I'm so confused


Britney Spears, Everytime

Having trouble playing? Click here

I'm so confused.

Everytime I think I've got a plan sorted, something comes along and puts a spanner in the works.

I've been in the hostel that I'm in for 4 nights now. And there's not too many ways to describe it. It's different. It's definitely different.

Twice in the past 2 days I've come in and the guy who sleeps in the bunk above me, has taken something, got confused, and passed out on my bed. He seems a nice guy. From Atlanta. Even got a daughter back there. But someone who's clearly got a drug problem.

2 days ago he took 2 ectasy pills. No big deal except it was 7am. And not 7am, as in still up from the night before. But 7am, as in he'd just woken up. And like I said, twice now I've come back to find this guy passed out on my bed. The second time, when I woke him up, he was foaming at the mouth. Eyes all messed up. And it's a theme that pretty consistently carries on through the hostel. Everything you hear, is all about drugs in some way. You here people making phone calls to buy pills by the thousand. I tell you, if the police were wanting to really catch any drug dealers, just have a guy spend a couple of nights undercover here, and he'd know everything he wanted to.

This same guy was talking to someone else about getting "cap" this morning. And I have no idea what that is. But looking on Google, it seems to be crack. So I think there's a fair chance this guy will be passed out on my bed again. Which is a shame. Because he seems a nice guy. But it does turn out that this probably wasn't the best choice of hostel. There's been fights and stuff as well. It's a real fucked up kind of place.

And on my first night here, I was so drowsy with this fever that I had that I slept through nearly everything. And it wasn't until the second night here that I really saw this place for what it is. And at that time, my first thoughts were to move right out of there. Because people on drugs are somewhat unpredictable. And unpredictability can be intimidating at times. But I think it's that kind of attitude as to why some of these guys are so fucked up.

They might be fucked up a lot of the time. But just because they're on drugs 24/7, doesn't mean they aren't people. It doesn't necessarily mean that they're any more dangerous than you or me.

And the way I saw it, is I should practice what I preach. And I've been saying for a while, that to learn anything; the reason why I'm travelling, then you need to put yourself in positions that you aren't used to being in, and are at times, uncomfortable at being in.

Bolivia, at this stage, is just a pipe dream. I haven't learnt any Spanish for probably 3 weeks now. I haven't got any English teaching qualification. In fact, if I am able to pull off this whole teaching Enlish in Bolivia thing, it'll be something of a miracle. And I'll be honest. I've always been a confident public speaker. But as a teacher... no. When you're just speaking in front of a crowd, there is no expectation from you. You can be relaxed. Interact with people, because you can just take your time. But teaching. I could stand up in front of some fresher business students and give a lecture no problem. But to teach English to little Bolivia kids. That whole concept scares the fuck out of me.

And then just going to Bolivia. Being away from the tourist epicentre, living amoungst the people. A white-man in South America, is a target. No other way of putting it. A target for kidnappers. A target for muggers. A target for anyone. If you're white then you have money. That's the way they see it. And to a great extent, they're right.

So the whole Bolivia concept scares the fuck out of me. Yet I'm going to work my tail off over the next 6 or so months, to try and make that a reality. And you may ask why I'd want to do that if it scares me. Well it's because when you take yourself out of your comfort zone like that, then that is where you'll learn things. If you spend your whole life, doing things you know that you can do, then what will you ever learn. And that is really why I'm travelling.

It pisses me off that I don't have any answers to the bigger questions in life. The 'why are we here' type thing. And I may never get any closer to finding them. But one thing that I do know is that I don't know them now. And if I stay in my comfort zone indefinitely, I won't ever learn anything more. And I'll definitely know then, that I won't get any closer to answers.

Which is kind of why I'm hanging around at this hostel for the 7 nights I paid for. Now don't get me wrong. I hate the place. I don't really care that it's dirty. That the whole thing stinks of urine. I'm not someone who views themself as above all of that. If you ever become a person who is too good to eat food off the floor, then your closed mind could be your biggest enemy. But man, I just hate it because it's depressing. It's depressing to see so many people like this. Not wanting, but needing drugs to get through their day. Drugs for breakfast. They'll come back one day saying that they've got a job. "What job?" you ask. "I'm dealing pills in so & so club." And man... I hate the typical Western life. The capitalist life. And you know that. So I'm always interested in people whom go in another direction. But I very much doubt that this could be the direction to go in. They'll all be dead by 40.

