"It's what I expected. Which isn't a good thing."

The O'Jays, For the love of money

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Well it's now 5 nights into the Victoria experiment. But believe me when I say that 5 nights feels like 5 years doing what I'm doing.

I'm feeling nothing that I didn't expect or say I'd feel. I said in the last blog that the next 2 weeks would be... shit. And 5 nights in, I'm right.

In the daytime, I walk around in a shirt, shoes and trousers. Handing out resumes to whom ever I see fit. Then in the evenings, I come back to the hostel. I go online and I start the process of electronic applications. And this has been going on, for what when I think about it, is only 3 or 4 days. But you live by the hope that your phone will ring. You keep it on you 24 hours a day. Just waiting. Waiting for someone to call up with an interview. But they never do. It just sits there. Silently.

And no surprise. There are literally hundreds of people out here searching for jobs. The hostel is full of them. I've even bumped into a couple of people from Pano whom, unbeknown to me, decided to come out here as well. And in an even more unusual twist of fate, I think I saw someone in my hostel who used to work at the Hull University fitness centre back home. I didn't speak to him to be sure. But I'm 99% certain it was him.

And today, I'd heard online that there was a new, and Victoria's first, floating restaurant opening soon. I'm not sure it was even built yet, but I knew where they were accepting resumes. So on this, the first of 5 days of taking applications, I have something of an informal interview. More a chat. And my resume goes onto a pile that has to already be an inch thick. So do the math, and at this rate, this pile of resumes will be a foot high by the weekend. That's before even considering the online applicants. So things are... exactly as I expected them to be. Which isn't a good thing.

I really had a choice once I'd made the decision to leave Pano. I could go somewhere, such as a place in Alberta, where the work was easy to pick up, but the place I'd be living, was... shit. Or I could go to one of the more sought after destinations. The Vanouver's or Victoria's... and it would be a struggle. I already said before I'd started looking for work that I didn't expect it to be easy in the beginning. But in the long run... in the long run, I expect it to be worth it.

And I'm already set in what I plan on doing once I'm settled down. I've come to the realisation when travelling like I'm doing, that there will be periods of experience, like Pano. And there will be periods of transition. Periods, when you rebuild and prepare, like now. For example, I had a great time in Pano. But my knee is still a long way off being back at 100%, if it ever will be. And I got significantly out of shape, because rather than adhereing to the gym-rat lifestyle I was accustomed to before flying out here, I decided to have a Winter out skiing. Enjoying myself. And there's nothing wrong with that. It's just that now I have to pay the price. Now I have to make the sacrifice, to get myself back to a level of health and fitness. That's the rebuilding part. And I also have to prepare. For Bolivia. Or wherever it may be.

If I have any realistic ambition of going to South America. To building a life down there, I'm not just going to be able to turn up on South America's doorstep, ring on the bell, and expect to be welcomed with open arms. I'm going to have to prepare. I need to improve my Spanish to near conversational level, which, will take daily work of the 7 ish months I have left on my visa here. It's going to have to be a case of working every single day. And does that make me qualified to teach English? Nope. Got to find the time to learn that as well.

So this is a rebuild and prepare phase. Rebuilding my life after Pano, and preparing for where I go next. And not only that, being on an island, near the coast, I've already decided I want to take up snorkelling again whilst I'm here. Maybe an idea that was planted into my head, simply because I have an extreme sports head cam with no current use. Something that could be used to film when I go snorkelling. But the more I think about it, the more it sounds like a good idea.

Social life doesn't even appear on my radar right now. Between gyming, snorkelling and learning Spanish, I could occupy myself for every conscious hour of the day. But there's a problem...

I can't live for free. And I need to go where I can get work. And I'm somewhat unwilling to sign on the dotted line for accomodation in Victoria, at a time when I don't have an income yet. If the right place came along, then yes, I may be willing to do so. But as yet, it has not. So I'm still living in a room with 5 other people. 2 of the beds in this dorm seem to be ever-changing, where as there's 3 others who're here for the long-term as well. But because I'm not willing to commit to accomodation here to keep my options open, then I'm not going to be willing to commit to a gym out here. And although you can pay a daily rate, it's something extortionate to not make it worthwile. So until I'm guaranteed to be here, then the gym is out.

