I'm going to work on an island that looks like a massive penis!


That's not the only reason I'm going there mind.

Backyard Dog, Baddest Ruffest

Having trouble playing? Click here

It turns out that all this rejection of job hunting went to my head somewhat. Because doing this WWOOFing, I kind of over-cooked the amount of farms that I sent applications to. At this point, about 48 hours after I started sending off emails, I've received exactly 40 replies by phone or email. Of which only 11 of those were rejections due to lack of space. So I have 29 offers of placements on the table. And they're still coming in now. So perhaps I maybe applied to a few too many farms.

It has even got to the point that I'm not even taking phone calls. Sleeping with my phone on silent, because farmers get up so damn early. And even if I do get a call, sending it through to voicemail half the time because I've got so damn fed up of speaking to farmers. And the ironic thing is that I accepted one of the first offers that came through to me.

When Tom and Craig first put the idea of going to the Gulf Islands in my head, when reading up on them mainly in a free magazine that was sitting about the hostel, I earmarked Galiano Island as the one that looked the best to me. Not just because it was shaped like a penis. But also this magazine quotes it as "The waters surrounding the island are known in the scuba world as prime dive sites..." So you'd think it'd be good snorkelling as well.

And this place I'll be going, is near the tip of the penis, up to 30km away from where the boats get in, so it should be really remote. I'll be based at Bodega Ridge. I don't know much about this place. But it sounds cool. The guy I spoke to sounds pretty laid back. He was asking me what kind of work I'd want to do. He made the effort to phone, and email me, probably within an hour of me emailing him. It was just a match made in Heaven.

The only problem, is that to ensure I don't burn any bridges for the future, I've been sure to reply to every single other offer that I've got. Which is taking a fuck of a long time. And I've even had to make a table of all the offers I've got, what people said, that kind of thing, because it just got so damn overwhelming. At least I'll know for the future though; 3 applications will probably be enough.

Since I accepted this offer, I've found out that there will be 2 other WWOOFers there at the same time. We'll be sharing a cabin and I'll have my own bedroom. Plus there's free wi-fi. So you could say it's a pretty easy transition into the hippy world.

The way I was looking at things, was that I could go into my first placement like this. Working with other people doing the same thing, with a guy who seems pretty tech-savvy. Doesn't seem like it'll be too much different from living in a city.

Or I had other offers from places that don't have running water. That don't have electricity. That can only provide me with a space to erect a tent. That would have been the hard way in. As things turned out though, this should be a pretty sweet placement. I haven't even had to determine a time-span that I want to be here. I just go, see how I like it, and then we can decide. I'm really looking forward to it!

So since I decided to ditch the job hunting, things have been going pretty damn well. It's amazing how wanted you become when you aren't asking for money in return. And all this "WWOOFing" that I envisage doing now that I've got a better grasp of what it is, well that should go to serve me well in the future, even if it isn't paying me now. Because I'm sure there'll always be demand for people with farm skills. Afterall, if there's one thing that there will always be demand for, it's food. So although not being paid with cash this time around, it may well lead to paid employment in the future.

So it should be good. No pressure. No commitment if I don't like it. The worst thing that can happen is I get to see one of the Gulf Islands.

I do have to hitch up to Bodega Ridge once I get off the boat. But that doesn't sound like it'll be too tricky. And then we'll just take it from there. I almost wish that I hadn't paid for as long as I had at this hostel. Because I probably would have gone already. But having paid until the 14th, non-refundable, I'm just staying here out of pure pig-headedness to make sure that I get what I pay for. Even if it will probably cost me more in the long-run seeing as I have to pay for my own food here.

It does though give me the time to get myself properly sorted out. Like having the "possessions cull" that I think I spoke about previously. Getting rid of everything that I don't need. Because afterall, I'm going to be doing a lot of moving from place to place travelling this way. And that will probably involve a lot of hitching. So the less stuff I have, the better. Because I have to carry it all on my back.

Now appreciating that less than 4 weeks ago, I got rid of fuck loads of stuff before leaving Pano, the following list seems rather hefty. I'm amazed I still have stuff left. Yet my backpack is almost full still. This time though, I'm getting rid of:

That seems quite ridiculous to me. There's enough there to clothe a small, slightly retarded army. Yet this is just the stuff that I've decided I don't need to take with me. That's quite a fucking list! It will though mean I'm travelling a lot lighter!

Now sandwiched between starting the application process to get a farm, and accepting one on Sunday, I had what can only be described as one of the most bizarre nights in a hostel that I've ever had.