But I'm not like a lot of society. I don't just dismiss them as druggies. Hard drugs like that are one thing that I'm unwilling to do. But drugs give you perspectives that in a sane state of mind, you cannot hope to fathom. And yes, they may often be bullshit. But someone who's brain spends so much time in a different state to yours or mine; well they have a perspective to give that you will never have heard. So I'm not just going to dismiss them.

Perhaps to my own peril. I have 3 nights left in this hostel, and who knows what could happen in that time. One thing that's pretty likely is that I won't be getting much sleep. But I'm not going to start thinking I'm too good to stay here. That I'm better than other people or anything like that. I see people who think like that, and what the Hell have they ever achieved? Just become slaves to an employer so that they can say that they're better than everyone else.

But one thing where this hostel is a big disadvantage, is it's kind of hard to spend all night surrounded by people on who knows what. And then get yourself up in the morning, iron your shirt, polish your shoes and head out looking for work. I mean, it's just not going to happen. You just can't switch your mindframe like that. And I did initially earmark today as the day to start handing out resumes. I'm 99% over that fever that I had. And I spent a few hours today rewriting my resume. Making it much lighter. Because looking at how it was... it was fucking bullshit. I hate the damn employment game. Presenting yourself on a bit of paper like this. It's bullshit. It's just pot-luck if you hire the best person for the job. But I suppose I have to play that game.

But like I said, I haven't actually got around to handing out any resumes yet. It's just not feesible in the environment that I'm in. Short of sleep because of the noise. This place stinks, so I'd imagine all my clothes do as well. So up until about an hour ago, I had a plan.

Once my last 3 nights are up, I was planning on moving out to the hostel on Jericho beach. I'm finding it a little more trying than I'd anticipated, readjusting to the hustle and bustle of the city after 5 months out in the mountains. The crowds are just pissing me off. So this hostel is right by the beach. A bus journey or 2-hour walk from downtown. But a fairly cheap hostel, away from the crowds of the city. Could sit on the beach in the evenings. Just get away from it all.

And although this place is expensive compared to my current place, the main expense I have now, isn't board. It's food. I'm not willing to leave food laying around in this place. Who the fuck knows what'll happen to it? So every meal I've eaten since I've been in Vancouver, has been eaten out. So I'm probably spending twice as much on food right not as I am on accomodation. And if I was in this cleaner hostel; well I could actually store food. So it wouldn't turn out any more expensive.

But then I looked on the website today. And it's only open in the Summer. It does open in 10 days, rather than the 3 that I want to move up there in. But that's still another 7 days that I'd need to find board for. And I hate all this moving about. You have to check out of one place. Then wait a few hours before you can check into another. And it ends up taking up a whole day.

And I'm not averse to hostel living. It's fine to travel like that. But when you need to do things like apply to jobs, then just to kind of, make yourself ready, it's nice to have your own space. You can hang a shirt up rather than having it scrunched up in a backpack. You can guarantee that you won't be woken up 10 times per night. Hell you can even practice a damn interview if you want. It's just good to have that space. And you don't get that in hostels.

So I decided to start looking at accomodation today. In 2005 I paid $500 per month for accom here. And I knew other people that were paying less than that. So I was thinking I should be able to cap it at $500. Not so. I was looking on Craig's List, where you'd expect the cheaper accomodation to be. And it was looking minimum... minimum, $600. Any place that you found for less, was located miles away. Or in a really dodgy area. And I just don't really want to have to pay that. Especially on the pay that I'm expecting on getting when I finally get around to getting a job.

So I looked at accomodation in Victoria instead. And that is much, much more amicable. Places that you could actually afford on minimum wage pay. So I started thinking... maybe I should just cut my losses in Vancouver, and get out to Victoria. A much smaller city. More... relaxed. The kind of place you could spend a lot of time on the beach. And maybe it's just because when I was there 4 years ago, the sun was shining, but I have an image in my head of Victoria with blue skies. Laying on the beach. Going out rollerblading. A city, but with a country feel to it. And I guess that one of the reasons I came to Vancouver, was because I figured it would be easier to get a job here.

