Questions... but still no answer


Radiohead, Street Spirit (Fade Out)

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Man my head's a fucking mess right now. I still have no work. The same monotonous routine just begins to eat away at you. And after a lot of thought, I just extended my stay at this hostel for 1 more week. This is now, undoubtedly the final week. If nothing has turned up in the 9 nights that I have left, then it will be bye-bye Victoria.

But as I've said countless times before, you're going to have great friends, great experiences, great opinions, when things are going well. It's when you go through hard times that you really find things out. This whole trip was amazing, the whole Winter of skiing, until I tore up all the ligaments in my leg. And then it became so, so, clear of the capitalist vultures that there are in Canadian culture. They pounce on you for every penny that you have, in your hour of need.

And I'd previously felt that the care I received in Invermere was really nothing special. The doctors didn't seem overly keen to help you. And their advice, just didn't seem so great. They just didn't seem to care. And it wasn't until talking with Craig and Tom today, who've also seeked medical attention in their time here, that the pieces of the puzzle seem to fit together.

These doctors you see, have their name on the door of the surgery. They live on the money that you pay them. So it's therefore in their interest for you to see them as frequently as possible. So to heal me in my first visit; what good does that do to their bottom line? If they provide top-notch healthcare, what have they gained? The money for one appointment. Need me to go back 3 times though, and they make 3 times more money. They have no incentive to be good or competent. They have financial incentive to be shit.

I'm applying for jobs now. Everyday. And how often I've met with people who've said they'll call me by the end of the week. They'll let me know. Just yesterday I was in a temping agency, gave the girl on the desk my resume. "Ok, I'll email you what you need by the end of the day" she says. But a day later, I still have no email.

I'm here, asking people for help everyday. And they just treat you like shit.

And then today. I've stayed in a fair few hostels in my time. And in that time I've learnt a few tricks to make things easier. Like to save waking people up at night by rustling through bags, I keep anything that I'm likely to need in the night, in my pillow case. This is especially useful when you're on a top-bunk. So my phone, my alarm clock, my ear plugs... just anything that I'm going to need.

Well today, for some reason unbeknown to me, the housekeepers decided to make my bed. Never in all my time in hostels, has someone made my bed for me. If I wanted that crap, I'd stay in a fucking hotel. But yet it happened here today, but when I was out this morning. And I get back to find my flash-light sat on the window-sill. I'd left that in my pillow case, so lucky it was here. Being a bike light that would have served no purpose sitting at home, I brought it with me. And lucky it was here because it was expensive. But what was missing, were the ear plugs that I'd kept in my pillow case. Not quite as expensive. But a little box of 6, high-quality ear plugs. One's that I've carried with me wherever I've travelled in the world since my very first trip in '05. You could say they were of sentimental value, being with me from that very first night in Vancouver, but I think that's being a little melodramatic. But they still have a value of probably $10-$15. And seeing as they weren't here, I now have to pay that, and spend the time to replace them.

Well I go down to the front desk on discovering this. And I ask if the cleaners found anything. Nothing's been handed in, so she'll ask the girl on laundry next time she sees her. "Come back in an hour" she says to me.

So I go back a little later. "Anything?" I ask. "They haven't given anything to me. They probably will have just thrown them away anyway."

...

And that was it. They've just "thrown away" $15 of my property, and don't even feel the need to apologise. I'm not the kind of cunt who likes causing people problems when I don't have to. But the more I think about this, the more it annoys me. They effectively just took $15 out of my wallet, and don't even feel the need to say sorry about it.

And just lately, I'm really seeing another side to Canada. I used to love this place. But it is in times of shit that you really learn about a place. And in my hour of need when I needed help with my leg, they raped me of all the money that they could to help me out. In my hour on need, and many other people's in finding work during this recession, the people in the power just treat you like shit. They say they're going to do one thing, and they do another. They say they'll call you, but they never do. Why would they? There's so many workers out there, they don't need to treat people well. And then there was absolutely no remorse for just detroying my property today.