I'm in a 4 person dorm. One of the bed's is empty, so obviously, there's 3 of us in there. Me, Ivan this Mexican guy, and Ian[?], this Scottish guy. Well not wanting to spend money right now, and with there being pretty much fuck-all to do in this hostel at night-time seeing as it doesn't even have a TV room, I've been getting to bed pretty early every night. Ususally sometime between 10:00 and 11:00. And on Saturday night, Ian is already asleep from really early. So with no real common area to go to, I get to bed at about 10:00. Ivan is nowhere to be seen at this time.

Well sometime around midnight, I get woken up by music playing. Not like through earphones or anything. But being played, in the dorm, pretty loudly. And because of my towel hanging to dry on the end of my bed, I cannot see the other two beds. But when I look, Ivan is just sitting there on his laptop in bed, playing music. At what is probably gone midnight now. So I start to fairly angrily ask him to turn it down, but before I've even got all the words out, he's started going on at how 5 or 6 hours earlier, we (meaning me and Ian), had kept him up when he was trying to sleep. So he was going to keep us up now.

Now I have no idea when he was referring to. And Ian, also awake by now, is also saying the exact same thing. When the fuck was he trying to sleep? Because neither of us seem to have any idea. But he is adament that he is going to keep us up, so continues playing this music, I don't know for how long. Probably a couple of hours. He turned it down just enough that it wasn't so annoying that you could be bothered to have any kind of confrontation about it. Or to go downstairs to get security. But it was just loud enough that you couldn't sleep. And what he did, was put on some kind of playlist, and kind of cuddle his laptop. Perhaps he had earplugs or something, because he then just covered his head with his duvet, and went to sleep. Or at least pretended to go to sleep, leaving this music playing for God know's how long.

This was just... bizarre. Never in all my days in hostels, in all my dorms, in which I must have had numbers of different room mates that reach well into the hundreds. Never in all my time have I seen any act of such petulance. Me and Ian were clueless to the time he refers to to when he was trying to sleep. And he goes onto alienate both other people in this dorm, who he lives with, probably keeping himself awake in the process. Why? Well you'd have to ask him that. But never, have I ever experienced any act of such petulance. Such immaturity. And I've been in dorms with people, I don't know, definitely below 18 though.

And this guy, he was at least 30's. He has a daughter for fucks sake! If only she could have seen him now. I feel sorry for that girl. She is destined to grow up a retard. It was absolutely bizarre. It really was weird.

The next morning I had a word with the manager of the hostel. He gave me the option to move rooms if I wanted. Which I took him up on, because another night in a dorm with that nut-job, God knows what would happen. It was just a bizarre, strange situation. For a man, in his 30's who has a child, to just act like that. I've never experienced anything like it. On any other night, his laptop may well have gone out of the window. But I think both of us were just so taken back that this was actually happening. It was just weird.

But I took the offer to change rooms, which meant I had to go through the charade of checking out again, and checking in 4 hours later. Which pissed me off. Having to pack up all of my stuff. Which at this moment I didn't have the space for, seeing as I'd bought things like a wet-suit, but hadn't yet got around to getting rid of anything. So it was a case of putting things in plastic bags. And having pissed off the both of us like that, Ivan was then stupid enough to leave his phone lying around. So I smashed that. Perhaps I shouldn't've done seeing as he's clearly mentally retarded. But I was short of sleep and in a bad mood. What did he expect?

I did see him this morning using a payphone, so that made me smile.

It's strange how things like this, that you would think couldn't provide any good, go onto make you happy though. Not having a dorm to go to, I was sat in the sort of dining area. It becomes a bar/dining room in the nightime. But for now, it was pretty quiet. So needing to get on and organise what was already a long list of WWOOF responses, I just made camp in here and set-up my laptop.

And despite there being every other table free, these two hot Australian chics decided to sit on the end of my table. So that was nice. And it was just funny to watch this guy come in and try and chat-up one of these girls. They rejected the idea of going for a walk with him. So his next move was to ask them if they wanted to hang-out in his room...

Some people just don't take a hint. But his retardedness worked great for me, because that gave me an 'in'.

Well after a long-time of researching different farms I'd got offers from, I called back this farm on penis island to speak a little more. And the end of the conversation led to us arranging that I would be arriving on Thursday, so all sweet. And after a trip out to McDonalds, which has become all too regular again right now, I headed back to the hostel to check-in. Again.