But all of a sudden, I get Victoria back in my head. And within 2 minutes of surveying appartments in Vancouver, I'm all of a sudden thinking dang, maybe Victoria is the way I want to go.

I said in a previous blog about the appeal that Vancouver Island has to me. And I've done Vancouver. I've done it before. Maybe I should just go for it. Jobs will be much harder to come by. But it just got my mind whirring.

I guess you could put it that Victoria is where my heart says, and Vancouver is where my head says. Though putting it like that does sound pretty fucking gay.

There are a few places in Vancouver I'd earmarked to try for jobs. Grouse Mountain. The Vancouver Aquarium. BC lions football club (not as a player unfortunately). And previously I'd looked at these places, with no jobs available. But you remember when I was having these little "visions" about coming to Vancouver. Well working up Grouse Mountain was where I envisaged working during this. I think I actually may have said, working a shit job in the dining room. Something like that. Well Grouse Mountain has started to list their Summer vacancies. And there's a whole host of hospitality-related jobs up there.

I also had a look on the Vancouver Aquarium website. When I was here in '05 working for a silver-service waiting agency, I did a shift catering for a wedding that was held in the Vancouver Aquarium. Serving food with fucking whales swimming right beside you. It was trippy. But I had an awesome shift that night. And had I not been leaving Vancouver shortly afterwards, they pretty much said to me that they would have hired me full-time. So I was thinking of there as well. But previously, no jobs. I look just after looking at Victoria accomodation, and all of a sudden, jobs. Janitor. Just go around the park keeping shit clean. Get to be outside a lot of the time. I think it'd be a pretty cool job.

So now all of a sudden, I'm like what the fuck? Do I want to go to Victoria? Do I want to stay in Vancouver? And now I just don't fucking know. So my head is so up in the air right now about what I'm actually going to do. It might just be a case of shooting off fuck-loads of resumes online, and seeing where a job turns up. But you need to be available for interviews, you know? And another plan I had was temping agencies out here. I'd need to be here to do typing tests. That kind of thing. So what the fuck do I do? What the fuck do I do?

The way I see it, I've got 3 nights to decide. I'm not really even willing to apply for jobs online whilst I'm staying in this place. Because knowing my luck, I'll get a damn call back just as there's some huge disturbance in this place. And the background noise will relinquish any possible job offer.

I really started writing this now, because I wanted clarity. Because I find that there's no better way to clear up all the crap jumbled in your head, than by writing about it. That's one of the reasons I write so much. If this website didn't exist, I'd still write. If you told me that anything I wrote would be discarded immediately as I was finished, I'd still write. I find it's just a good way to clear any confusion in your head. And what have I concluded? I have 3 nights, or 2 days seeing as it's the evening, to know what I'm going to do. And man I don't have a fucking clue.

I said as I was leaving Pano, man... I hope I don't regret not taking a job there. Taking a guaranteed job. Accomodation already sorted. And I gave my reasons for leaving. But as I said then, it was a risk. And I'm really hoping that I don't go onto regret it.

I think to be honest, I just need some fucking mettle. I just need to make a decision. Because I'm pretty fucking sure that wherever I end up, I'll be able to make it work. There's just too much umming and erring. I guess the way to look at it, is that I have tomorrow to make a decision, and the next day to make any bookings. Where I spend the fourth night from now, even I don't know.

In all my visits to Vancouver... In all my trips to Stanley Park... I've never one walked the whole way around the seawall. I'm damn near certain that I'd been to all of it at some point. But just not all in one trip. Well last night, I didn't really want to hang about at the hostel all night. And I went to a karaoke bar with Rory and a friend of his the previous night, so I didn't want to drink again. So I decided to have a stroll down to Stanley Park.

I wasn't so sure what I was going to do once I got there. It was getting dark afterall. But I knew it was preferable to sitting in a smokey hostel all night. So I made the walk. And when I got there, it was still light enough to see in front of you. You'd need a flash to take a photograph. But it wasn't pitch black yet. Oh, and it was raining.