I used to have such an admiration for this country. But lately I'm seeing a side of it, on a fairly grand scale, that I just don't like. It's actually a very selfish, sinister place. People will be overly nice to you when you first meet them. And you think that's genuine. But that's at a time when you can provide for this person. You realise that when you have nothing to offer, all the smiles, all the niceties, it was just a deceptive versade. Just a con to get from you what they could. And it's no wonder that there are so many homeless people on the streets here. They're the one's who bought into these niceties, until they were raped dry. And then who was being nice to them? Then who was helping them out?

I'm just beginning to realise that this country, it just isn't a nice place. It's a personification of capitalism. Every person, simply taking what they can. No sense of community. If there is alliance, it is not purely for friendship. It is for what can you do for me. Because things are great here. Things are great until you ask someone for help. And then you realise that no one is listening. If you can't give to them, they will not give to you. There is no community here. It's what's in it for me.

And it's taken living here for over 1½ years in total for me to really see this. But this is my longest time of unemployment in Canada. And who's out there helping? People just tell you what you want to hear with a smile. You think that smiles genuine? That smiles simply a tool to get you to believe what they say. "We'll call you by the end of the week... I'll email you by the end of the day," they say with such vigour. Until you realise it's just a mask of deception. I think, I'm just beginning to see the real Canada.

Because for what is not even 2 weeks now, I've been looking for work. At a time of recession, that is effectively asking people for help. Because they'll receive 100 applications per day, why do they need to pick you over someone else? You are asking them, almost begging them, to pick you. To help you. And they know this. So they will treat you like crap. They'll tell you one thing, and they'll never back it up. And you know, I'm just beginning to notice that this country isn't the place that I once thought it was.

I always preferred it here to back home, because I just preferred the people here. They would always greet you with a smile in Canada. They didn't need a reason to be nice. But you know what I'm realising? At least back home, people were genuine. Because that smile that people wear here... it's all for show. It is just for what it will get them. I've been pissed off with my knee for a while. How at the time I needed help, the vultures that are Canadian's, took from me every penny that they could realistically get. But I looked past it. But now, at this time when I need help again, there is no one there to help you. All those smiling faces when you could pay for a service, all of them, they're gone. And suddenly, I'm realising that Canada isn't this great place that I once thought it was.

Time is very telling. I'm beginning to see the real side of this hostel right now, where as when I was last here, only for 3 nights, I bought what was on the surface. What they wanted me to see. It's the same in work. The longer you work somewhere, the more you'll see the faults in the place. And all of a sudden, I'm beginning to see beneath the surface of Canada. The attitudes and personalities of the people here. And I'll be honest, I don't like it.

And it's put me in a very funny place. Almost losing the motivation to even be here. Because I'm not sure I even want to be in a place where this is the attitude of the overwhelming majority. Canada's all of a sudden lost some of it's gloss. Scratch beneath the surface and this isn't the wonderful place that you'll think it is when you first get here.

Or perhaps I've just had a bad couple of weeks. Who knows? Maybe it's not that people are different when things are going badly. Maybe it's just that I see things in a more negative light. Who knows eh? Maybe it's all in my head.


Embrace, How Come

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Regardless of my feelings though, however formed, I'm not going anywhere for a while. But I do still have that dilemma sitting over me like a dark cloud: Where do I go from here? Because I'm still getting nowhere in finding work in Victoria. The story's always the same. "We've just hired for the Summer..." That week fraternising with druggies in Vancouver: Little did I know it at the time, but that could have cost me my Summer in Victoria. Because it was during that week that seemingly every place in Victoria hired their Summer staff. Because since I've been here, it's been the same old story. Not just for me, but the unlucky majority.

And since they arrived here several nights ago, I've been seeing a lot of Craig, Tom and the girls they're with. And they've never intended to be here for more than a visit. They've long ago had a job set up on one of the Gulf Islands. They're the small islands, I'm sure many of which were featured in the photos I put up of my boat journey from Vancouver over to here. And obviously they've been championing this idea. And just last night, some of the things that they said suddenly struck a chord.