I am actually looking forward to eating with hippy's soon. Because even though I have kitchen facilities here, any kind of healthy food in Canada, even raw ingredients, are so fucking expensive. It's no wonder everyone is so fat. It's cheaper to eat fast-food than it is to cook yourself. So everyday at the moment, I'll often have at least 3 fast-food meals. McDonalds, Pizza... they feed me pretty much everyday. So I'm actually looking forward to living with some of these vegan hippy's so I can just get veg. Something to combat the rapidly growing man boobs and McDonalds gut. I'm hoping for low-fat, low-starch, organic hippy crap. And work to make me sweat during the work hours. Because by God I need it right now.

Anyway, I check into the hostel. And as I go to my new room, all I am thinking, is "please be a bottom bunk available. Please be a bottom bunk available." Because needing to get all of my stuff sorted. My possessions cull, then I need space. And having a bed you can use as a sort of extension to the floor, is a big help.

So when I walk into this 6 bedroom dorm, and all 6 beds are empty, man I'm happy. And not only that, but this dorm looks awful familiar. I don't know how many dorms have this exact layout. But this dorm, was obviously a kitchen at some point. It still has the sink. It has a kitchen surface, 9 or 10 cupboards, 2 draws. And like I said, I'm not sure how many other dorms in this hostel, if any, have this exact same layout. But it can't be many. Well this is exactly as the dorm I was in, in '05 was. It's identical. I'm at least 70% sure it's the same dorm. Because there cannot be many others that look exactly like this. Beds in the same place. Little kitchen. Lockers in the same place. If this isn't the same dorm, it looks awful fucking similar.

And my memories of this dorm in 2005, are of hot girls not wearing much, and not being shy either. Before I came back here for a second time, this hostel was, based on my first time here, the best hostel I'd ever stayed in. The other 2 guys who were in my dorm at that time were fucking cool as well. This Mexican (a cool Mexican), who had a shoebox full of weed. This guy from Vancouver. I can even still remember the beds that everyone had. It was awesome back then. And here I am again.

Only this time, I have the dorm to myself. And I'm praying it stays that way. Because there's nothing better than getting a room to yourself when you're paying dormitory prices.

Bzzzzzp. Wrong. Only a couple of minutes after I get in there, just as I'm making my bed, the 2 hot Aussie chics from downstairs come in. They'd had to move rooms aswell. And all of a sudden, it's 2005 again. Same dorm. Hot girls who wear nearly nothing to bed. It's like I've gone back in time to when I was travelling in 2005. One of the best times of my life.

That crazy Mexican bastard. As much as he's an idiot, he'd just made my life so much better. I'd gone from sharing with a 30-year old man, with the mental age of a 10-year old retard, to travelling back in time, sharing the same dorm with these hot, fun girls. And inbetween all of that, I'd arranged a place on what is seemingly appearing to be like my dream farm. Though we'll see about that when I get there.

Life is good right now though! 3 more nights here to get myself organised for my new "farm-life." And then I am out of here. Who knows what the future will bring?

If I didn't have to get fat for another 3 days, it would be even better. But I'm travelling to experience different cultures I guess. And what better way to experience the American culture than by getting fat?

I've been in Victoria some 2½ weeks now. And it's been something of a crazy ride. Perhaps more lows than highs. But I needed my time here to get the clarity of what it is that I actually want to be doing. You remember how I said that you'll never know when you've hit rock-bottom until you're climbing out. Well I'm well and truly on the way out now. And I'm yet to meet someone who wasn't having a good time WWOOFing.

And as I was getting lower and lower, the less I thought of this hostel, and the less I thought of Victoria. But now I'm feeling good again, I'm really going to miss this place. My stay of '05 has been reignighted. And Victoria has 3 of the best shops I've ever seen. Value Village, where I was again today in an effort to replace some of the impractical clothes that I'm getting rid of, with things that will actually be useful. The sports warehouse where I got my wetsuit for $39. A warehouse of second-hand equipment for every sport you could imagine. Awesome! And then the dollar store here. Recently changed to nothing in store over $1.25, as all of the signs have had a .25 sticker added to them. But still. This morning I bought a large bottle of shampoo, a role of duct tape, and a tube of Colgate toothpaste, for less than the McMuffin meal I got on the way here. That's how cheap it is. I don't even need the shampoo or toothpaste yet. I just don't think there's going to be anywhere in the world I'll get it cheaper. The duct tape was for the box that I found in a dumpster. Which is how much I'm trying to curb my spending now.

3 nights from now though, I'm off to a farm. And one with some of the best diving apparently. All because I needed something to do with my extreme sports headcam. Now knowing my luck, the thing probably doesn't work. But if you asked me where I'd be now, 2 weeks ago, I never thought I'd be about to live on an island shaped like a penis. The weird little coincidences that have got me to where I am now... it's always the smallest little things that snowball!


Home Back to travel blog Back to top Print this blog