And to continue with my Spanish, I need... privacy. That's something I don't have much of right now. It's a program that involves a lot of speaking, for example. So how am I supposed to do that, when in my dorm there will be at least one person sleeping, for most of the hours of the day. And even if people are awake, do they want to be disturbed by my butchered Spanish? I don't think so. So as for right now, learning Spanish is out.

Then snorkelling... that's a hobby I plan on taking up. But I'd expect to have to invest a minimum of $200 in new equipment. Probably more. And that equipment, for example, flippers, will be bulky. Like skis, I won't be able to take it around with me. So I can't invest in this, until I know I'm going to be here for the long-term. Plus, to find the good spots. To buy the equipment. All of that takes time. Time that is currently occupied with searching for a job.

So I pretty much have my whole Summer planned out. I know what I want to do with it. I have the goals that I want to achieve by the end of it. But it's ABC. I don't have a job. I don't have an appartment. So I can't get on with any of the rest of it. I know exactly what I want to be doing. But until I have those 2 aspects down, they're nothing but pipe dreams. I really have everything planned out. I just need a job, and a place to live.

And it's not like I'm not working for either. I'm spending most of my conscious hours distributing myself either in person, or electronically. And just yesterday, I went to look at a house. But being new to the area, I'm still unfamiliar with all the different districts. And I looked at this place on a map. And it didn't look so far. But in reality, it took me about 50 minutes to walk to from downtown. Downtown being where nearly all of the jobs I'm applying for are based. So I'd be spending upwards of 1½ hours everyday travelling, to live here. And there is a bus service. And a bike would be an option. But it was just the area I didn't like as well. It was like some stereotypical family area out of any American movie. People sitting on their porch. Everyone mowing their little pieces of lawn. And apart from a McDonalds, a KFC, and a couple of other places, there was nothing nearby. I'd rather live in a hostel, and at least have things near me. And I realised that before I'd even got to this house.

And I figured I owed the owners the courtesy of at least meeting them face-to-face and having a look around. So I went into this house in the knowledge that I was going to have the inevitable awkward moment of telling them that I didn't want to live with them. I mean it really would have had to have been a palace for me to want to live out here. And with the female room-mate being smoking hot. And topless. She was neither. And even that might not have been enough to persuade me. But they were nice enough. I made a good excuse.

Then today, at the aforementioned informal interview, was the first time I've even really been given the time of day by anyone. I mean, I guess because they're getting so many applications right now, people don't need to be especially accomodating to job hunters. So this was the first time I'd really got the chance to try to impress someone face-to-face. Because I don't know where all the managers in Victoria are right now, but they surely never seem to be there when I go in looking for work.

But finally, I get a chance to talk to someone who is actually in charge of hiring. And since I changed my phone number when I initially got here, I've kept it pretty much for job-hunting and accomodation. I'm not here to make friends right now. And for the amount I've been distributing my number, my phone has been eerily quiet. So tell me why, when I finally get the chance to sit down and talk to someone, is it then that my phone decides to ring. I hadn't even thought to put it on silent. Why put a phone onto silent, that never rings? So it decides to ring, right then.

I have no idea who it is. I'm assuming some potential employer, but I have to reject the call, meaning that I look bad to both them, and the person that I'm already talking to. And once I'm out of this chat, I call back this number.

Turns out this was Ashley. She was someone renting out a room. And had I known at the time I found her advert, what I know now. That is, that I ideally want to be located in or near the downtown area. Had I known that, then I wouldn't have bothered applying for this place. But at the time I saw this advert, to share a house with 3 female students, whom the law of averages says at least 2 would be hot. Because I don't know what we did when we invented Canada, but so many girls over here are smoking. Much more than back home. But even that wasn't enough for me to even want to see this place, just because it's so far out of town. And I at least want to know what job I will be working before I agree to live so far away. So I get a call from this place I don't actually want to live at, right when I'm finally face-to-face with someone who could give me a job.

