'll see how we go. I just wanted some decisive action to kick myself into gear. And that decisive action is that I'm moving to Victoria in 2 days. It may not work and I may be back again. But at least this way I'll know for sure.

Victoria, here we come.

Vancouver at night

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