Well it's an 8km walk around the seawall. And well, I'm still technically a cripple. So I'm looking at a 2-hour walk. So can someone please tell me what the fuck was going through my head when I decided that, in the rain, I'd start a 2-hour walk in the park, when it's already getting dark?

And man... it started off great. If it hadn't been raining, I could have taken some amazing photographs looking over to Downtown at night-time. Although perhaps it was the rain and the low-laying cloud that made this view so panoramic. But it got dark fairly quickly. And a park, where there is absolutely nobody else about, can be quite intimidating. Especially with the sea crashing next to you. I'm not really sure why I thougt that this would be a good idea.

This is a city of raging homos and raging hobos. And in my experience, at night, a park is a place you'll find both. So with the rain pouring, I'm in a pair of shorts, the waves crashing against the seawall, I decide to go for a walk, in what was at least 75% pitch black. There was just enough daylight for the first quarter. And then there was enough light radiating from North Vancouver.

But once you'd gone underneath the very, very load Lion's Gate bridge; probably many miles away from the next person on foot, the only light you had guiding your path, was that from ships way out at sea. You could just about make out your path. But with the sea on one side, and the park on the other, often cliffs... it was a little intimidating in the pitch black, I'm not going to lie.

And for some reason you see these 2 rocks just sat in the path. And you're like, what the fuck? Until the rocks stand up and start quacking at you. That scared the fuck out of me. I even came across a racoon at one point. I think racoons are awesome creatures. But they're scary fuckers in the dark. Couldn't tell what the Hell it was. And there were many a heron, who's silhouette you could just make out, standing in the shallow waters doing some night-fishing. At times it was pleasant. But about 2 hours it took me. Totally pitch black for the last hour of it where I didn't see another soul.

I wish I had someone with me at all times to tell me when I'm about to do something stupid. Like when I was in Mexico and decided to go for a walk on the beach in the middle of the night and ended up having to bribe the cops. I just need someone there to tell me. Tell me that it's a bad idea.

The worst of it is when you're an hour away from anywhere. And it's pitch black. You're soaking through from the rain. All you can think is why the Hell did I do this? And you have to carry on walking for another hour. Thinking you're seeing things in the trees beside you. Paranoid that every wave, that every rain drop, is masking the sound of someone behind you. And then you get back. And all of a sudden, it was worth it.

I didn't see another person on bike or foot for the last hour that I was walking, so you get to thinking, how many other people have seen the park at night like this. And it all becomes worth it. Just a shame that the rain prevented me from taking any pictures. Though then maybe showing other people would defeat the whole object of going.

Man, she's gone now. But earlier in the library, there was this crazy homeless woman. She was really fucking mental. Was wearing some huge wig from a joke-shop or something. But what I found funny, was like all the other homelesses in here, she came in for some sleep. It was a nice day today, I'm sure you could have slept out in a park somewhere if you wanted to. But instead, she picks out all these books about flowers. And opens them all to double-page spreads of pictures of flowers so that they covered the whole desk, before proceeding to lay her head down in this pile. I'd assume it gave her some kind of comfort thinking she was laying in a bed of flowers. I don't know. Like I said, you didn't have to talk to her to know she was a little crazy.

And man... the FA cup semi-final yesterday. One of Everton's biggest games in my lifetime. And I did everything I could to try and find a way to watch this game. I even found 7 Scousers wondering about. And we found a bar that was open before 8am, and offered to pay the pay-per-view charge. They just couldn't work out how to get the game shown. How fucking depressing is that? Fucking Setanta. Everton's biggest game in years, and I can only look up highlights on Youtube. As long as I can find a way to see the final. That's all that matters now.

Oh and one final thing. Solo mobile, whom I owe fuck knows how much money to. Well it turns out Kirsty did the exact same thing as me. Didn't pay them a penny. And that phone lasted her, all of the time she was at Panorama until they cut her off. She didn't even put hers through the washing machine. So with any luck, no one has actually paid them. And they'll be going bust soon. Not that they really bother me anyway.

Right, the library's closing in 10. If I don't write again for a couple of days, then perhaps the next blog I write will hail from Victoria. Your guess is as good as mine.


Home Back to travel blog Back to top Print this blog