And I have my reasons for wanting to live in a city right now. For a start, with my knee the way it is, I just don't have the physical tools to be expending myself to any great extent. Like would probably be the case on an island. But they kind of hit a nerve with me yesterday by making me realise, that this is Canada. It might be filled with retards, but it's geographically one of the most stunning places on earth. If, for nothing more than it's size as it spreads itself across such a vast range of islands and mountains and glaciers, that there are countless physical gems in this country. So what the fuck am I doing living in a city? Victoria might have a nice park, you might be able to see snow-capped mountains in the distance, and it might be close to the sea. But other than that, this is no different to any other city. So why, in a place of some of the most stunning scenery on earth, do I have my heart set on working in the city?

I do have my reasons and I've said them on many occasions. But I'm just not sure it's enough to justify using this opportunity that way. And last night they just managed to hit a chord, that perhaps to stay in Victoria, to stay in a city, would just be a waste. We were looking through this brochure to the Gulf Islands. And if I have aspirations to snorkel and free-dive... then common-sense would make these remote island ideal, no? And it's just thrown doubt into my mind. I haven't even applied for a job in Victoria yet today. Because I have this doubt that I even want to live in a city. But I just don't know what the fuck it is that I want to do...

Which is why I started this blog the way that I did. My head's a fucking mess right now. Normally I'm focused, I know what I want. I'm just a cyclops; a blinkered horse. I see what I want, and I go and get it. That's what I'm like. Until now for some reason. And for the first time in as long as I can remember, I just have no clue what direction I want to go in. Do I want to stay in a city? If so which one? Or do I not want to stay in a city? So where? And all of this combined with the somewhat disbelief that I'm still unemployed in Victoria, even if it is a recession, means I am fucking lost right now.

One thing I do know, is that I've just extended my stay in this hostel another week. And I know that I said this last week, but this week, I mean it. If no work in Victoria by the end of these remaining 9 nights, then I'm out of here. I don't know where to. But if I haven't been able to find a job after 3 weeks, then there's no clue how long that would go on for. So just for financial reasons, I'd be moving on. No work, and I'm out of here.

But then there's the question of where. Having planted the seed, the Gulf Islands sound ideal right now. But I don't think that's realistic. They're small islands with small business. At least two of them have less than 1,000 residents. One of those has less than 500. So with no job in Victoria yet, what hope have I of getting some on a place like this? That won't stop me making a few phone calls or sending a few emails. But I don't expect a positive outcome.

So maybe back to Vancouver. But I might have even missed the boat there by now. It's a much bigger city, so I'm sure I'd find something. But then I thought that about Victoria. All the ideas I have for work before I left for Victoria, will have probably been filled by now. So I don't even know the status of going back there.

The East would be ok. But where? Toronto? What's the point? It's a Western, Anglo-oriented city. It's just like London, but shit. Montreal? I would except I don't speak French. So if I'm struggling to pick up work here, what hope do I have in a French-speaking place? Ottawa? No. Too small. Same deal as Victoria. Halifax? Been there, done it.

Alberta's a possiblity just because of the apparent ease of picking up work, and how much you can get paid. Something that I've heard from multiple sources. But do I really want to live there? I really have no real desire. Even Canadian's... Hell even Albertan's admit that it's shit. Boring. Dry.

I'll leave Victoria. But where the Hell will I go?

Man the whole thing's a bit of a mess right now. I said as I was leaving Invermere, that I didn't want to stay there, just because it was safe. I had an appartment and could have easily secured a job. But I didn't want to be there. I have no interest in Summer mountain sports. So I would have just been staying there because it was safe. Staying out of fear almost. Fear of an inability to create a life anywhere else. And right now it's looking like perhaps I should have yielded to that fear.

However, strength comes from adversity. So once I'm sorted and settled, wherever that may be, then I can look back and see whether it was a good choice or not. Right now though, Invermere sounds a great deal.

And it's something that I touched upon in the last blog. What am I doing? I'd said that I met this guy. And he was travelling, staying on people's couches, working for board and food. And that's what I want to be doing! That's real travelling. Seeing different things. Meeting different people. That's what I should be doing.