As for this job, interviews are being held next monday. Like I said, he may well have a pile of resumes a foot-high by then. And the fact that my phone went off thanks to the very hot sounding Ashley, who's room I no longer wish to rent, then I'm doubtful that I will be on that list for an interview. And the job... well it doesn't actually start until the first week of June.

And when I first heard that, I almost dismissed the job right there. But the more I think about it, the more perfect this job sounds.

A floating restaurant. That to me, says a restaurant where people tip a lot. I could make a fortune. And over here, most accomodation is available on the 1st of the month. I've seemingly missed the boat for May now. So that means that I'll probably be staying in this hostel until June. Which isn't cool. Unless, that is, I have a job lined up for the first week of June. If that happened, then what?

That would mean that I had a month off. Now once I've paid my next weeks rent here, which I'll be doing tonight, I'll have between $800 to $900 of money from Pano left over. I could probably just about live on that until the start of June in this hostel. Or... having pledged to see Vancouver Island, I could go to the nearest Candian Tire, pick up a tent for $80, and hitch my way around Vancouver Island for a month. Just staying wherever I saw fit to pitch my tent. It would be cheaper than staying at the hostel. And I could do it in the knowledge that I had a high-paying job waiting for me back in Victoria. And if I really played my cards right, I'd be able to arrange for accomodation starting June 1st, and be able to have nearly a month of travelling, with everything sorted for me here. And the more I think about it, the more I'm praying that I get this interview, and get this job. It could be perfect for me.

Realistically though, it's not going to happen. I've just got to keep on looking. And as is always the case, just hope to be in the right place at the right time. All these resumes often come to nothing. It's just being in the right place. Like someone in my dorm told me today that he's just handed in 2 weeks notice at the pizza place he works at, and he could try to get me that job if I wanted it. I'm yet to really respond to that because of the reasons that he's handed in his notice. But all these resumes could come to nothing, where as what gets me a job, is simply who I'm in a dorm with. It's the way that it always goes. You've just got to be in the right place.

But for now, I don't think there's too much I can do, beyond what I have been doing. I need to pay my next weeks rent tonight to ensure that my place isn't booked. That means that I'm stuck in this hostel for the next 9 nights. And I think it's just a case I have to keep on putting my name out there. Getting rejected. Getting dejected. It's all in the fun of the game.

Like I said in the last blog though, I'm expecting at least 2 weeks of dejection. I'm only 4 days in, so a long way to go yet. I'm just praying that this floating restaurant job materialises. Because if it does, then that is me set. I'll get my wish, and have time to explore Vancouver Island. I'll have a job where the tips alone would probably pay me more than I got at Pano. It would be perfect. Perfect. Right now though, that is just a dream. God I hate this game.

I'm ready to start living. I just need that job and appartment, and the rebuilding and preparing can begin.

Quite funny some of the things you come across once you start looking though. Like the $500 room for rent with a nudist family. A private back yard for naked sunbathing. Sharing with a gay male and a female. They were only looking for a female roomy so I was out of the picture. But still pretty funny. I've found a lot of things like that over the past few days.

24 hours ago, I was hopeful over getting some call backs, and I was just on my way to see this house I was thinking about moving into. Things were looking so good. Today, I've heard nothing, and I have nowhere to live. This is why I knew this would be such a cunt. Anytime you have hope; that you're out of the cycle. It drags you back in. Until you have your name on a lease, and on an employment contract, you're still playing the game. And you don't know when you're going to get out. Life's a bitch. That's what makes it fun I guess. It's almost good to not know.

And then, once I do (fingers-crossed), get myself settled. Well then, I can look back, and say yes. I made the right choice to leave Pano. As for right now, I just need to take what positives I can. And right now, I guess the big postive, is that I just don't know. It's good not to know what the next day will bring. It keeps you on your toes. I just don't know if tomorrow will be the day I get a job. Or the next day. Or the next day. Then I may still be unemployed 2 months from now. I just don't know. And I guess that's what makes it fun.

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