You know what's stopping me? My visa. I never thought it would be a hinderance to have. But purely for the reason that it would be a waste to allow the last 7 months of my final Canadian working visa to expire, doing things that I could do without it. I can come back to Canada at anytime and work for board and sleep on people's couches. Right now I have a legal right to work any job. A right that will expire in 7 months. And I simply don't want to waste that right. So this visa has almost become a hinderance. I would probably be cleaning this hostel for coupons if it wasn't for this visa. As it is, I'm looking above that. I'm trying to find work that pays real money. And that's all because I have this visa.

So I'm in a situation where I'm unwilling to do what I actually want to do. But I'm trying, and unable, to do what I don't want to do. So unwilling to do what I want to do and unable to do what I don't want to do, I'm just doing nothing. It's a fucked up state of affairs right now, it really is. And you never know when you've hit rock-bottom until you're climbing out. This might be the lowest point I get to. And Hell, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. So the more shit I actually get myself into, the better I'll be for it in the long run. As long as it doesn't kill me. So I guess I should give away all my money as well. Just so I get really strong. But I am literally... lost right now. I don't have a clue what I'm doing. Am I staying in Victoria? I don't know. If I am I need to keep on looking for work. If not, then I need to get onto deciding where I am going. Am I looking for work on the Gulf Islands? Am I going East? Am I going North? Am I going to work for board and stay on people's couches? I have all these questions and no answers. Though they will come with time. One way or another, they have to.

I really don't know how this happened though. Normally so prepared and meticulous, I somehow left Invermere without having a real plan in place. And now I'm just in this spiral of unknown. Lives and learns. And as fucked up as I am right now, I bet I look back on this time fondly. This'll be one of the times when I find out about my metle. The first 2 weeks in Vancouver, 4 years ago. They were just as hard. I was younger and more immature back then. My first time of true independence. And I've said before, that as much as any other, that time is responsible for turning me into the person that I am today. Strength comes from adversity. So it's good when things don't go your way once in a while. It helps to refresh those things that you've forgotten.

I wasn't happy in Vancouver, 4 years ago. And I look back on that time so fondly. In Halifax I had it easy. I had the support structure of a university to do everything for me. And as much as it was fun, I don't think Halifax shaped my character too much. At least not close to the extent that that first time in Vancouver did. And I think this is just another one of those times. I'm face to face with uncertainty and unknown right now. But I bet that once I'm sorted, whenever that may be, I'll look back and I'll smile. I'll probably look back in disbelief that I made such a big deal over it. And what's the rush? I've already said that I have the funds to live for a year. I'm not going to be out on the streets holding out my hat anytime soon. It's not even the constant rejection that's bugging me though. There is no rejection. It's just the nothingness. Resume after resume and application after application. And yet my phone is still silent and my inbox is still empty. That's what really gets to me. But hey, it's a recession. And I'm unskilled and I'm a foreigner. What did I expect?

And before all those decisions, I have one more decision to make. I've been seeing a lot of Tom, Craig, and the two girls (Tara and Yoko(?)). And they're off to Tofino tomorrow for a couple of days.

Got a knock on my dorm a couple of hours ago. I say that, there was a knock on the dorm next door, but I heard Craig shouting my name. He thought I was in a differnt room to the one that I am in. Hope they weren't asleep. But he was saying that if I wanted to go to Tofino then they had the space in the car. I haven't said yes or no yet. But seeing as it's looking ever likely that I might be leaving Victoria, and then perhaps Vancouver Island as well, it might make sense to see of it what I can. And apart from anything else, this place has fucked with my head already. Just like when I got away to Calgary half-way through Invermere, it might do me some good to clear my head. Though I would obviously lose 2 days of job hunting. And although only for one night I think, I have paid for the next 9 nights in this hostel. Non-refundable. So I'll see. Probably will go. For my sanity if nothing else. But being realistic, if I'm going to leave Victoria, I need to be making bookings no later than 7 days from now. If I'm in Tofino for 2 of those days, that will only give me about 5 more days to find a job in Victoria. Something that I haven't been able to do in 9 or 10 days so far. So we'll see. I might be in Tofino tomorrow night. Then I might be exactly where I am now. Who knows? Decisions certainly aren't my forte right now.

As always, I have to say that writing has cleared my head somewhat. It's just untangled my brain. Like I've said in the past, this website is my councillor. If I didn't have this website to talk to I'd go insane. But writing just gives me clarity.

Though you know what my problem might be? I've always had trouble accepting things that I cannot see. I still have trouble with the concept of wireless. How the hell will I be able to send this document through the air to my website? If I couldn't see it for myself, I'd never believe it. You can't send pictures through the air. It's not possible! And you know what else fucks me up?

In that typing test that I had the other day, I typed at 60 words per minute. Typing is as comfortable as talking to me nowadays. I often find myself writing these blogs whilst looking out the window. I don't even need to look at the keyboard or the screen anymore. I can just look out of the window whilst I type. And sometimes I'll hit the wrong key. But I'll know it without looking. So I'll hit backspace, and correct it. All without looking. But what fucks me up about that, is that I cannot recite a keyboard. I could probably only place, at most, two-thirds of a keyboard. If you asked me to write down all the letters on a keyboard, I couldn't do it. Yet I can type at 60 words per minute without looking. How? It doesn't make sense to me.

And I know we have subconscious and unconscious. And I think in the past I may have even made case for many more levels than that. I don't remember if that ever made it into a pre-departure blog or not. But despite the evidence, I still really have trouble accepting what I cannot see. And I cannot see my subconscious or unconscious. So I almost dismiss them. And maybe that's where I'm going wrong. Maybe I'm thinking shit through too much. If I embraced my unconscious, and I just went with instinct all the time rather than thinking stuff through, then perhaps I'd be better off. Because there is definitely something going on in my other conscious's. Otherwise how the Hell can I type so damn quickly without knowing a keyboard?

There you go. There's my new attitude to life. I'm never going to think anything through. Why go through the effort when my unconscious can figure everything out for me? That'll save me a Hell of a lot of brain ache. So perhaps I won't try to plan what happens 9 nights from now. Perhaps I'll think about it as little as possible, and just see where I end up. Let my unconscious do the work. Because what if my unconscious is 10 times more intelligent than my conscious? Then I'm holding myself back by thinking about stuff. The less I think the cleverer I'd become. So maybe I should go to a place, not because it makes sense, but just because it feels right. And maybe there's an element of telepathy in your unconscious. Maybe it can access extra information that your conscious cannot. Like not many people know that elephants communicate with each other through infrasound. They're supposedly as loud as rock-concerts. Yet it's not recogniseable to the conscious human brain. But that doesn't mean these communications aren't there. They are. So who knows what other communications are in the air?

If I can send pictures and videos through the air, but can't see them. And if elephants can talk to each other as loud as rock-concerts, yet I can't hear them, then who knows what other information there is in the air. And what if my unconscious can pick up on this information? My unconscious might know all sorts of stuff that my conscious doesn't. So maybe I should live wholly instinctively. Let my unconscious control me.

Have you ever seen March of the Penguins? The Penguins just know where they have to walk. Some 70km or miles of whatever it is. And that's in an ever-changing landscape, so a walk they've never made before. How do they know where to go? Perhaps there's something in the air that their brains can pick up on that ours can't. There might be the answers to all lifes problems, just floating around above us. Yet we've never figured out how to hear them yet. But what if our unconscious can. Then we'll be shooting ourselves in the foot, the more we think. Ever thought about that?

Well I know it's a long-shot. It's possible though. If I can send this webpage to the Internet, "through the air." And if I can type 60 words per minute without knowing a keyboard, then there's evidence of a lot of stuff in the air that we might have no idea exists. And by focusing only on what we can see and feel, we might be missing out on so much. Who knows?

So if my decisions weren't hard enough before, now I have to take my unconscious into consideration. Fucking great.

Ah well. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I'm going to be a fucking beast before long.


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